The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham has been widely acclaimed as the best book on investing, garnering praise from the likes of Warren Buffett. Published in 1949, the book has sold over 1 million copies for its timely approach that is even applicable to this day.
Here are 6 of the most important lessons from the book that every investor should know:
Mistakes are inevitable, but never give up. Even the most successful investor has made some form of mistake. The difference is that the successful investor uses this mistake as a stepping stone to succeed. Do not be discouraged even if others are.
Avoid speculating. Ensure that you have a clear understanding of your investment’s Return of Investment. Identify undervalued assets and use it to your advantage.
The Market is your friend. Graham has a witty way of describing Mr. Market, the man who offers you a buy and sell value for your assets on a daily basis. This person has his on and off days – he will offer you a hefty price on a good day, and at times give you cheap offers. Instead of contradicting his offer, Graham suggests that investors befriend Mr. Market. Buy when he’s having a bad day and sell when he’s in a good mood.
Minimize risk. As with all investments, risk is inevitable. The key to succeed is to minimize the risk. Graham advises investors to proceed with a safe approach and to protect their assets in times that the market is on a downslide.
The Margin of Safety. Purchase undervalued assets and gain a return on investment when it has returned to its true value. Graham reminds investors to look into the margin of safety, by analyzing the Market psychology and minimizing risk at the same time.
Look ahead. Graham was able to describe the market perfectly, stating that “In the short term the market is a voting machine; in the long term it is a weighing machine.”
Read more about this on Pete Wargent’s Blog.