Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Read: Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits

Image source: amazon.com

Title: Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits
Author: Philip A. Fisher
Publisher: Wiley, John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

This year, I set for myself a challenge to learn more about value-investing which is relatively new to me. It is through learning that we each grow better as a person. To learn more about this subject, I set myself a goal to read at least four books that are related to value investing this year. This book by Philip A. Fisher became the third book related to value investing that I have read. The choice came about because it was a book that was available for loan from one of the public libraries that is located near my home.

This book was first published in 1958. Given that this work was written a few decades before I was born, I thought it was pretty accessible for a book that was published in the 1950s. While it took me a while to get used to the writing style, there was wisdom in every chapter from Philip A. Fisher. It was touching to read the author's son Ken Fisher writing the extended preface and introduction for the edition of the book that I was reading.

This book offers jewels of wisdom for people who are interested in the qualitative aspect of analyzing and identifying whether a company is an outstanding one. The author also offers an investment plan that was derived from his personal experiences. This book also discusses the method of "scuttlebutt".

Perhaps the only weakness of this book is that Fisher's method of "scuttlebutt" may not be easily achievable for the individual retail investor. This is so since "scuttlebutt" requires talking to employees, key staff and management of the company that one intends to invest in.

Overall, I think this book has merits in presenting wise ideas related to investing in quality companies. Considering that it was first published in 1958, I think that the author has written a book whose relevance still stood the tests of time. It is no surprise that Warren Buffett "was impressed by" Philip A. Fisher and his ideas.

Please also see this review which summarises some of the key essence of the book, and this book by Fisher is worth many good reads:

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