As the title suggests, this book contains selected writings of Benjamin Graham. What makes this book unique is that the assembled writings are not in wide circulation. Hence the "undiscovered" part of the title. Selected from speeches, classroom lectures, journal articles, and even Graham's personal papers, the writings provide material not easily found by the average investor.
What Did I Get Out Of It As A New Investor?
As often is the case with all things Graham, what one gets is a deeper understanding of the stock market. The assembled writings span several decades and cover a variety of topics for a myriad of audiences. Whether discussing the need for shareholders to exercise their ownership interests in the thirties or discussing his mature investing philosophy in the seventies shortly before his death, Graham provides insights well worth studying.
One of the best parts of the book is a section that contains Graham’s address to a group of analysts. At the end of his presentation Graham pauses and says something that I did not expect. I had developed the perception that Graham advocated value investing to the exclusion of all other styles. That is not the case. Rather, he was of the opinion that value investing was best because it worked so well for him. Yet in his address he makes clear that he encouraged the assembled audience to use whatever means best suited them.
This acknowledgment from Graham is quite powerful because it recognizes each market participant must find their own system. Of course, Graham felt a system based on value investing would provide the greatest likelihood for success, yet he did not reject the possibility that others might find different means to achieve success. The recognition that each investor or trader must find a style of investing that fits them best is one of the most important things a new investor can learn.
The Good News
Benjamin Graham's thoughts on investing written in his own hand – what more do you need?
The Bad News
Not much. The worst thing I can say is that despite coming in at 304 pages I felt the book was too short.
Graham is the man. He was, is, and always will be worth reading. Whether you are a trader or investor, reading what Benjamin Graham has to say will improve your ability to succeed. This book is a must read worth including in your personal library.