July 13, 2021

Book Review

by Arpit

Book:The Intelligent Investor
Author:Benjamin Graham
Publisher:Harper & Brothers

Benjamin Graham is considered to be the most prominent investment advisors of the twentieth century. The intelligent investor is one of the best books ever written on investment. It was first published in 1949 and, it has inspired people worldwide. This book can be considered as the stock market bible.

“The intelligent investor is a realist who sells to optimists and buys from pessimists.” ― Benjamin Graham, The Intelligent Investor

In the book, Benjamin Graham discusses 'value investing' that shields the investor from making substantial errors. According to the author, there are two types of investors. One is a defensive investor, and the other is an enterprising investor. Defensive investor create a permanent portfolio that runs on autopilot and requires minimum effort and time, while enterprising investor devote time and continuously research the best available stocks and bonds.

The book also discusses investment vs speculation. An investor goes through proper analysis, consider the safety of principle and finally gets adequate returns. Calculating the asset value, checking the income and cash flow of the company is the fundamental step that every investor should remember. Speculators want high returns immediately, primarily from bets that can go one way or the other.

“People who invest make money for themselves; people who speculate make money for their brokers.” ― Benjamin Graham, The Intelligent Investor

In the book, Graham talks of an imaginary partner in business named Mr Market. Every day Mr Market wants to buy your stake or sell his stake to you. An intelligent investor should not get influenced by the ups and downs that Mr Market offers. Just remember one thing, buy low and sell high.

Lastly, the book discusses the concept of margin of safety. If the stock looks cheaper, you still can get ripped off. The idea is to pay less than the actual value. It means that if the stock at Rs 100 is a good buy(fair price), you should consider buying it at a lower price(Rs 70, Rs 80 or Rs 90).

“While enthusiasm may be necessary for great accomplishments elsewhere, on Wall Street it almost invariably leads to disaster.” ― Benjamin Graham, The Intelligent Investor

There are many other things mentioned that can be a boon to any investor. The commentary section after each chapter discusses important points in short that the author wants you to remember. Lots of examples are mentioned in the book to make readers understand every aspect of investment.

The book is all about the U.S. stock market, but the fundamentals remain the same everywhere. You might not understand all the concepts of the book at once as the book is lengthy. Be patient and keep yourself calm while reading the book. I will recommend the book to those who are just planning to enter the investment world.


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