Ben Graham: The Einstein of Money

Ben Graham: The Einstein of Money

by ValueWalk StaffSeptember 24, 2013

Book-Review-Einstein-of-Money

In 1934, Benjamin Graham revolutionized the investment world with the publication of his book Security Analysis. “The Value Bible,” as modern investors affectionately call it, contained Graham’s accumulated wisdom from years of evaluating and expertly buying/selling stocks in an unprecedented, but radically successful, manner. In fact, Graham defied all contemporary investing strategies in such a way that Warren Buffet, cited as the third richest man in the world, would credit Graham as the predominant influence on his investment strategy in an article published over 70 years after Security Analysis.Although Graham’s legacy primarily thrives through his money-making strategies in the investing world, few actually appreciate his true rags-to-riches story and the right-place-at-the-right-time circumstances that eventually guided his genius to Wall Street.

Fortunately, Joe Carlen seamlessly weaves Graham’s life, lessons, and life-lessons together in an educational, inspiring, and insightful book entitled The Einstein of Money: The Life and Timeless Financial Wisdom of Benjamin Graham.

In this amazing hardback, Carlen skillfully explains not only the fundamental concepts of Graham’s contrarian investing strategy and how it compared to the contemporary wisdom, but also the timeline of Graham’s life and how his upbringing shaped his attitude toward buying stocks.

Chapter by chapter, Carlen switches back and forth between guiding the reader through the world of an exemplary genius and instructing the reader about Graham’s key investing concepts along with examples of how they apply in real-world circumstances.

Graham stood out from his peers throughout his entire life

During the biography portions, Carlen emphasizes that Graham stood out from his peers throughout his entire life. He skipped multiple grades throughout school, achieved valedictorian of his elementary school, learned multiple languages in his time attending the 2-year accelerated program at Townsend (which is still considered one of New York’s top high schools), received a scholarship for Columbia University, completed the coursework in two and a half years (rather than the expected four), and was offered three teaching positions upon his graduation, which was completely unheard-of at the time.

The reader also learns in these biographical segments that Graham’s initial entrance into the investment world was largely circumstantial. The most glaring of these coincidences was Graham’s meeting with Alfred Newburger, the senior member of the Wall Street firm Newburger, Henderson, and Loeb. Carlen outlines the surprising details of this fateful meeting in chapter 3.

Best part of the book is Carlen’s superior investigative abilities

In my opinion, the best part of the book is Carlen’s superior investigative abilities. Throughout the book, he illustrates how both Graham’s early childhood as a poor youth and his mother’s impulsive stock market excursions provided the blueprint for his famous “Margin of Safety” principle and the entire philosophy of value investing. Never before in a book, or perhaps in a man’s life, have I found such interesting correlations between childhood circumstances and a professional legacy.

Whether you are an investor seeking to produce more profits, an admirer seeking to understand the man who drastically and permanently altered how people evaluate stocks, or a student interested in geniuses, you will find this book appealing to the point that it’s almost impossible not to turn the page. Not only is Graham’s life filled with drama and coincidences that ultimately change the world, but his lessons are so powerful because they completely defied an established way of thinking.

Einstein of Money: The Life and Timeless Financial Wisdom of Benjamin Graham Hardcover

by Joe Carlen  (Author)

“Even in 2012, Ben Graham is still a hero to me” —Warren Buffett
(from the author’s interview with Buffett for The Einstein of Money)

Warren Buffett has repeatedly acknowledged Benjamin Graham, a man he personally studied and worked under, as the primary influence on his investment approach. Indeed, there is a direct line between the record-shattering investing performance of Buffett (and other value investors) and Graham’s life. In six books and dozens of papers, Graham—widely known as the “Dean of Wall Street”—left an extensive account of an investing system that, as Buffett can attest to, actually works!

In The Einstein of Money, author and business consultant Joe Carlen educates the reader on Graham’s most essential wealth-creation concepts (as selected by Buffett himself), while telling the colorful story of Graham’s amazing business career and his multifaceted personal life. As the author shows, Graham was a brilliant innovator in many areas—from devising a new currency to writing a Broadway play. His complex personality combined impeccable professional ethics with a checkered, even wild, romantic life.

Carlen’s biography distills the best from Graham’s extensive published works (including his candid memoirs, released in 1996) and draws from the author’s interviews with Warren Buffett, Charles Brandes, other top US and global value investors, Graham’s surviving children and friends, and select finance professors and authors. In this manner, The Einstein of Money weaves Graham’s transformational ideas into the narrative of a momentous life and legacy.

Warren Buffett once said, “No one ever became poor by reading Graham.” By the same token, no one will ever become poor, bored, or uninspired by reading Carlen’s lively, informative biography of Benjamin Graham and his time-tested techniques for generating wealth

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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