I wrote my last investment book almost eight years ago, and I swore I would never write another. That was for two reasons.
The first was that finance is a relatively circumscribed field; not that much is really known for certain. The body of knowledge that the individual investor, or even the professional, needs to master is pitifully small. If most finance academics were asked to compile a body of truly essential scholarly articles, their lists would generally not be more than several dozen long. On the other hand, put the average doctor, social worker, or scientist to that task, and the required reading would fill many shelves, if not whole rooms. In short, I had said most of what I needed to say about finance in my first two books. Until now.
The financial meltdown of 2008-2009 drastically changed the investment landscape, and if there ever was a time to leapfrog my previous books, it is now. This is a teachable moment, and I intend to use it to clearly and concisely enunciate a set of timeless investment principles.
In 1934, the father of the science of modern value investing, Benjamin Graham, wrote a great brick of a book, Security Analysis, which spelled out today’s commonly accepted techniques for evaluating stocks and bonds, and it remains to this day required reading for anyone seriously interested in finance. As with any comprehensive, variegated work, it strikes individual readers in different ways.
Graham’s graceful prose and methodical composition bowled me ...

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