An excerpt from Bruce Greenwald’s Value Investing: From Graham to Buffett and Beyond, first published in 2001. Presented without comment. Readers are encouraged to form their own conclusions.
During periods of investor euphoria, value investing will appear stingy and pessimistic in its estimates of intrinsic value. Its requirements that value be found in assets and earnings power will seem antediluvian when radically new technologies or other innovations are promising a boundless future for cutting edge companies whose first profitable quarter is always a few quarters away. Value investors understand that there are some games at which they are not adept, and the only sensible course is to decline to play. A canon they rely on is, “Use knowledge to reduce uncertainty.” This canon has served them well, and it would be foolish to jettison it and buy into tenuous projections of future wealth, no matter how seductive they might be.
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Value Investing: From Graham to Buffett and Beyond – Book Review
Value Investing: From Graham to Buffett and Beyond by Bruce Greenwald
From the “guru to Wall Street’s gurus” comes the fundamental techniques of value investing and their applications
Bruce Greenwald is one of the leading authorities on value investing. Some of the savviest people on Wall Street have taken his Columbia Business School executive education course on the subject. Now this dynamic and popular teacher, with some colleagues, reveals the fundamental principles of value investing, the one investment technique that has proven itself consistently over time. After covering general techniques of value investing, the book proceeds to illustrate their applications through profiles of Warren Buffett, Michael Price, Mario Gabellio, and other successful value investors. A number of case studies highlight the techniques in practice.
Bruce C. N. Greenwald (New York, NY) is the Robert Heilbrunn Professor of Finance and Asset Management at Columbia University. Judd Kahn, PhD (New York, NY), is a member of Morningside Value Investors. Paul D. Sonkin (New York, NY) is the investment manager of the Hummingbird Value Fund. Michael van Biema (New York, NY) is an Assistant Professor at the Graduate School of Business, Columbia University.
Individual investors in the Internet Age are blessed with information. We also are cursed with too much of the stuff, from real-time quotes to streaming videos of fund managers. This info-clutter extends to books, and cutting through it can be difficult, even dispiriting, when you see how little thought goes into so many books. That’s why I’ve spent part of the summer doing it for you. And the new title most deserving of your time is Value Investing: From Graham to Buffett and Beyond. Its authors, Columbia Business School faculty members Bruce C.N. Greenwald and Michael Van Biema and fund managers Paul D. Sonkin and Judd Kahn, aim to place their work next to Benjamin Graham’s 1950 classic, The Intelligent Investor. My 1986 edition came with Warren Buffett’s endorsement–“by far the best book on investing ever written.” Value Investing is better. –Robert Barker, BusinessWeek, AUGUST 13, 2001
No one can doubt there’s an urgent need to think clearly about investing, since many investors in Silicon Valley companies have suffered a stock market decline comparable to the Crash of ’29. The burned investor could find no better starting place than this superb book by four New York City value investors, all descended from the master of value investing, Benjamin Graham…. They have written one of the most intelligent overviews of investing I’ve ever read, combining analytical rigor with intuitive description.” –DAVID A. SYLVESTER, San Jose Mercury News, Oct. 21, 2001
Greenwald is a conventional economist (Ph.D. from MIT) who caught the value bug. He has updated and expanded Graham’s ideas, and his summer seminars ($2,900 for two days) have become popular with everyone from well-known money managers to Columbia MBAs who couldn’t get into Greenwald’s class. But now there is a cheaper way to learn from Greenwald: He and three colleagues have just published “Value Investing: From Graham to Buffett and Beyond.” Greenwald probably won’t outsell Graham, but I think he ought to. –Paul Sturm, SmartMoney Magazine, June 19, 2001
“Whether you’ve been working with stocks for years or are a beginner looking for a book that goes beyond price/earnings ratios, you’ll likely get something worthwhile out of the book. I certainly did.” —Pat Dorsey, Morningstar, 11/7/2001
“I finally have a good solution for those wanting an updated manual on value investing. Value Investing [is] essential reading for anyone looking for a fresh perspective on analyzing companies and selecting investments. Those with a little background in finance will benefit from the book’s clear prose and its profiles of eight successful value investors, and stock-market veterans will enjoy the detailed case studies in which Greenwald applies his ideas to specific companies…. It is one of the better books on investing to hit the shelves in a while. Greenwald’s detailed analysis of Intel INTC is by itself worth the price of admission, and other examples are similarly illuminating. Whether you’ve been working with stocks for years or are a beginner looking for a book that goes beyond price/earnings ratios, you’ll likely get something worthwhile out of the book.” (Secrets of Successful Investing’ by Pat Dorsey, Morningstar.com)
“Value Investing [is] essential reading for anyone looking for a fresh perspective on analyzing companies and selecting investments.” —Pat Dorsey, Morningstar.com
“Sophisticated yet accessible to people outside the orbit of business schools, Greenwald’s book is a lively defense of, and handbook for, value investing, complete with glimpses of how it’s practiced by pros like Warren Buffett and Mario Gabelli.” —TheStreet.com, November 15, 2001