Ben was by all accounts a genius from the day he was born. Born into a Jewish family, he exhibited intelligence beyond his peers and his years. Not surprisingly, he was to become a pioneer of value investing, the  art of buying assets at a price less than its intrinsic value.

The volumes of codified knowledge on investing as written painstakingly down in the consecutive versions of the security analysis, if you will read them, if you will digest them,  if you will reflect on them, just would make one a better investor without a doubt.

But Ben Graham had a problem. He was not a good story teller.

And to the ordinary man on the street, reading the security analysis is probably too huge a task for him as reflected in the many advanced concepts and jargons that are so way beyond him. But if he were to so analyse those concepts patiently, he would be able to take investing to the next level.

Then came along Warren Buffett. A great disciple and an individual. But because the media has painted him as the “World’s Greatest Investor”, the story being told is too alluring. Now everyone wants to be like Warren.

But Warren’s methods are not so simple and straightforward. With the kind of probabilistic thinking that he has developed over the years, it would take one many years before reaching his level of investing astuteness. If not this, then that. If not that, then this. A decision tree immediately  sprouts up in Warren’s head when it comes to investing.

So simply put. Ben Graham had a problem. He was not able to tell a good story. And our problem with Graham is this : We refuse to listen to the message he had for us because we want to be like Buffett, all thanks to the media. But, the media is not to blame at the end of the day when it comes to investing. It is us that we are accountable to and it is us that pulls the trigger. We have to make an effort to determine what goes into our heads and what stays  out.

As always, may all be blessed with prosperity, health and happiness!


kingsley

I have been an investor for 15 years now and my journey has meandered from Warren Buffett to Ben Graham. My start, like many, really was the naive idea that Buffett's skills could be replicated in some fashion. I was proven wrong when some of the supposed stock picks that I chose had dismal performances. Then, I learnt that it is no point trying to be someone I am not. Gradually, through failure and some success in deep value investing, my approach towards stocks gradually shifted to an approach based around Graham's techniques. So, I give credit where credit is due and to Ben Graham, I and many other investors around the world, owe him a great deal. So, if you want to read up on biographies, read about Ben Graham. His seminal work, Security Analysis is a gem. My books are just rich interpretations of what he has taught.

Leave a Reply