Benjamin Graham Quotes

Benjamin Graham was an economist and investor, originally from Britain but later an American citizen. He is renowned as the “pioneer of value investing” and authored two seminal works in the field of neoclassical investing: “Security Analysis,” co-written with David Dodd, and “The Intelligent Investor.” Wikipedia

“No matter how careful you are, the one risk no investor can ever eliminate is the risk of being wrong. Only by insisting on what Graham called the “margin of safety” – never overpaying, no matter how exciting an investment seems to be – can you minimize your odds of error.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“Never buy a stock immediately after a substantial rise or sell one immediately after a substantial drop.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“An investment operation is one which, upon thorough analysis, promises safety of principal and an adequate return.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“To be an investor you must be a believer in a better tomorrow.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“Do not let anyone else run your business.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“Instead of passing blithely over into that Promised Land, flowing almost literally with milk and honey, it may be our destiny to wander a full 40 years or more in the wilderness of doubt and divided sentiments.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“It requires strength of character in order to think and to act in opposite fashion from the crowd and also patience to wait for opportunities that may be spaced years apart.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“The volume of credit depends upon three factors: the desire to borrow, the ability to lend and the desire to lend.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“Intelligent investment is more a matter of mental approach than it is of technique. A sound mental approach toward stock fluctuations is the touchstone of all successful investment under present-day conditions.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“Why should the cotton growers suffer if there is shortage of wheat?” ~ Benjamin Graham

“A stock is not just a ticker symbol or an electronic blip; it is an ownership interest in an actual business, with an underlying value that does not depend on its share price.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“The Reservoir system will function not only as an equalizer of business conditions, but also as a national store to meet further emergencies, such as war and drought, and-most important of all-as the concrete means of developing a steadily higher living standard for all.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“Never mingle your speculative and investment operations in the same account nor in any part of your thinking.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“Before you invest, you must ensure that you have realistically assessed your probability of being right and how you will react to the consequences of being wrong.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“It requires a great deal of boldness and a great deal of caution to make a great fortune; and when you have got it, it requires ten times as much wit to keep it. – Nathan Mayer Rothschild.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“In the short run, the market is a voting machine, but in the long run it is a weighing machine.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“Mr. Market does not always price stocks the way an appraiser or a private buyer would value a business. Instead, when stocks are going up, he happily pays more than their objective value; and, when they are going down, he is desperate to dump them for less than their true worth.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“Good managements produce a good average market price, and bad managements produce bad market prices.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“The people of the United States will not tolerate another deep depression that arises not from any lack of natural resources, productive capacity or man and brain power, but solely from imperfections in the functioning of the system of finance capitalism.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“The best values today are often found in the stocks that were once hot and have since gone cold.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“Always buy your straw hats in the Winter.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“If I have noticed anything over these 60 years on Wall Street, it is that people do not succeed in forecasting what’s going to happen to the stock market.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“Buy cheap and sell dear.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“The function of the margin of safety is, in essence, that of rendering unnecessary an accurate estimate of the future.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“A great company is not a great investment if you pay too much for the stock.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“To establish the right price for a stock, the market must have adequate information, but it by no means follows that is the market has this information it will thereupon establish the right price.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“The value of any investment is, and always must be, a function of the price you pay for it.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“Successful investing is about managing risk, not avoiding it.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“The intelligent investor shouldn’t ignore Mr. Market entirely. Instead, you should do business with him- but only to the extent that it serves your interests.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“I quickly convinced myself that the true key to material happiness lay in a modest standard of living which could be achieved with little difficulty under almost all economic conditions.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“Nothing important on Wall Street can be counted on to occur exactly in the same way as it happened before.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“Both a priori reasoning and experience teach us that as as these funds grow larger the geometrical rate of growth by compound interest ultimately defeats itself.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“Those with the enterprise lack the money and those with the money lack the enterprise to buy stocks when they are cheap.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“There is no reason to feel any shame in hiring someone to pick stocks or mutual funds for you. But there’s one responsibility that you must never delegate. You, and no one but you, must investigate whether an adviser is trustworthy and charges reasonable fees.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“Always remember that market quotations are there for convenience, either to be taken advantage of or to be ignored.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“In the world of securities, courage becomes the supreme virtue after adequate knowledge and a tested judgment are at hand.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“Buy not on optimism, but on arithmetic.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“You will be much more in control, if you realize how much you are not in control.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“The value of the security analyst to the investor depends largely on the investor’s own attitude. If the investor asks the analyst the right questions, he is likely to get the right or at least valuable answers.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“For 99 issues out of 100 we could say that at some price they are cheap enough to buy and at some price they would be so dear that they would be sold.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“Losing some money is an inevitable part of investing, and there’s nothing you can do to prevent it. But to be an intelligent investor, you must take responsibility for ensuring that you never lose most or all of your money.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“Individuals who cannot master their emotions are ill-suited to profit from the investment process.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“The sillier the market’s behavior, the greater the opportunity for the business like investor.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“It should be remembered that a decline of 50% fully offsets a preceding advance of 100%.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“Nearly everyone interested in common stocks wants to be told by someone else what he thinks the market is going to do. The demand being there, it must be supplied.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“Although there are good and bad companies, there is no such thing as a good stock; there are only good stock prices, which come and go.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“If you are shopping for common stocks, choose them the way you would buy groceries, not the way you would buy perfume.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“High valuations entail high risks.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“Before you place your financial future in the hands of an adviser, it’s imperative that you find someone who not only makes you comfortable but whose honesty is beyond reproach.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“Never buy a stock because it has gone up or sell one because it has gone down.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“The best way to measure your investing success is not by whether you’re beating the market but by whether you’ve put in place a financial plan and a behavioral discipline that are likely to get you where you want to go.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“The margin of safety is always dependent on the price paid. It will be large at one price, small at some higher price, nonexistent at some still higher price.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“The only thing you should do with pro forma earnings is ignore them.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“Thousands of people have tried, and the evidence is clear: The more you trade, the less you keep.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“In security analysis the prime stress is laid upon protection against untoward events. We obtain this protection by insisting upon margins of safety, or values well in excess of the price paid.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“To have a true investment, there must be a true margin of safety. And a true margin of safety is one that can be demonstrated by figures, by persuasive reasoning, and by reference to a body of actual experience.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“Have the courage of your knowledge and experience. If you have formed a conclusion from the facts and if you know your judgment is sound, act on it – even though others may hesitate or differ.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“The story of Joseph in Egypt and of the seven fat and the seven lean years has passed into the homely wisdom of the ages; but our economic thinking seems to have lost contact with so simple and basic approach to prudent management of a nations welfare.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“You must never delude yourself into thinking that you’re investing when you’re speculating.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“Experience teaches that the time to buy stocks is when their price is unduly depressed by temporary adversity. In other words, they should be bought on a bargain basis or not at all.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“Confronted with a challenge to distill the secret of sound investment into three words, we venture the motto, Margin of Safety.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“In an ideal world, the intelligent investor would hold stocks only when they are cheap and sell them when they become overpriced, then duck into the bunker of bonds and cash until stocks again become cheap enough to buy.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“In the old legend the wise men finally boiled down the history of mortal affairs into a single phrase: ‘This too will pass.’” ~ Benjamin Graham

“By developing your discipline and courage, you can refuse to let other people’s mood swings govern your financial destiny. In the end, how your investments behave is much less important than how you behave.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“The intelligent investor is likely to need considerable will power to keep from following the crowd.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“Obvious prospects for physical growth in a business do not translate into obvious profits for investors.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“The distinction between investment and speculation in common stocks has always been a useful one and its disappearance is cause for concern.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“There is something paradoxical in the fact that by establishing an export market we subject our entire domestic production to the vagaries of that market.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“The intelligent investor is a realist who sells to optimists and buys from pessimists.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“Diversification is an established tenet of conservative investment.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“No statement is more true and better applicable to Wall Street than the famous warning of Santayana: “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it”.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“Abnormally good or abnormally bad conditions do not last forever.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“Confusing speculation with investment is always a mistake.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“The intelligent investor gets interested in big growth stocks not when they are at their most popular – but when something goes wrong.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“The essence of investment management is the management of risks, not the management of returns.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“I am no longer an advocate of elaborate techniques of security analysis in order to find superior value opportunities.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“Real investment risk is measured not by the percent that a stock may decline in price in relation to the general market in a given period, but by the danger of a loss of quality and earnings power through economic changes or deterioration in management.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“By refusing to pay too much for an investment, you minimize the chances that your wealth will ever disappear or suddenly be destroyed.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“Avoid second-quality issues in making up a portfolio unless they are demonstrable bargains.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“A speculator gambles that a stock will go up in price because somebody else will pay even more for it.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“The chief losses to investors come from the purchase of low-quality securities at times of favorable business conditions.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“Wall Street people learn nothing and forget everything.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“It is no difficult trick to bring a great deal of energy, study, and native ability into Wall Street and to end up with losses instead of profits. These virtues, if channeled in the wrong directions, become indistinguishable from handicaps.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“An investment operation is one which, upon thorough analysis promises safety of principal and an adequate return. Operations not meeting these requirements are speculative.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“An intelligent investor gets satisfaction from the thought that his operations are exactly opposite to those of the crowd.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“Price statistics show clearly that instability in raw-material prices is a prime cause of instability of other prices.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“At heart, “uncertainty” and “investing” are synonyms.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“People who invest make money for themselves; people who speculate make money for their brokers.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“Mr. Market’s job is to provide you with prices; your job is to decide whether it is to your advantage to act on them. You no not have to trade with hime just because he constantly begs you to.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“While enthusiasm may be necessary for great accomplishments elsewhere, on Wall Street it almost invariably leads to disaster.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“The intelligent investor should recognize that market panics can create great prices for good companies and good prices for great companies.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“We have not known a single person who has consistently or lastingly make money by thus “following the market”. We do not hesitate to declare this approach is as fallacious as it is popular.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“It is absurd to think that the general public can ever make money out of market forecasts.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“Investing isn’t about beating others at their game. It’s about controlling yourself at your own game.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“The memory of the financial community is proverbially and distressingly short.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“The ideal form of common stock analysis leads to a valuation of the issue which can be compared with the current price to determine whether or not the security is an attractive purchase.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“Investing is most intelligent when it is most businesslike.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“The utility, or intrinsic value of gold as a commodity is now considerably less than in the past; its monetary status has become extraordinarily ambiguous; and its future is highly uncertain.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“The existence of such a war chest might go far to strengthen our prestige and frighten off any would be assailant.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“A defensive investor can always prosper by looking patiently and calmly through the wreckage of a bear market.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“The investor’s primary interest lies in acquiring and holding suitable securities at suitable prices.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“If fees consume more than 1% of your assets annually, you should probably shop for another adviser.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“The world has not learned the technique of balanced expansion without the resultant commercial and financial congestion.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“The most striking thing about Graham’s discussion of how to allocate your assets between stocks and bonds is that he never mentions the word “age”.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“The investor who permits himself to be stampeded or unduly worried by unjustified market declines in his holdings is perversely transforming his basic advantage into a basic disadvantage.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“Successful investing professionals are disciplined and consistent and they think a great deal about what they do and how they do it.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“Stocks can be dynamite.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“The investor’s chief problem – and even his worst enemy – is likely to be himself.” ~ Benjamin Graham

“To achieve satisfactory investment results is easier than most people realize; to achieve superior results is harder than it looks.” ~ Benjamin Graham

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