Book Review: Security Analysis, Sixth Edition by Benjamin Graham and David Dodd

Security Analysis, Sixth Edition by Benjamin Graham and David Dodd

In the forward to this edition of Security Analysis, Warren Buffett tells us that he has four books in his library that he treasures most. Two of those books are first editions: The Wealth of Nations and The Intelligent Investor.  The other two books are both Security Analysis. One of those books was owned by Dodd and has notes throughout it to be included in the second edition of the book.

This particular edition is great in that it has the text of the second edition, but it also has the first edition on the accompanying CD.  There are extensive notes on the CD.

Security Analysis is long, but it is not a dry, boring book.  It is very informative and easy to read. The only problem I see with it is the inconsistency of the layout of tables.  Some tables go from early years to later years and others run in reverse order. This means in order to digest the material, you first must take a look at the years column to see if things are improving or getting worse as the years go by.

This edition has a copyright of 2009, but it says practically nothing about the 2007-2008 situation.  It would be great if the next edition also covered those years and if the editors would include a few color charts and graphs.  It would also be great if all the articles referenced in the footnotes were included on the accompanying CD.

The authors speak of the Efficient Market Theory and that, if it is correct, all information is already included in the price of the security.  This could only be true if humans were not a part of the equation. As long as we have humans, we will have people who believe in one idea and most others will follow in their footsteps.

Since the Market is a voting machine, there will always be the opportunity to find a security that is not trading at its true value.  Most investors trade with the crowd. As long as that is the case, those who actually analyze securities will be able to find value stocks.

Our library obtained this copy of Security Analysis from another library. I was the first ever to check this particular copy out.  It has been sitting on their shelf nine years and never been opened. It is a pity that such valuable wisdom is sitting on a shelf and has never been read. You should be the one in your group to buck the trend and obtain this valuable information.

Most in the financial world have not read this book.  You will have a secret source of insight into Mr. Market once you read this.

We have to give this edition all five stars. Although it was written in 1940, it is just as useful today as it was many years ago.

We checked a copy of this book out from the Wharton County Texas Library through their Interlibrary loan service.  We are under no obligation to write any review, positive or negative.

 

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