The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham Summary

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The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
The Definitive Book on Value Investing

My Thoughts

Warren Buffett has said The Intelligent Investor is one of the best books available on investing.  I’ve wanted to read it for some time and I’m glad I finally did. It covers a lot of ground and is a great resource for any investor.

My Favorite Quotes

  • The market will undervalue, relatively at least, companies that are out of favor because of unsatisfactory developments of a temporary nature.
  • Much bad advice is given free.
  • The most basic possible definition of a good business is this: it generates more cash than it consumes.
  • If you overestimate how well you really understand an investment or overstate your ability to ride out a temporary plunge in prices, it doesn’t matter what you own or how the market does.

Key Questions

  • When every investor comes to believe that stocks are guaranteed to make money in the long run, won’t the market end up being wildly overpriced?
  • How do bargains come into existence, and how does the investor profit from them?
  • See notes on chapter 10 for a list of questions to ask a potential financial adviser.
  • What is your investing philosophy?
  • How do you choose investments?
  • What are the primary tests of the safety of a corporate bond or preferred stock?
  • What are the chief factors entering into the valuation of a common stock?
  • What makes this company grow?
  • Where do (and where will) its profits come from?


The Intelligent Investor is the first book ever to describe, for individual investors, the emotional framework and analytical tools that are essential to financial success.

Benjamin Graham’s Core Principles:
(From the opening commentary by Jason Zweig

  • A stock is not just a ticker symbol; it is an ownership interest in an actual business with an underlying value that does not depend on its share price.
  • The market is a pendulum that forever swings between unsustainable optimism (which makes stocks too expensive) and unjustified pessimism (which makes them too cheap). The intelligent investor is a realist who sells to optimists and buys from pessimists.
  • The future value of every investment is a function of its present price. The higher the price you pay, the lower your return will be.
  • No matter how careful you are, the one risk no investor can ever eliminate is the risk of being wrong. Only by insisting on a margin of safety  – by never overpaying, no matter how exciting an investment seems to be – can you minimize your odds of error.
  • The secret to your financial success is inside yourself. IF you become a critical thinker who takes no Wall Steet “fact” on faith, and you invest with patient confidence, you can take steady advantage of even the worst bear markets. 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.

This book will not teach you how to beat the market. No book can.
This book will teach you three powerful lessons:

  1. How you can minimize the odds of suffering irreversible losses
  2. How you can maximize the chances of achieving sustainable gains
  3. How you can control the self-defeating behavior that keeps most investors from reaching their full potential

What does Graham mean by an “intelligent” investor? It means being patient, disciplined, and eager to learn; you must also be able to harness your emotions and think for yourself. This kind of intelligence is a trait more of character than of the brain.

Chapter 1: Investment versus Speculation
Results to Be Expected by the Intelligent Investor

What is the difference between an investor and a speculator?
An investment operation is one which, upon thorough analysis promises safety of principal and an adequate return. Operations not meeting these requirements are speculative.

Chapter 2: The Investor and Inflation

Inflation eats away at our returns and takes away our wealth. Inflation is easy to overlook and it is important to measure your investing success not just by what you make, but by how much you keep after inflation.

What can the intelligent investor do to guard against inflation?

Defenses against inflation:

  • Buying stocks (at the right prices)
  • REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts)
  • TIPS (Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities)


Bundled into real-estate mutual funds, REITs do a decent job of combating inflation.
The book recommends REIT index funds from Vanguard, Columbia, and Fidelity.
The book recommends reading more about REITs at


First issued in 1997. TIPS automatically go up in value when inflation rises.
You can purchase TIPS directly from the government or through a Vanguard or similar index fund.

Chapter 3: A Century of Stock-Market History
The Level of Stock Prices in Early 1972

An investor should have an adequate idea of stock-market history, particularly of the major fluctuations in its price level and of the varying relationships between stock prices as a whole and their earnings and dividends.

This chapter presents figures of stock-market history with two objects in view.

One, showing the general manner in which stocks have made their advance through many cycles of the past century.

Two, viewing the picture in terms of successive ten-year averages, not only of stock prices but of earnings and dividends as well.

This chapter includes two tables and a chart to summarize the long-term history of the stock market from 1871 to the beginning of 1972.

The stock market’s performance depends on three factors:

  1. Real growth (rise in the companies’ earnings and dividends)
  2. Inflationary growth
  3. Speculative growth or decline

The yearly growth of corporate earnings per share has averaged 1.5% to 2% (not counting inflation). Inflation has been running around 2.4% annually; the dividend yield on stocks was 1.9%. Therefore:

1.5% to 2%
+ 2.4%
+ 1.9%
= 5.8% to 6.3%

In the long run, that means you can reasonably expect stocks to average roughly a 6% return.

Chapter 4: General Portfolio Policy
The Defensive Investor

Two ways to be an intelligent investor:

  1. Active or Enterprising: by continually researching, selecting, and monitoring a dynamic mix of stocks, bonds, or mutual funds.
  2. Passive or Defensive: by creating a permanent portfolio that runs on autopilot and requires no further effort (but generates very little excitement).

Both approaches are equally intelligent and you can be successful with either.

One of the first and most basic decisions to make is how much to put in stocks and how much to put in bonds.

The Bond Component

Investing in bonds can be a good way to invest defensively.

Choices bond investors face:

  • Taxable or tax-free?
    (The decisions of which to invest in will largely depend on your tax bracket)
  • Short-term or long-term?
  • Bonds or bond funds?

Types of bonds:

  • US Savings Bonds
  • Other Unites States Bonds
  • State and Municipal Bonds
  • Corporation Bonds

Other Options:

  • Treasury Securities
  • Savings Bonds
  • Mortgage Securities
  • Annuities
  • Preferred Stock
  • Common Stock

Chapter 5: The Defensive Investor and Common Stocks

Rules for the Common-Stock Component

Suggested rules to follow for the selection of common stocks:

  1. There should be an adequate though not excessive diversification. This might mean a minimum of ten different issues and a maximum of about thirty.
  2. Each company selected should be large, prominent, and conservatively financed.
  3. Each company should have a long record of continuous dividend payments
  4. The investor should impose some limit on the price he will pay for an issue in relation to its average earnings over, say, the past seven years. We suggest that this limit be set at 25 times the average earnings and not more than 20 times those of the last twelve-month period.

Growth Stocks and the Defensive Investor

Use the Rule of 72 as a quick way to estimate growth. To estimate the length of time an investment takes to double, divide its assumed growth rate into 72. For example, at 6% growth rate, the money will double in 12 years.

Growth stocks can often be overpriced because they are so popular. The book recommends that investing in a group of large companies that are relatively unpopular, and therefore obtainable at reasonable earnings multipliers, offers a sound choice for the general public.

An arbitrary guideline for “conservatively financed” is if the company’s common stock (at book value) represents at least half of the total capitalization, including all bank debt.

You should be wary of the belief that you can pick stocks without doing any homework.

No one should invest in a company without studying its financial statements and estimating its business value.

The knowledge of how little you know about the future, coupled with the acceptance of your ignorance, is a defensive investor’s most powerful weapon.

Chapter 6: Portfolio Policy for the Enterprising Investor: Negative Approach

What you don’t do is as important to your success as what you do.

Graham lists his investments to stay away from (don’ts) for aggressive investors:

  • High-yield or second-grade bonds. With the exception of purchasing mutual funds that specialize in junk bonds, which make it easier to diversify the risk.
  • Foreign bonds
  • Day trading
  • IPOs (Initial Public Offerings)

When you day trade instead of invest, you turn long-term gains into ordinary income.
The more you trade, the less you keep.

Historically, most IPOs have been terrible investments.

Buying IPOs breaks one of Graham’s most fundamental rules: No matter how many other people want to buy a stock, you should buy only if the stock is a cheap way to own a desirable business.

Chapter 7: Portfolio Policy for the Enterprising Investor: The Positive Side

Activities characteristic of the enterprising investor in the common-stock field may be classified under four headings:

  1. Buying in low markets and selling in high markets
  2. Buying carefully chosen “growth stocks”
  3. Buying bargain issues of various types
  4. Buying into “special situations”

Common stocks with good records and apparently good prospects sell at correspondingly high prices. The investor may be right in his judgment of their prospects but still not fare well because he has paid in full or perhaps overpaid.

They advise against the usual type of growth-stock commitment for the enterprising investor. They define this as paying higher than a price-earnings ratio of 20-25 for the average earnings of the past seven years.

This is because there is no reason for thinking that the average intelligent investor can derive better results than investment companies specializing in this area.

Three Recommended Fields for “Enterprising Investment”

To obtain better than average investment results over a long pull requires a policy of selection with twofold merit:

  1. It must meet objective or rational tests of underlying soundness
  2. It must be different from the policy followed by most investors or speculators

The book recommends three investment approaches that meet these criteria.

  1. Investing in relatively unpopular large companies
  2. Purchase of bargain issues
  3. Special situations

The Relatively Unpopular Large Company

The market will undervalue, relatively at least, companies that are out of favor because of unsatisfactory developments of a temporary nature. This may be set down as a fundamental law of the stock market.

The key requirement is to concentrate on the larger companies that are going through a period of unpopularity.

Purchase of Bargain Issues

To be concrete, the book defines a true “bargain” as a stock where the indicated value is at least 50% more than the price.

How do bargains come into existence, and how does the investor profit from them?
Even a mere lack of interest or enthusiasm may impel a price decline to absurdly low levels. Two major sources of undervaluation are (1) currently disappointing results and (2) protracted neglect or unpopularity.

Broader Implications of Our Rules for Investment

Investment policy first depends on a choice by the investor of either the defensive (passive) or aggressive role.

The aggressive investor must have considerable knowledge of security values., enough to warrant viewing his investing operations as equivalent to a business enterprise.

The majority of security owners should elect the defensive classification.

The defensive investor should be guided by three underlying requirements:
[see the notes from chapter 5 that correlate to these requirements]

  • Underlying safety
  • Simplicity of choice
  • The promise of satisfactory results

Timing is Nothing

Looking back, you can always see exactly when you should have bought and sold your stocks. But don’t let that fool you into thinking you can see, in real-time, just when to get in and out.

For most investors, market timing is a practical and emotional impossibility.

Growth Stocks

A great company is not a great investment if you pay too much for the stock.

The intelligent investor gets interested in big companies when something goes wrong. Temporary unpopularity can create lasting wealth by enabling you to buy a great company at a good price.

Example: in July 2002 Johnson & Johnson stock lost 16% in a single day due to an announcement of investigation by Federal regulators. This dropped the stock from 24 times earnings to 20 times earnings.

Chapter 8: The Investor and Market Fluctuations

If you want to speculate, do so with your eyes open, knowing that you will probably lose money in the end.

Common stocks are subject to wide fluctuations in their prices. There are two possible ways to profit from this. The way of timing and the way of pricing.

By timing, they mean trying to anticipate the action of the stock market. If you place your emphasis on timing, in the sense of forecasting, you will end up a speculator.

By pricing, they mean trying to buy stocks when they are quoted below their fair value and to sell them when they rise above their fair value. If your emphasis is on long-term holding, the key is to make sure that when you buy you do not pay too much.

The speculator’s primary interest lies in anticipating and profiting from market fluctuations.

The investor’s primary interest lies in acquiring and holding suitable securities at suitable prices.

Investing isn’t about beating others at their game. It’s about controlling yourself at your own game.

Investing intelligently is about controlling the controllable. You can’t control whether the stocks or funds you buy will outperform the market today, next week, this month, or this year. In the short run, your returns will always be hostage to “Mr. Market.”

What you can control:

  • Your brokerage costs
  • Your ownership costs
  • Your expectations
  • Your risk
  • Your tax bills
  • Your own behavior

Chapter 9: Investing in Investment Funds

This chapter will deal with the following questions:

  1. Is there any way by which the investor can assure himself of better than average results by choosing the right funds?
  2. If not, how can he avoid choosing funds that will give him worse than average results?
  3. Can he make intelligent choices between different types of funds?

Financial experts have studied mutual-fund performance for a half-century, these are their findings:

  • The average fund does not pick stocks well enough to overcome its costs of researching and trading them
  • The higher a fund’s expenses, the lower its returns
  • The more frequently a fund trades its stocks, the less it tends to earn
  • Highly volatile funds, which bounce up and down more than average, are likely to stay volatile
  • Funds with high past returns are unlikely to remain winners for long

The First Shall Be Last

Why don’t more winning funds stay winners?

  • Migrating fund managers
  • Asset elephantiasis (too much money to manage and too few choices)
  • Rising expenses (it often costs more to trade stocks in large blocks than in small ones)
  • Sheepish behavior (managers become timid once a fund is successful, protecting their own fees)

What, then, should the intelligent investor do?

Recognize that an index fund, which owns all the stocks in the market, will beat most funds over the long run.

Both Benjamin Graham and Warren Buffett praise index funds as the best choice for individual investors.

Tilting the Tables

What qualities do funds that beat the index have in common?

  • Their managers are the biggest shareholders
  • They are cheap
  • They dare to be different
  • They shut the door
  • They don’t advertise

Proxy statements from the SEC will disclose whether the managers of funds own at least 1% of the fund’s shares.

What should you look for in a fund?
In this order:

  • The fund’s expenses
  • The riskiness of the fund
  • The manager’s reputation
  • Past performance

The fund’s expenses should be your first filter.

Closed-end Funds

Closed-end stock funds trading at a discount not only tend to outperform those trading at a premium but are likely to have a better return than the average open-end mutual fund.

When to Sell

When should you sell a fund? Here are a few definite red flags:

  • A sharp and unexpected change in strategy, such as a value fund loading up on technology stocks.
  • An increase in expenses, suggesting that the managers are lining their own pockets.
  • Large and frequent tax bills generated by excessive trading.
  • Suddenly erratic returns, as when a formerly conservative fund generates a big loss.

Chapter 10: The Investor and His Advisers

When the investor demands more than an average return on his money, or when his adviser undertakes to do better for him, the question arises whether more is being asked or promised than is likely to be delivered.

The intelligent investor will not do his buying and selling solely on the basis of recommendations received from a financial service. Once this is established, the role of the financial service becomes the useful one of supplying information and offering suggestions.

Much bad advice is given free.

How can you tell if you need help managing your portfolio?
Here are signs that you need help:

  • Big losses (you experience giant losses compared to the market)
  • Busted budgets (you are bad with personal finances)
  • Chaotic portfolios (you have a poorly diversified portfolio)
  • Major life changes

Selecting An Advisor: Trust, Then Verify

Financial con artists will try to talk you out of investigating them.
It is imperative that you find a financial advisor who makes you comfortable and whose honesty is beyond reproach.

Ask the people you know and trust the most if they can recommend an advisor.

Perform due diligence on your potential adviser in the following ways:

Recommended questions to ask a financial planner you are considering:
This section in the commentary of chapter 10 contains dozens of questions. Here are just a few for reference.

  • Why are you in this business?
  • What is your investing philosophy?
  • Do you use market timing? (A yes answer to this should be a “NO” signal to you)
  • How will you track and report my progress?
  • How do you choose investments?
  • What do you do when an investment performs poorly for an entire year? (Any adviser who answers “sell” is not worth hiring.)
  • What has been your proudest achievement for a client?
  • Can I see a sample account statement? (if you can’t understand it, or your advisor can’t explain it in a way you can understand, he’s not right for you.)
  • Do you consider yourself financially successful? Why?
  • How high an average annual return do you think is feasible on my investments? (Anything over 8% to 10% is unrealistic.)
  • Why did the last client who fired you do so?

The best financial advisers usually have as many clients as they can handle, and may be willing to take you on only if you seem like a good match.
Expect them to ask you tough questions, including:
This section in the commentary of chapter 10 contains several more questions. Here are just a few for reference.

  • Why do you feel you need a financial adviser?
  • What are your long-term goals?
  • Do you live within your means?
  • What percentage of your assets do you spend each year?
  • What rate of return on your investments do you consider reasonable?

An adviser who doesn’t ask questions like these is not a good fit.

Your financial planner should have the following systems in place for the two of you:

  • A comprehensive financial plan
  • An investment policy statement
  • An asset-allocation plan

Chapter 11: Security Analysis for the Lay Investor: General Approach

In this chapter, security analysis is defined as the examination and evaluation of stocks and bonds.

The lay investor, at a minimum, should understand what the security analyst is talking about; beyond that, if possible, he should be equipped to distinguish between superficial and sound analysis.

Security analysis for lay investors begins with the interpretation of a company’s annual report. This subject is covered in a separate book by the author entitled The Interpretation of Financial Statements.

Two basic questions underlying the selection of stocks:

  1. What are the primary tests of safety of a corporate bond or preferred stock?
  2. What are the chief factors entering into the valuation of a common stock?

Common-Stock Analysis

The ideal form of common-stock analysis is to determine the book value of the stock and compare it with the current price to determine if the security is an attractive purchase. This valuation, in turn, would ordinarily be found by estimating the average earnings over a period of years in the future and then multiplying that estimate by an appropriate “capitalization factor”.

Factors affecting the capitalization rate:

  1. General Long-Term Prospects
  2. Management
  3. Financial Strength and Capital Structure
  4. Dividend Record
  5. Current Dividend Rate

The recommended formula for the valuation of growth stocks:
Value = Current (Normal) Earnings x (8.5 plus twice the expected annual growth rate)

The growth figure used should be that expected over the next seven to ten years.

Long-Term Prospects

Download at least five years’ worth of annual reports. Gather evidence to help you answer two questions:

  1. What makes this company grow?
  2. Where do (and where will) its profits come from?

Problems to watch for:

  • The company is a “serial acquirer.” An average of more than two or three acquisitions a year is a sign of potential trouble.
  • The company is an OPM addict, borrowing debt or selling stock to raise money. Infusions of OPM are labeled “cash from financing activities” on the statement of cash flows.
  • The company relies on one or two customers for most of its revenues.

Good signs to look for:

  • The company has a wide “moat” or competitive advantage.
  • The company is a marathoner, not a sprinter. See if revenues and net earnings have grown smoothly and steadily over the previous 10 years.
  • The company sows and reaps. The company must spend some money to develop new business.

The Quality and Conduct of Management

Management should admit failures and take responsibility for them, rather than blaming “the economy,” “uncertainty,” or “weak demand.”

These questions will help you determine whether the people who run the company will act in the interests of the people who own the company:

  • Are they looking out for number 1?
  • Are they managers or promoters?

Look out for outstanding stock options that could dilute earnings per share numbers. These are usually found in mandatory footnotes about stock options.

Form 4 available from the SEC shows whether a firm’s senior executives and directors have been buying or selling shares.

A good model of how a company can communicate candidly with its shareholders is the 8-K filings made by Expeditors International of Washington which contain its superb question-and-answer dialogues with shareholders.

Ask whether the company’s accounting practices are designed to make its financial results transparent or opaque. Watch for acronyms like EBITDA taking priority over net income, or “pro forma” earnings being used to cloak actual losses.

Financial Strength and Capital Structure

The most basic possible definition of a good business is this: it generates more cash than it consumes.

Check the cash flow statement and see if cash from operations has grown steadily throughout the past 10 years.

If owner earnings per share have grown at a steady average of at least 6% to 7% over the past 10 years, the company is a stable generator of cash, and its prospects for growth are good.

Long term debt, including preferred stock, should be under 50% of total capital.
Look in the annual report for the exhibit r statement showing the “ratio of earnings to fixed charges.”

Chapter 12: Things to Consider About Per-Share Earnings

Two pieces of advice:

  • Don’t take a single year’s earnings too seriously.
  • If you do pay attention to short-term earnings, look out for booby traps in the per-share figures.

As an intelligent investor, you should ignore “pro forma” earnings.
The intelligent investor should be sure to understand what, and why, a company capitalizes.

A few pointers to help avoid buying a stock that found be an accounting time bomb:

  • Read backward. Start reading financial reports on the last page. Anything the company doesn’t want you to find is buried in the back.
  • Read the notes. Never buy a stock without reading the footnotes to the financial statements in the annual report.
  • Read more. You owe it to yourself to learn more about financial reporting.

Look out for words like “capitalized,” “deferred,” and “restructuring.” None of these words mean you should not buy the stock, but all mean that you need to investigate further.

Compare the footnotes to that of at least one close competitor, to see how aggressive the company’s accountants are.

Three books recommended for further reading on how to understand financial statements:

  • Financial Statement Analysis by Mertin Fridson and Fernando Alvarez
  • The Financial Numbers Game by Charles Mulford and Eugene Comiskey
  • Financial Shenanigans by Howard Schilit

Chapter 13: A Comparison of Four Listed Companies

The chapter has charts showing financial figures for four companies and evaluates the following data:

  1. Profitability
  2. Stability
  3. Growth
  4. Financial Position
  5. Dividends
  6. Price History

Chapter 14: Stock Selection for the Defensive Investor

Quality and quantity criteria suggested for the selection of specific common stocks:

  1. Adequate Size of the Enterprise
  2. A Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition
  3. Earnings Stability
  4. Dividend Record
  5. Earnings Growth
  6. Moderate Price/Earnings Ratio
  7. Moderate Ratio of Price to Assets

Public-utility stocks provide a comfortable and inviting situation for the investor (based on 1970 figures in the book). Their position as regulated monopolies is more of an advantage than a disadvantage for the conservative investor.

Even defensive portfolios should be changed from time to time, especially if the securities purchased have an apparently excessive advance and can be replaced by issues much more reasonably priced.

Chapter 15: Stock Selection for the Enterprising Investor

One suggested way to research stocks is to look at the daily list of stocks that are trading at 52-week lows. This will point you toward stocks and industries that are unloved and offer the potential for high returns once perceptions change.

Successful investing professionals have two things in common.

  1. They are disciplined and consistent, refusing to change their approach even when it is unfashionable.
  2. They think a great deal about what they do and how to do it, but they pay very little attention to what the market is doing.

Chapter 16: Convertible Issues and Warrants

Stock-option warrants are long-term rights to buy common shares at stipulated prices.

Graham is not a proponent of convertibles or stock-option warrants. I didn’t take many notes on this chapter.

Chapter 17: Four Extremely Instructive Case Histories

The chapter, and the commentary, examines four extreme examples of bad investments:

  • An overpriced “tottering giant”
  • An empire-building conglomerate
  • A merger in which a tiny firm acquired a large one
  • An IPO of an almost worthless company

I didn’t take many notes on this section, but it is worth reading over in the book.

Chapter 18: A Comparison of Eight Pairs of Companies

At some point in its life, almost every stock is a bargain; at another time, it will be expensive.

The intelligent investor should recognize that market panics can create great prices for good companies and good prices for great companies.

The chapter, and the commentary, compares eight different pairs of companies. I didn’t take many notes on this section, but it is worth reading over in the book.

Chapter 19: Shareholders and Managements: Dividend Policy

Poor management(s) are not often changed by action of the “public stockholders,” but by the assertion of control by an individual or compact group.

Always read the proxy statement before (and after) you buy a stock.

Many companies will buy back stock at high prices to offset the dilution that occurs when employees exercise their stock options. Be wary of this as an investor.

Chapter 20: Margin of Safety as the Central Concept of Investment

To distill the secret of sound investment into three words, we venture the motto, “margin of safety.

The margin of safety is always dependent on the price paid.

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 field of undervalued issues is drawn from the many concerns for which the future appears neither distinctly promising nor distinctly unpromising. If these are bought on a bargain basis, even a moderate decline in earning power need not prevent the investment from showing satisfactory results.

Diversification is the companion to the margin of safety principle.

A sufficiently low price can turn a security of mediocre quality into a sound investment opportunity – provided that the buyer is informed and experienced and that he practices adequate diversification.

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

The Risk is Not in our Stocks but in Ourselves

If you overestimate how well you really understand an investment or overstate your ability to ride out a temporary plunge in prices, it doesn’t matter what you own or how the market does.

Two factors that characterize good decisions (from psychologist Daniel Kahneman):

  1. Well-calibrated confidence (do I understand this investment as well as I think I do?)
  2. Correctly-anticipated regret (how will I react if my analysis turns out to be wrong?)

To find out if your confidence is well-calibrated, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the likelihood that my analysis is right?
  • How much experience do I have?
  • What is my track record with similar decisions in the past?
  • What is the typical tract record of other people who have tried this in the past?

To find out if you have correctly anticipated regret, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I fully understand the consequences if my analysis turns out to be wrong?
  • If I’m right, I could make a lot of money. But what if I’m wrong?
  • How much could I lose?
  • Am I putting too much of my capital at risk with this new investment?
  • When I tell myself, “You have a high tolerance for risk,” how do I know? Have I ever lost a lot of money on an investment? How did it feel? Did I buy more, or did I bailout?

The probability of making at least one mistake at some point in your investing lifetime is virtually 100%, and those odds are entirely out of your control.

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