To invest successfully over a lifetime does not require a stratospheric IQ, unusual business insights, or inside information. What’s needed is a sound intellectual framework for making decisions and the ability to keep emotions from corroding the framework.
An investment operation is one，which, upon thorough analysis promises safety of principal and an adequate return. Operations not meeting these requirements are speculative.
Speculation is always fascinating, and it can be a lot of fun while you are ahead of the game. If you want to try your luck at it, put aside a portion – the smaller the better – of your capital in a separate fund for this purpose.
To enjoy a reasonable chance for continued better than average results, the investor must follow policies which are (1) inherently sound and promising, and (2) not popular on Wall Street.
The future itself can be approached in two different ways, which may be called the way of prediction (or projection) and the way of protection…… Those who emphasize prediction will endeavor to anticipate fairly accurately just what the company will accomplish in future years…… By contract, those who emphasize protection are always especially concerned with the price of the issues at the time of study…… therefore, it is not so necessary for them to be enthusiastic over the company’s long-run prospects as it is to be reasonably confident that the enterprise will get along…… The first, or predictive, approach could also be called the qualitative approach…… The second, or protective, approach may be called the quantitative or statistical approach…… In our own attitude and professional work we were always committed to the quantitative approach.
对待未来的方法有两个： 一个是预测法，一个是保护法…… 那些重视预测的人，总是尽力很准确地预言一个企业在将来会取得什么成就…… 相反，那些重视保护的人，总是更关心在做研究时股票的价格…… 所以，他们不必太关注企业的长期前景，只要它能够继续经营下去…… 第一种，预测法，可以被称作是定性法…… 第二种，保护法，可以被称作是定量法…… 从我们自身的态度和本职工作上来说，我们始终致力于定量法的运用。
A creditable, if unspectacular, result can be achieved by the lay investor with a minimum of effort and capability; but to improve this easily attainable standard requires much application and more than a trace of wisdom. If you merely try to bring just a little extra knowledge and cleverness to bear upon your investment program, instead of realizing a little better than normal results, you may well find that you have done worse.
Obvious prospects for physical growth in a business do not translate into obvious profits for investors.
The experts do not have dependable ways of selecting and concentrating on the most promising companies in the most promising industries.
Our own observation, however, leads us to minimize somewhat the practical value of most of the industry studies that are made available to investors…… Rarely does one find a brokerage-house study that points out, with a convincing array of facts, that a popular industry is heading for a fall or that an unpopular one is due to prosper.
We shall suggest as one of our chief requirements here that our readers limit themselves to issues selling not far above their tangible-asset value.
Concentrate on issues selling at a reasonably close approximation to their tangible-asset value – say, at not more than one-third above that figure.
The investor should demand, in addition, a satisfactory ratio of earnings to price, a sufficiently strong financial position, and the prospect that its earnings will at least be maintained over the years.
Our one recommendation is that all investors should be wary of new issues – which means, simply, that these should be subjected to careful exanimation and unusually severe tests before they are purchased.
On the whole it may be better for the investor to do his stock buying whenever he has money to put in stocks, EXCEPT, when the general market level is much higher than can be justified by well-established standards of value.
No outstanding rewards came from diversified investment in growth companies as compared with that in common stocks generally.
He should never buy a stock BECAUSE it has gone up or sell one BECAUSE it has gone down.
格雷厄姆把投资者分作两类：defensive (passive) 和 enterprising (active)： 防御型（被动型）和进取型（主动型）。并对这两种类型的投资者有不同的建议。他这样解释：
The defensive (or passive) investor will place his chief emphasis on the avoidance of serious mistakes or losses. His second aim will be free from effort, annoyance, and the need for making frequent decisions. The determining trait of the enterprising (or active, or aggressive) investor is his willingness to devote time and care to the selection of securities that are both sound and more attractive than the average.
（笔者注释： 简单说，防御型投资者在做出资产配置，资产组合的的决定之后不需要花太大精力去做改变，可以获得平常水平，但让人满意的回报。进取型则需花费大量的精力去做专业的分析，评估，是为了获取高出平常水平的回报。 格雷厄姆认为大部分投资人都应该将自己归类为防御型）。
The aggressive investor must have a considerable knowledge of security values – enough, in fact, to warrant viewing his security operations as equivalent to a business enterprise. There is no room in this philosophy for a middle ground, or a series of gradations, between the passive and aggressive status. Many, perhaps most, investors seek to place themselves in such an intermediate category; in our opinion that is a compromise that is more likely to produce a disappointment than achievement.
It follows from this reasoning that the majority of security owner should elect the defensive classification. They do not have the time, or the determination, or the mental equipment to embark upon investing as quasi-basis. They should therefore be satisfied with the excellent return now obtainable from a defensive portfolio (and with even less), and they should stoutly resist that recurrent temptation to increase this return by deviating into other paths.
He should divide his funds between high-grade bonds and high-grade common stocks. We have suggested as a fundamental guiding rule that the investor should never have less than 25% or more than 75% of his funds in common stocks, with a consequent inverse range of between 75% and 25% in bonds.
他应当将资金分散投资于高等级的债券和高等级的普通股。作为一项基本的指导原则，我们建议这种投资者投资于股票的资金不少于资金总额的25%， 且不高于75%； 与此相应，其债券投资的比例则应在75%和25%之间。
Thus this matter of choosing the “best” stocks is at bottom a highly controversial one. Our advice to the defensive investor is that let it alone. Let him emphasize diversification more than individual selection.
1. Adequate size of the enterprise: 适当的企业规模
Let us use round amounts: not less than $100 million of annual sales or an industrial company and, not less than $50 million of total assets for a public utility.
2. A sufficiently strong financial condition: 足够强健的财务状况
For industrial companies current assets should be at least twice currently liabilities……long term debt should not exceed the net current assets. For public utilities the debt should not exceed twice the stock equity (at book value).
3. Earnings stability: 稳定的利润
Some earnings for the common stock in each of the past ten years.
4. Dividend record: 股息纪录
Uninterrupted payments for at least the past 20 years.
5. Earnings growth: 利润增长
A minimum increase of at least one-third per-share earnings in the past ten years using three-year averages at the beginning and end.
6. Moderate price/earnings ratio：适度的市盈率
Current price should not be more than 15 times average earnings of the past three years.
7. Moderate ratio of price to assets: 适度的股价资产比
Current price should not be more than 11/2 times the book value last reported. However, a multiplier of earnings below 15 could justify a correspondingly higher multiplier of assets. As a rule of thumb we suggest that the product of the multiplier times the ratio of price to book value should not exceed 22.5.
（笔者注释： 比如，一个市盈率只有9的股票，即便它的股价于账面资产价值的比率是2.5， 也可以考虑。9 ＊ 2.5 ＝ 22.5）
1.Adequate but not excessive diversification. This might mean a minimum of ten different issues and a maximum of about thirty.
2.Companies should be large, prominent, and conservatively financed.
3.Companies should have a long record of continuous dividend payments.
4.The limit (price paid) be set at 25 times such average earnings (past seven years), and not more than 20 times those of the last twelve-month period.
1.The relatively unpopular large company: 不太受欢迎的大公司
They key requirement here is that the enterprising investor concentrate on the larger companies that are going through a period of unpopularity.
2.Purchase of bargain issues: 购买廉价证券
We define a bargain issue as one which, on the basis of facts established by analysis, appears to be worth considerably more than it is selling for…… To be as concrete as possible, let us suggest that an issue is not a true “bargain” unless the indicated value is at least 50% more than the price.
Two major sources of undervaluation: (1) currently disappointing results and (2) protracted neglect or unpopularity.
价格被低估有两个主要原因： （1） 当前令人失望的业绩 （2） 长期被忽略。
3.Special situations, or “workouts”： 一些特殊情况
这里，格雷厄姆是指那些利用并购，破产，企业重组等情况进行的投资。但他说：“The exploitation of special situations is a technical branch of investment which requires a somewhat unusual mentality and equipment”. ( 对特殊情况的利用是一种投资技巧，对智力和操作都有这不同寻常的要求)，并且认为只有很少数的人应该去尝试。
In the ordinary common stock, bought for investment under normal conditions, the margin of safety lies in an expected earning powerconsiderably above the going rate for bonds.
Over a ten-year period the typical excess of stock earning power over bond interest may aggregate 50% of the price paid. This figure is sufficient to provide a very real margin of safety, which, under favorable conditions, will prevent or minimize a loss. If such a margin is present in each of the diversified list of twenty or more stocks, the probability of a favorable result under “fairly normal conditions” becomes very large.
Observation over many years has taught us that the chief losses to investors come from the purchase of low-quality securities at times of favorable business conditions.
The margin-of-safety idea becomes much more evident when we apply it to the filed of undervalued or bargain securities. We have here, by definition, a favorable difference between price on the one hand and indicated or appraised value on the other. That difference is the safety margin. It is available for absorbing the effect of miscalculations or worse than average luck…… But the field of undervalued issues is drawn from the many concerns – perhaps a majority of the total – for which the future appears neither distinctly promising nor distinctly unpromising. If these are bought on a bargain basis, even a moderate decline in the earning power need not prevent the investment from showing satisfactory results. The margin of safety will then have served its proper purpose.
对于被低估或廉价证券， 安全边际这个概念的应用更为明显。我们的定义是，证券的市场价格高于证券评估价格的区间就是安全边际。它可以用来吸收计算失误或者非常不运气时的后果…… 被低估的证券都来自于这样的企业 － 应该是大多数 － 对这些企业来说，未来既不是非常充满希望或者是非常不充满希望。 如果能够以足够低的价格购买到这些股票，即便是盈利水平在一定程度上有所下降，也仍然会有令人满意的投资结果。这样安全边际就发挥了其应有的作用。
That (diversification) is the simple basis of the insurance-underwriting business.
Diversification is an established tenet of conservative investment.
To achieve satisfactory investment results is easier than most people realize; to achieve superior results is harder than it looks.