©1986 by Philip A. Fisher; Published by Arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; (P)2000 by Penton Overseas, Inc. Published by Penton Overseas, Inc. and Audio Scholar, Inc.
"I am an eager reader of whatever Phil [Fisher] has to say, and I recommend him to you". (Warren Buffett)
This book provides some interesting ideas on how to manage your investments, but as another reviewer has already stated, some of the strategies are not easy for the individual investor to employ. I don't think I'll be able to meet the bankers of the companies I am investing in anytime soon!
So, I would not put this at the top of my list of investing books to recommend, but do not completely pan it either. The author does espouse a long term investment strategy and offers what appears to be some sound advice for choosing investments. One particular bit of advice was a set of 14 points, some of which can be used as a screen to look for potential investments.
If you have not read (or listened to) "One Up on Wall Street" by Peter Lynch, that is a work I highly recommend.
I picked this book based on its 5-star rating and my own dismal performance in selecting stocks for my retirement portfolio. If this is your motivation, you'll want to take a pass on this book. Helpful advice included: 1. Calling the corporation's competitors to find out what "warts" plagued the company, or 2. Speaking directly with the corporation's officers and/or directors to obtain information on a firsthand basis. Neither of these actions are practical or even possible.
I thought the book was useful, but I struggled with the reader's voice. This book took me much longer than I anticipated because I had gotten lost in the monotone voice. I had to rewind and review parts multiple times to get it. I ultimately used a summary to help me get the jist of the book, which helped me the most.
The author identifies 15 characteristics of good companies for investment in companies that can pay off big over 25 years. Identification of good management is a key theme.
If a company is to grow a few hundred percent or more, much more, over 25 years, does it really matter that much if you pay an extra 50 cents per share now? That, let us say 1.5% higher price on a good company that will continue to grow could cost a few hundred percent. Good companies rarely fall to bargain prices.
This book is one of Warren Buffet's favorites, and when it comes to the recommendation within to perform "Skuttlebutt", Warren certainly does. It is a good companion to The Intelligent Investor, another classic worth re-reading.
Yes... it is easier to get it all if you listen to a book like this more than once. The narrator's voice lacked much energy, and that made it hard to keep focused and listen. I undoubtedly missed several things and am listening to it again. I found that if you set the setting to 'fast' on your player, it makes it a bit easier to pay attention.
Early in the book, Mr. Fisher lays out his 15 principles. After that, he can continue to refer back to them throughout the text as needed.
Increase the energy (significantly). The narrator seemed very bored with the material, and it showed.
I would rate this an high beginner/low intermediate for investors. Some of the information is relatively outdated (individual investors rarely go talk to management, and information is much easier to come by via the Internet and Regulation FD than finding employees or suppliers to visit with, for example), but the principles are still quite good.
Thought through, engaging!
It's not really what's said that's so different from other books of this type, but that this very commonsense approach is so thoughtfully and wonderfully stated. Very, very well-crafted.
I'm partial. George Guidall, who, to me, is at the top of my list of narrators (this is one of many audio books I've heard him narrate), brings the incredible dramatic skill that can narrate a classic like The Iliad, to a book of finance. Yes, this is a classic investment text, but I can never minimize how George Guidall can make a book, even one that might seem dry to some, come across with power and weight.
Stock investing for uncommon profits is hard work, but if approached with serious intent, as well as perseverance, it is a possibility. For those who find this intellectually stimulating, it just might be a possibility working hard for.
The only obstacle to giving this an overall 5 stars is that the ideas are not groundbreaking. It's as if I'd heard these thoughts expressed before, but never this well stated.
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