Benjamin Graham was was born in London on May 8, 1894, and moved with his family to New York that same year. He attended Columbia University in Manhattan, graduating at the age of twenty with the title of Salutatorian, an award granted to the second-ranked graduate of all the graduates across the United States. He began his career at a brokerage firm called Newburger, Henderson & Loeb where he became a partner when he was just twenty-three years old. In 1923, Graham started his own company and three years later formed the partnership Graham-Newman in 1926. He began teaching classes in finance as a professor at Columbia University in 1928.
His first book, Security Analysis, was published in 1934. It was a collaboration with David Dodd, a former student of Graham's at the university. The book garnered a lot of attention and was soon recognized as "the reference point for investment, a bible equivalent status for the investment field." Through his work with Dodd, Graham introduced the notion of intrinsic value and margin of safety, aiming to eliminate the speculative aspect of stock investments through a fundamental analysis of stock values.
In 1949, Graham published his second book, The Intelligent Investor. The book details further the concepts of security analysis and introduced the notion of value investing. Value investing implores investors to determine the intrinsic value of a stock rather than trading based on trends; it relies on financial analysis (an understanding of the companies revenue and business model) as well as rigorous risk analysis. Warren Buffet, who studied under Graham, said of The Intelligent Investor that it is "the best book about investing ever written”.
Some major concepts introduced by Graham include investor psychology, minimal debt, buy-and-hold investing, fundamental analysis, concentrated diversification, buying within the margin of safety, activist investing, and contrarian mindsets. Graham's work was influential on the evaluation and investment practices of stock market players then and now; for this reason, he is hailed as the "Father of Security Analysis" and "Father of Value Investing."
Benjamin Graham retired from the stock market and his professorship at Columbia University in 1956, dissolving his partnership with Newman at the same time. He then began teaching at the University of California, Los Angeles and also at Anderson School of Management. Graham died at the age of eighty-two in Aix-en-Provence France.
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