Books

Tuesday, 12th April 2016

Value investor’s guide to company valuation

Written by George Traganidas Topics: Books, Stock Investing

Company Valuation

The job of an investor in the stock of a company is to estimate a fair value for the company and then determine if the stock is trading for more or less than that price in the market. Buying companies for less than they are worth in the market is the basis of value investing. This style of investing became popular with Benjamin Graham and many people continue to practice it with success.

This post is based on the teachings of Bruce Greenwald. Bruce Greenwald is a professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business and he holds the post that Benjamin Graham did. Bruce continues to teach company valuation based on the principles that Ben pioneered. The information in this post is drawn from Bruce’s lectures in Columbia, his book “Value Investing: From Graham to Buffett and Beyond” and from various presentations and talk he gave.[…]

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Wednesday, 27th January 2016

Security Analysis by Ben Graham

Written by George Traganidas Topics: Books, Stock Investing, Wealth Building

Security Analysis by Ben Graham

Ben Graham published the second edition of Security Analysis in 1940 and many investors still consider it one of the best investment books ever written. The book is about 800 pages long and by no means is an easy read. This has discouraged a lot of people from reading the book and learning from the “father of security analysis”. The book does a great job of laying out the investment philosophy of Ben Graham and how to think about investments and businesses. He outlines principles about investing in bonds, preferred shares, warrant and common stocks and uses a lot of examples from companies in that era to demonstrate his thinking.[…]

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Thursday, 15th September 2011

“Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits” by Philip A. Fisher

Written by George Traganidas Topics: Books, Stock Investing, Wealth Building

Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits

Philip Fisher was in investor for many years and he was a very successful one. In his book “Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits” he outlines some of his ideas that have helped him to be a successful investor.

He regularly used to go out on the field and speak with employees of the companies, with suppliers, competitors and the management and was able to gather valuable information from them. Of course, he did a lot of preparation work before he went to the meetings to show to people that he was a serious investor.

Here are 15 points that he was looking for in companies that he wanted to invest in. Many of them are more difficult to quantify than a simple P/E ratio, but none the less very important.[…]

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Monday, 8th February 2010

“Think Big and Kick Ass! in Business and Life” by Donald Trump and Bill Zanker

Written by George Traganidas Topics: Books, Habits, Personal Finance

Think big and kick ass, Donald Trump

This is one of the latest books of Donald Trump that he wrote together with Bill Zanker from the Learning Annex. They draw from their experiences in life to provide practical advice on how to think big in your life and achieve what you want. Donald gives many examples from real estate and his experience with dealing with famous people. Bill’s prospective is different. He draws his examples from the struggles that he had in starting the Learning Annex and transforming it into a successful company.

They recommend that is very important to find your passion and follow it. Do not do something for money, but because you are passionate about it. Then the money will follow. You need to go after your passion with 150% focus and to focus on the solutions to the problems that you will encounter and do not be dishearten by the problems.[…]

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Wednesday, 22nd July 2009

“The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life” by Alice Schroeder

Written by George Traganidas Topics: Books, Habits, Personal Finance, Stock Investing

Snowball, Warren Buffett

This is a great book for anyone who is interested to invest in the stock market and run a business. The book describes the life of Warren Buffett from the day he was born up to 2008. The lessons are drawn from both his personal and his professional life.

Warren got involved in a very young age in the process of making money and managing other people’s money. When he was a kid he took his sister’s money to invest in a stock. This stock went down and everyday his sister would ask him why the stock is down. Warren did not like that experience at all and from that day on he did not want to manage other’s people money unless he knew he could do a great job. This gave birth to his first rule of investment “Never lose the money.”

You can find a lot of details on his management style in the book and how he pushes his people to get the best out of them.[…]

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Monday, 22nd June 2009

“One Up On Wall Street” by Peter Lynch

Written by George Traganidas Topics: Books, Stock Investing

One Up On Wall Street

This book is one of the classics on stock investments. Peter Lynch was the head of the Magellan Fund in Fidelity Investments from 1977 to 1990 and the fund average was 29.2% return during that period. This is a very impressive return when you consider that the market average is about 11% and that 80% of the fund managers fails to beat the average.

In this book, Peter Lynch shares some of his secrets on how he managed to get this returns and explains how ordinary investors can do the same and achieve higher returns that the professionals. He introduces ideas like the “ten bagger” that refer to an investment which is worth ten times its original purchase price.[…]

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Tuesday, 18th November 2008

“Successful Property Letting” by David Lawrenson

Written by George Traganidas Topics: Books, Property Investing

Successful Property Letting

I was curious about this book, because it was written by a UK author and it covered how to let your property in the UK market. Its reviews were good and I decided to have a look. After I finished reading it I agreed that it is a very useful and informative book.

David is very down-to-earth and he explains in his book the whole process of how to search for a property and how to select the appropriate one. He gives guidelines on how to rent it and most importantly how to manage your tenants. In the end, he gives more advice on tax and other general issues. As the title says, he puts more focus on the letting side of property than on the buying side. He covers the buying at the start of the book, but the main focus is on how to be a successful landlord.[…]

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Tuesday, 11th November 2008

“The Wordly Philosophers” by Robert Heilbroner

Written by George Traganidas Topics: Books, Personal Finance

Worldly Philosophers

I just finished “The Wordly Philosophers” by Robert Heilbroner. It is a very interesting book that looks into the lives and teachings of great economists like Adam Smith, Carl Marx and focuses on their lives and how their every day life has influenced their theories.

This book does not provide any practical steps on how to become a great economist or any other secrets. It reviews the theories of these people that have shaped the world today. Therefore, you might wonder why I review it.

The reason why I decided to write about it is because it can help you with achieving wealth.[…]

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Tuesday, 4th November 2008

“Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill

Written by George Traganidas Topics: Books, Habits, Personal Finance

Think and Grow Rich

This book is a classic one about wealth creation and it covers practical and theoretical ways on how to achieve this. It is structured in 13 steps that you can follow to achieve wealth. Most of the focus of the book is on the mindset, as the title implies. Think and grow rich, not work and grow rich.

It guides you to build a goal for your future in step 1 and then in the following steps it talks about how to move towards that goal. Near the end it starts to focus more on traits that you need to have to achieve the goal and also it has some very nice questionnaires for self analysis. These are useful to see where you are aiming at, but it does not provide steps on how to achieve them.[…]

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Tuesday, 28th October 2008

“Why We Want You to Be Rich” by Robert Kiyosaki and Donald Trump

Written by George Traganidas Topics: Books, Habits, Personal Finance

Robert Kiyosaki and Donald Trump

This is a very interesting book that is written by two great authors. The book is packed with good material about the things you need to focus to get rich. It spends some time in the beginning to tell you why you need to get rich and why depending on a job and the government to look after you is not a wise decision.

I found that Robert is repeating his mantras here, a lot. If you have read some of his other books I do not think you will read anything new here. Maybe some bits here and there, but nothing amazing. Donald is a bit more original than his usual books. His parts in the book are smaller that Robert’s, but I found they contain much more practical steps on how to think big and negotiate. […]

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Tuesday, 23rd September 2008

“The 4-Hour Work Week” by Timothy Ferriss

Written by George Traganidas Topics: Books, Habits, Personal Finance, Time Management

The 4-hour Work Week

This is an amazing book and I believe that it is a must read for people who want to get out of the office jobs and experience life to the full. Tim explains how he went from working 80h per week to working 4h per week while at the same time increasing the profits in his company.

In this book he gives the tools and techniques that he used to achieve this and how other people he met during his travel have achieved similar goals. His main process has four steps and he explains them in great depth. At the start, he recommends that you need to define which tasks are important to you and which ones are not. The second step is to eliminate what is not important. Then you automate the ones that are left and then you are ready for the final step, liberation. […]

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Tuesday, 16th September 2008

“Richest Man in Babylon” by George S. Clason

Written by George Traganidas Topics: Books, Personal Finance

Richest Man in Babylon

This is a great book that talks about personal finances. It has many practical steps on how to control your financial situation as well as ideas on how to build wealth. The book is a collection of stories that take place in ancient Babylon. In these stories rich people of that age share their secrets of how they have created their wealth with other citizens of the city. Through these stories you can understand the principles and the actions that these people took and apply them in this modern age. The advice of these people is timeless and is not specific to that time or location. Of course if you try to find a camel trader these days to do business…… good luck with it. […]

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Friday, 12th September 2008

“A Whole New Mind” by Daniel H. Pink

Written by George Traganidas Topics: Books, Habits

Whole New Mind

Have you read the “A whole new mind” from Danieal H. Pink? I just finished it the other week and I think that it is a great book. In his book he explains how we will need to start using our right-brain as much as our left-brain in the years to come. There are three reasons for this: the competition from cheap labour in Asia, the power of computers that replace workers and the abundance of goods.

His opinion is that we need to work on the following six areas to be able to compete effectively in the new market:
[…]

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