Benjamin Graham’s Timeless Advice: How the Revised ‘Intelligent Investor’ Still Guides Us Today

The revised edition of “The Intelligent Investor” by Benjamin Graham, with commentary by Jason Zweig, is often considered a must-read in the world of investing. Graham, known as the father of value investing, presents timeless principles that have guided generations of investors.

This edition, updated with Zweig’s insightful commentary, makes Graham’s principles more accessible to modern readers. The core philosophy of value investing, which focuses on long-term, fundamental analysis and the importance of not being swayed by market fluctuations, is as relevant today as it was when Graham first wrote the book.

Graham’s emphasis on the “margin of safety” – investing with a significant buffer to guard against errors and downturns – is particularly noteworthy. His differentiation between an “investor” and a “speculator” is a critical distinction that guides readers in developing a disciplined approach to investing.

Zweig’s commentary not only contextualizes Graham’s ideas in today’s market environment but also provides real-world examples and scenarios, making the concepts more tangible. This blend of timeless wisdom with contemporary analysis makes the revised edition of “The Intelligent Investor” both a foundational text for beginners and a valuable resource for experienced investors.

One possible drawback is that some of Graham’s examples and terminology can feel a bit dated. However, Zweig’s updates help bridge this gap, ensuring the book’s continued relevance.

Overall, the revised edition of “The Intelligent Investor” is a comprehensive guide that offers sound, practical advice, and deep insights into the philosophy and practice of value investing. It is a book that can be revisited throughout an investor’s life, offering guidance and wisdom at every stage of their investing journey.

Jason Zweig

Jason Zweig is an American financial journalist and author, renowned for his expertise in personal finance and investing. He is widely recognized for writing the “Intelligent Investor” column in The Wall Street Journal, where he shares insights and practical advice on investing. Zweig has also contributed significantly to the field through his books, most notably by writing the commentary for the revised edition of Benjamin Graham’s classic, “The Intelligent Investor.” His ability to explain complex financial concepts in an accessible way has made him a respected figure in the world of finance journalism.

Benjamin Graham

Benjamin Graham was an influential economist and professional investor who is often referred to as the father of value investing. His investment philosophy stressed the importance of fundamental analysis and the concept of the ‘margin of safety’ in investing. Graham’s teachings have had a profound impact on the field of finance, particularly in shaping the investment strategies of future generations of investors, including his most famous student, Warren Buffett. He authored several seminal texts on investing, including “The Intelligent Investor” and “Security Analysis,” which are considered foundational works in the field of value investing. Graham’s approach to investing focused on long-term strategies, risk management, and the analysis of a company’s intrinsic value as opposed to its market price fluctuations.

Benjamin Graham, the author of “The Intelligent Investor,” died on September 21, 1976. He passed away in France due to complications related to senility, which he had been suffering from for some time. Graham was 82 years old at the time of his death. His passing marked the end of a significant era in the field of investment, given his substantial contributions to value investing and financial analysis.

Warren Buffett’s Teacher

Warren Buffett had a significant relationship with Benjamin Graham, primarily as Graham’s student and admirer. Buffett studied under Graham at Columbia Business School and was deeply influenced by Graham’s philosophy of value investing. This education fundamentally shaped Buffett’s investment strategy throughout his career. After graduating, Buffett worked for a short time at Graham’s investment firm, further solidifying the impact of Graham’s principles on his approach to investing. Buffett has often credited Graham as his key mentor and the primary influence on his investment style, particularly the concepts of value investing and the margin of safety.

Warren Buffett highly recommends “The Intelligent Investor” by Benjamin Graham. Buffett has frequently praised the book, referring to it as “by far the best book on investing ever written.” He credits it with laying the foundation for his investment philosophy. Buffett’s endorsement of Graham’s book highlights its significance and influence in the field of investing, particularly in the area of value investing. For many investors, Buffett’s recommendation underscores the book’s value as an essential read for understanding the principles of sound, long-term investing.

Warren Buffett admires “The Intelligent Investor” by Benjamin Graham because it aligns closely with his own investment philosophy. The book introduces the concept of value investing, emphasizing the importance of looking for undervalued companies with strong fundamentals. This approach resonates deeply with Buffett, who prioritizes long-term value over short-term market trends. Additionally, the book’s emphasis on the ‘margin of safety’—investing with a buffer to protect against losses—has been a cornerstone of Buffett’s investment strategy. Graham’s teachings in “The Intelligent Investor” not only shaped Buffett’s approach to investing but also provided a foundational understanding of risk management and investor psychology. For Buffett, the book encapsulates a comprehensive, disciplined approach to investing that prioritizes sound analysis and prudent decision-making.

Relevance of ‘Intelligent Investor’ In the Digital Age

“The Intelligent Investor” by Benjamin Graham remains relevant in the digital age. Despite changes in market dynamics and the advent of new technologies, the core principles of value investing that Graham advocates—such as the importance of fundamental analysis, the concept of the margin of safety, and a disciplined approach to investing—continue to be applicable. These principles transcend specific market conditions and technological advancements, offering timeless wisdom that can guide investors in making prudent, long-term investment decisions in any era, including the digital age.

Speculation on Cryptocurrency

Benjamin Graham, known for his conservative and fundamental approach to investing, might have viewed cryptocurrency and figures like Sam Bankman-Fried with caution. Graham’s investment philosophy emphasized intrinsic value, earnings, and tangible assets, which are not directly applicable to cryptocurrencies. Given their high volatility and lack of traditional financial metrics, he might have been skeptical of their place in a prudent investment strategy. Regarding Sam Bankman-Fried, a prominent figure in the crypto world, Graham would likely have evaluated his actions and the financial stability of his ventures through the lens of conservative, value-based investing principles. Graham’s approach always favored long-term stability and fundamental analysis over newer, unproven investment trends.

Can Reading The Intelligent Investor Make Average People Become Wealthy Like Warren Buffett?

The principles outlined in “The Intelligent Investor” by Benjamin Graham, while powerful, don’t automatically guarantee wealth akin to Warren Buffett’s for several reasons. Firstly, Buffett’s success is not solely attributable to his investment strategy; it also involves his exceptional business acumen, timing, and ability to analyze companies. Moreover, the investment world is highly competitive and complex, with numerous factors influencing market behavior and investment outcomes.

Furthermore, consistently applying Graham’s principles requires a level of discipline, patience, and emotional control that many investors find challenging to maintain, especially in volatile markets. Individual circumstances, such as access to capital, risk tolerance, and investment goals, also play a significant role in determining one’s success in the stock market.

In essence, while Graham’s book offers valuable insights, replicating Buffett’s level of success involves a unique combination of skill, discipline, timing, and sometimes, luck.

Security Analysis Principles

Benjamin Graham’s approach to analyzing securities revolves around the concept of value investing. He advocates for a thorough analysis of a company’s intrinsic value, which involves looking at its financial health, earnings, assets, and debt. Graham emphasizes buying securities that are undervalued, meaning their market price is lower than their intrinsic value. This approach requires a disciplined, patient, and long-term perspective, focusing on the fundamental strength of a company rather than short-term market fluctuations. Graham also underscores the importance of the ‘margin of safety’, which means investing in a way that minimizes the potential for loss, providing a buffer against errors in judgment or unforeseen market downturns. His methodology is about being cautious, doing diligent research, and making decisions based on sound financial analysis.

Benjamin’s Investments In Companies Today

If Benjamin Graham were alive today, his investment choices would likely reflect his fundamental principles of value investing. He would seek out undervalued companies with strong financial fundamentals—those with solid earnings, good debt management, and a consistent track record of performance. Graham would likely favor businesses with understandable and sustainable business models, and those that pay dividends.

He would probably avoid highly speculative assets and those with valuations not supported by tangible financial metrics, such as certain technology stocks or cryptocurrencies, which don’t fit his criteria for intrinsic value and margin of safety. Graham might also be interested in sectors that are temporarily out of favor but have strong long-term prospects.

Overall, his focus would remain on long-term value, financial stability, and risk aversion, rather than chasing high returns in volatile or speculative markets.

Applying Benjamin’s Principles to Gamestop

Given Benjamin Graham’s investment philosophy, it’s unlikely he would invest in GameStop (GME), especially during the period of high volatility and speculative trading it experienced in early 2021. Graham’s strategy focused on the intrinsic value of companies, determined by their fundamental financial health and long-term earnings potential. He preferred investments that were undervalued relative to their intrinsic value, offering a margin of safety.

GameStop’s stock price during the trading frenzy was driven largely by speculative trading influenced by social media and not by a fundamental change in the company’s financial health or business prospects. This kind of market behavior would likely have been viewed by Graham as speculative and not aligned with his principles of value investing.


Benjamin Graham’s “The Intelligent Investor” remains highly relevant for modern readers, offering enduring wisdom on investing. Its emphasis on fundamental analysis, intrinsic value, and a disciplined, long-term approach to investing is a counterpoint to the often speculative and volatile nature of modern markets. The book teaches the importance of emotional discipline and a rational approach to investment decisions, which is crucial in an era dominated by rapid information flow and market fluctuations. While some of Graham’s examples might seem dated in today’s high-tech, global economy, the underlying principles of value investing he advocates provide a solid foundation for investors seeking to navigate the complexities of contemporary financial markets. The book’s relevance is further enhanced by its focus on investor psychology, risk management, and the concept of the ‘margin of safety’, all of which are crucial for making prudent investment decisions in any era.

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