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I just loved this book. The book is compendium of Graham's unpublished essays and lectures. Each essay is top notch and the good teacher teaches us a lot in every essay and lecture. The key value of this book is 1. his lectures on investing given to students in NY university 2. his testimony to US congress. The lectures are excellent. You feel you are sitting in front of Graham and learning investing. The lecture transcripts also contain many questions asked by the students during the lectures and Graham's answers. Invaluable store of knowledge and wisdom! There are couple of interviews that he gave in 70s. Those contain the gist of his entire investing career and all his wisdom. There are speeches that he gave to CFA society. In that he has outlined one of the most critical takeaway for us and that is to stay in the middle in the investing jungle. He looks at stock market like big U. on the left you find the stocks of poor quality and fundamentals and hence very speculative. On the very right you find best of best companies whose stocks are priced for perfection and some more. And hence making these stocks also very speculative. In the middle there are vast number of companies that are neither poor quality as left side nor as expensive as right side. These are the companies that grow with GDP rate, have strong balance sheets, produce and sell products and services that economy needs every day, have long track record of steady growth, low profile companies. Graham asks us to focus on this cohort of stocks in the middle because there you oftentimes find mis-priced stocks that you can buy. These are safer bets with margin of safety. Something that you do not get on the left or right of U.
I would strongly recommend this book to all value investors. You will get a lot out of it.
Janet Lowe has done an outstanding job collating and introducing each section of this book of previously unpublished articles, lectures, and interviews from the father of value investing. I believe anyone reading this book will get a huge value out of it. This book is a great addition to Mr. Graham's books. It is also a great book to read for those new to Graham's teachings of buying good stocks when their prices are below intrinsic value. Graham's methods of finding good stocks at fair prices by examining their equity to asset ratios, book value, and P/E multiples brought the Graham-Newman partnership over a 20% annual return on equities for 20 years. Followed by his pupil Warren Buffet using and refining his techniques to return over 20% a year for 40 years and eventually lead Warren Buffett to be worth $40 billion thanks to using his value investing for the holding company Berkshire-Hathaway. I sit up and listen to anything these two great men have to say. I also recommend reading Graham's Intelligent Investor and Security Analysis, and "The essays of Warren Buffett" by Cunningham.
The book is good. However, a lot of the book to me is more philosophical than practical which is interesting but not totally what I would want. There were points that were interesting. A large section of the book where he is testifying before a congressional investigation committee, I believe, I skipped. I had no interest in it. In the last two chapters, he explained one investing technique, and another one not fully researched but obviously good, which made the last two chapters very practical for me. It jelled his idea of how he invested more clearly than a previous book had done. - it was more clear in my mind. I am not novice in investing but no real expert either although I know a lot more than people who invest from what they hear on T.V. or read in a magazine or ask their brokers, "What do you think." Graham is wordy and he makes points but again, he is wordy, not concise and directly to the point. Some of his ideas are interesting but not applicable for practical application in my opinion. For investors, starting out, I would say there are definitely BETTER books for beginning or intermediate investors in the initial learning stage of learning. For excellent investors, interested in ideas or ideas Graham had, it could be interesting..