Benjamin Graham (May 8, 1894 – September 21, 1976) was an influential economist and professional investor. Graham is considered the first proponent of Value Investing. Well known disciples (students and teaching assistants) of Graham include Warren Buffett, William J. Ruane, Irving Kahn, Walter J. Schloss, and Charles Brandes. Buffett, who credits Graham as grounding him with a sound intellectual investment framework, described him as the second most influential person in his life after his own father. In fact, Graham had such an overwhelming influence on his students that two of them, Buffett and Kahn, named their sons, Howard Graham Buffett and Thomas Graham Kahn, after him.
- "You are neither right nor wrong because the crowd disagrees with you. You are right because your data and reasoning are right."
Investing and Emotions
- "Individuals who cannot master their emotions are ill-suited to profit from the investment process."
- "Most of the time common stocks are subject to irrational and excessive price fluctuations in both directions as the consequence of the ingrained tendency of most people to speculate or gamble...to give way to hope, fear and greed."
Sense of Humour
- Warren Buffett, story from Benjamin Graham: A story that was passed down from Ben Graham illustrates the lemminglike behavior of the crowd: "Let me tell you the story of the oil prospector who met St. Peter at the Pearly Gates. When told his occupation, St. Peter said, “Oh, I’m really sorry. You seem to meet all the tests to get into heaven. But we’ve got a terrible problem. See that pen over there? That’s where we keep the oil prospectors waiting to get into heaven. And it’s filled—we haven’t got room for even one more.” The oil prospector thought for a minute and said, “Would you mind if I just said four words to those folks?” “I can’t see any harm in that,” said St. Pete. So the old-timer cupped his hands and yelled out, “Oil discovered in hell!” Immediately, the oil prospectors wrenched the lock off the door of the pen and out they flew, flapping their wings as hard as they could for the lower regions. “You know, that’s a pretty good trick,” St. Pete said. “Move in. The place is yours. You’ve got plenty of room.” The old fellow scratched his head and said, “No. If you don’t mind, I think I’ll go along with the rest of ’em. There may be some truth to that rumor after all."