The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Intelligent Investor Book Club Edition

intelligent investorOne book I’ve had sitting on my shelf for more than a year, intending to eventually review it, is Benjamin Graham’s The Intelligent Investor.

This is perhaps the most important investing book in the past hundred years, and its importance is made clear in this quote from Warren Buffett from the preface: “I read the first edition of this book early in 1950, when I was nineteen. I thought then that it was by far the best book about investing ever written. I still think it is.”

The problem is that this book has so much meat worth discussing that every time I tried to start writing a review of it, it simply got out of hand. I’d want to write several paragraphs about each chapter in the book, which would result in an incredibly long post, one that would probably be so long as to not be worth reading.

So what’s the solution? I’ve decided to review/discuss the book in a serial format, a chapter at a time. Each Friday morning, starting next Friday, October 10, I’m going to initiate a discussion of a chapter of The Intelligent Investor, with the goal of making it interesting to everyone.

I’m going to be using the HarperBusiness Essentials revised edition with commentary from Jason Zweig that can be found in libraries and bookstores everywhere. You can read along if you’d like, or just stick around for the commentaries.

Next Friday, I’ll start with the introduction – pages 1 through 17.

I hope this will be a lot of fun.

Now, for some personal finance articles.

29 Steps I Took to Leave the Workforce at Age 29 Interestingly, I also left the “workforce” at age 29 and am doing my own thing now. It’s the best thing I ever did. (@ my dollar plan)

Behind the ‘We Deserve It Dividend’ Hoopla I’ve received this absurd email forward from a few people and considered writing a debunking of it. Thankfully, Karen Datko over at Smart Spending already did it quite well. (@ smart spending)

Could Tithing Lead Some Americans to Lose Their Homes? I think when many people think about tithing, they think only of money. One can (and should) tithe their time as well – or give their time in lieu of their money if they are in a serious pinch. (@ get rich slowly)

Unclog Your Commute Carpooling saves money, period. Here’s a clever way to get it done. (@ unclutterer)

Six Ways to Get Intense About Your Money and Finances I have to agree with #1 (read personal finance blogs). Not only are there a lot of interesting ideas out there floating around, but the repetition of the fundamentals helps, too. (@ prime time money)

Looking for a Reason to Hide Feeling really scared about the current economic situation? This pretty much describes how I feel about it. (@ seth’s blog)

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  1. Lise says:

    Value investing sounds interesting (who wouldn’t be envious of Warren Buffett, after all?) and I very much look forward to this series of reviews. There are some books that just lend themselves to that format.

  2. Mike says:


    I have a question. One of your tips, which I agree is a solid financial move, is to ask your credit card provider(s) for a interest rate reduction. With the current state of the economy, I would think it would be difficult to get such and adjustment. Is this so? If so, what alternatives would you suggest until the credit market is a little more upbeat?

  3. Mike P says:

    Looking forward to your reviews of The Intelligent Investor. I read it a couple years back, and I agree: It’s excellent.

    The only downside is that if you recommend it to somebody, it’s pretty unlikely that they’ll read it in its entirety unless they share your avid interest in the topic.

  4. I’ll be interested in the book…I’m kind of an investing dummy, and maybe this will help me!

  5. Carlos says:

    Have you read Security Analysis (the Classic 1951 Edition)?

    If you haven’t, it’s an awfully good read, too…

  6. Sue says:

    FANTASTIC idea. I’ve had this book on my shelf for a few months now, and just haven’t had the time to read it. This will provide the impetus I need :-)

  7. Carol says:

    LOVE this book. It is daunting to read but so worth the effort. It is actually quite funny in parts and some of the details are skimmable. It made me a fan of Jason Zweig too. Looking forward to your take on it.

  8. Dave says:

    Ahh, finally a book discussion I can participate in! Unfortunately I borrowed the book from the library so I’m not sure exactly where everything is said…

  9. Trent,

    If you believe it would take you a lot of time to review “The Intelligent Investor”.. Try reviewing “Security Analysis” by the same author.:-)

    The edition of The Intelligent Investor that I own ( printed in the 1970′s) also has an article from Warren Buffet at the end -”Superinvestors Of Graham And Doddsville – Warren Buffett”

  10. Mart says:

    Wow, great book, but there’s a few “dead chapters” in it due to the time it was written; not all of it warrants the same level of attention I would expect.
    Looking forward to your analysis.

  11. The Intelligent Investor is an outstanding book and I personally think that everyone should read a copy before they go anywhere near the stock market.

  12. Kacper says:

    Great. I like the idea of such detailed review. Can’t wait for first part.

  13. moneyclip says:

    Because you’re about to review this book I am going to read it. It’s a short book and shouldn’t take long. Hopefully I’ll be into it by the time you start to review it. This book looks quite interesting.

  14. Kelly says:

    Great idea to do a book review like a book club! If only every copy weren’t already checked out of the library… I’ll catch up when the book comes in! Maybe this book club review is a style you can do with other books you recommend too? Looking forward to it!

  15. PT says:

    Looking forward to your review. Thanks for sharing my article in the roundup, Trent.

  16. I am looking forward to your review, Trent. I read this book about 25 years ago and again about five years ago. Some parts were tough sledding. Since you are gifted in explaining muddied topics into understandable posts, I know I will benefit. I consider myself a “Value Investor” and look for stocks with low P/E and high cash/debt, but I would like to feel better about understanding Graham’s premises.

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