- Series: Wiley Investment Classics (Book 5)
- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Wiley (June 7, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 047111927X
- ISBN-13: 978-0471119272
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 8.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 206 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #178,613 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings (Wiley Investment Classics) Paperback – June 7, 1996
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From the Publisher
Regarded as one of the pioneers of modern investment theory, Philip A. Fisher's investment principles are studied and used by contemporary finance professionals including Warren Buffett. Fisher was the first to consider a stock's worth in terms of potential growth instead of just price trends and absolute value. His principles espouse identifying long-term growth stocks and their emerging value as opposed to choosing short-term trades for initial profit. First published in 1958, this investment classic is considered a must-read as the foundation for many of today's popular investment beliefs.
From the Back Cover
"You will find lots of jewels in these pages that may do as much for you as they have for me."-from the Introduction by Kenneth L. Fisher Forbes columnist
Widely respected and admired, Philip Fisher is among the most influential investors of all time. His investment philosophies, introduced almost forty years ago, are not only studied and applied by today's finance professionals, but are also regarded by many as gospel. He recorded these philosophies in Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits, a book considered invaluable reading when it was first published in 1958, and a must-read today.
Acclaim for Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits
"I sought out Phil Fisher after reading his Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits...When I met him, I was impressed by the man as by his ideas. A thorough understanding of the business, obtained by using Phil's techniques...enables one to make intelligent investment commitments."-Warren Buffett
"Little known to the public, rarely interviewed and accepting few clients, Philip Fisher is nevertheless read and studied by most thoughtful investment professionals . . . everyone will profit from pondering-as Warren Buffett has done-the investment principles Fisher espouses."-James W. Michaels Editor, Forbes
"My own copy [of Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits] has underlinings and marginal thoughts throughout."-John Train Author of Dance of the Money Bees
Top customer reviews
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Notwithstanding the hype evidenced on the book covers and the introduction by the author's son, a highly-regarded and well-known investment manager, the author has credentials that money cannot buy. That would be fifty years of being a successful , professional, private investment manager. In this book, he will bring that experience into play as well focusing on factors that are not covered by the mainstream financial media, or as he refers to them as "the financial community. "
Here are some basic concepts that that the author will cover in his treatise: He will differentiate between a stock trader and stock investor; He will analyze what to buy and when to buy it; He will explain the movement of stocks in general or of a particular stock; He will argue the merits whether to follow the herd or to do otherwise; He will advise you whether to concentrate on intrinsic or extrinsic factors in evaluating a firm's stock; He will give you his opinion of the value of reading reports of the financial community.
Here are three key questions that he will pose and answer: Should you buy cheap or otherwise? How long should you hold on to hold a stock? When should a stock be sold? The author will provide you with his views on the value of historical prices and earnings. He will correlate stock prices with interest rates. The closest the author will come to using numbers is when he lists his fifteen points of what to look for in buying a common stock. And after listing those points, he will highlight that one point that will override the other fourteen points in not buying the stock. In fact, that one point could very well summarize the book in a single word.
As a reader, you will not get buried in a landslide of financial trivia but will learn general techniques and trends of investment analysis that often aren't considered by the statistically-oriented investors. However, in order to glean these gems of intrinisic stock information, you will have to have to forgo charts, illustrations, tables, and financial data commonly presented in stock analysis.
The book itself is quite old, so some circumstances considered by Mr. Fisher may be obsolete (cold war), but I'd say that most of the content is quite timeless. Especially Mr. Fisher's recipe for a good analysis of long-term growth investment opportunity (the process is referred to as scuttlebutt).
As for contents of the book, I see 3 distinct areas:
1. Very detailed description of scuttlebutt method (the most valuable part, in my opinion),
2. Mr. Fisher's insights when considering particular circumstances connected with investing,
3. The last chapter is a step-by-step guide on how to be Mr. Fisher (or work like him at least).
Mr. Fisher's style is quite formal but restrained in the wording. For me, it was a perfect read.
Some readers are bothered by the too long preface and introduction by his son Ken Fisher. It's not bad if you are interested in Phil Fisher's own life and personal characteristics. However Ken Fisher is quite different from his father's honesty. Ken Fisher looks like a salesman who focuses on selling products of his own investment company rather than an investor. Ken Fisher writes one book in one or two years in repeating the same useless things.
Back to the book, the content is merit, which I don't want to repeat here. But some other reviewers say it's not practical for average investors to do 'scuttlebutt' with CEOs of the companies. It's true but the idea should get update in your heart. Remember this book was published in 1958 for the first time, by then Fisher can only use phones and visit the companies. But now we have internet and tons of information of which we should make good use. Scuttlebutt doesn't necessariely mean talking to CEOs and even it is the case you should very easily can see many things about the CEOs in the internet. Today it should be easier for us to do Scuttlebutt as closed as professionals can do.
And this book should be read with other books on corporation valuation like Benjamin Graham's The Intelligent Investor and Security Analysis. It's a 5-star book doesn't mean you can only use this book to get rich. In Fisher's point of view, this should be mastered for sure.
I would give myself a chance, if I cannot make real money by Fisher and Graham's book I would switch to index fund and invest my time on other things. Honestly I don't believe there are other books that could really make you rich if this book cannot.
Most recent customer reviews
I like that it makes you feel confident about a company giving great...Read more
Good for beginners also though you may have to read it a couple of times.