I'm a lawyer and mediator. I represent businesses in disputes with their insurers and in other complex litigation. I also assist machinery companies and manufacturers (primarily international) with equipment sales, non-disclosure agreements, and business issues. I also mediate commercial disputes.
This is a great book about a very simple strategy aimed at preserving wealth and making a reasonable inflation adjusted return. The strategy is very simple, but the detailed advice about how to implement it is very helpful. I found the arguments in favor of the strategy very compelling.
As an audiobook, it suffers in two respects. First, the book has a lot of tables, which the narrator just reads. Kind of mind-numbing. Second, the narrator is just not that good. His voice reminds me of Don Adams playing Maxwell Smart, for those of you old enough to remember.
Maybe better purchased for a Kindle or as a hard copy book.
This is a really interesting book on some specific approaches to value investing. It has a lot of practical information. The book is also relatively short and an entertaining listen -- well, for a book on this subject.
This is a really good book that absolutely nails some key things that investors should remember (but seldom do): Events are rarely unprecedented. People often over-react to the noise on CNBC and the other business media and fail to consider historical precedent. Over time, it has paid to invest in the market and it has not paid to jump in and out. The authors also point out the flaws in some commonly reported statistics.
If there is one thing that I question in the authors' analysis (and this would not surprise them), it is their nonchalance regarding debt. The debt that has exploded in the last three years is -- in my view anyway -- truly unprecedented, and the demographic trends we are facing (an aging population more dependent on government programs) does not bode well. The only reason the debt is remotely manageable are low interest rates caused by Fed manipulation -- something that cannot last forever. When those rates increase, debt service will become more and more problematic.
The authors would probably disagree, and, frankly, I hope they are right and I am wrong. Still, the overall message of the book that things tend to work out over time and that we somehow muddle through is encouraging and has been historically valid. Let's hope we do it again.
The Intelligent Investor is a mainstay of the finance literature. Warren Buffett -- one of the world's richest men and an acolyte of Graham -- is said to have read this book dozens of times until he could recite much of the book.
The original text edition is hundreds of pages long. The audiobook is just over two hours. How can a very fat book then lose so much weight in the audio version and remain healthy? I personally own and have read from cover to cover the full book. Comparing the full text with this audiobook, there is no doubt the abridgment takes away a lot of the flavor and substance. Many of Graham's lessons are lost. Plus, in my text edition every chapter has an additional commentary from Jason Zweig (a Graham disciple and author of "The Intelligent Investor" column in the Wall Street Journal). This edition does not have any commentary and only has the most basic of Graham's lessons.
Despite the drawbacks I would recommend this audiobook. As far as I know this is the best audio version of Graham's work. The audio includes Graham's most enduring lessons like the investor vs. speculator distinction, 'Mr. Market' metaphor, defensive vs. aggressive investors, and the basics of his enduring investing philosophy.
I also find this audio convenient for reference. Due to its brevity an intelligent investor can quickly review Graham's investing basics during a longer car ride and regain some comfort during bear markets (I recently re-listened to this. For reference: this review is being written 8/7/11). You cannot beat Graham for his erudition, clear writing style, and great recommendations. For those of you who have not yet read this book you will find that Graham's words are like mothers milk for your net-worth.