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The book is a comprehensive compendium of knowledge of top investors of the 20th century. It includes strategies and investment philosophy of, among others, Peter Lynch, John Neff, Benjamin Graham, Philip Fisher, and the well-known duo of Warren Buffett and Charles Munger. 

Why is this book unique?

  • The book is written in very clear language. It can be understood by anyone, the only issue that might be encountered by someone not from the financial world is the basics of accounting. Considering how other books in this field are, this is really a minor problem. 
  • The knowledge in 'Value Investing' is impressively concentrated, a clear advantage. The author has done a splendid job condensing the stories of many investors into one volume, maintaining depth and substance. This book distinguishes itself by its synthesis and ability to preserve the core of the topic, providing a comprehensive overview of various investors without diverting focus to less important details.
  • It's important to consider the author's experience as an economics professor at the University of Salford, which ensures that the book's content is grounded in solid academic research. Additionally, Arnold, as an experienced businessman and investor, offers practical tips that can be applied in real investment scenarios. His book is an excellent blend of academic theory and practical approaches to investment strategies, making it a valuable resource for both novice and advanced investors.

The Content of the Book

The book is a fascinating journey through the world of investment philosophies, spread over 10 chapters, divided into two parts. In the first part, the author dedicates each chapter to a detailed presentation of the investment strategy of one of the prominent investors. Charlie and Warren have two chapters dedicated to them, as does Benjamin Graham. This section of the book reveals the unique approaches of each investor, offering the reader a broad spectrum of perspectives.

Druga część książki stanowi intelektualne podsumowanie, łącząc różnorodne strategie przedstawione we wcześniejszych rozdziałach. Arnold zręcznie tworzy spójną strategię inwestycyjną, która jest zarówno praktyczna, jak i uniwersalna. Co interesujące, mimo różnych perspektyw tych wybitnych inwestorów, w wielu kwestiach istnieje zaskakująca zgodność w ich podstawowych zasadach, oferując czytelnikom zjednoczone zrozumienie skutecznych strategii inwestycyjnych. 

A Brief Summary of the First Part of the Chapters:

1.   Peter Lynch

Photo by Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff Topic

In this chapter, the author highlights the unique advantage that individual investors have over institutional investors. Lynch emphasizes that the lack of strict regulations and the pressure associated with short-term results give individual investors greater flexibility and freedom in making investment decisions. Additionally, they have the opportunity to invest in smaller companies, often overlooked by institutions, which can be extremely undervalued, and therefore, potentially have a greater growth potential. Lynch underscores that it's often the small companies that offer the greatest growth opportunities and, paradoxically, can defy the efficient market hypothesis and the notion that everything is priced in.

In the second part of the chapter, there is a very detailed description of the company selection process used by Peter Lynch. He also mentions common rules that should be adhered to while investing. For instance, he advises against relying on technical analysis or investing only in popular companies.

2.  John Neff

In this chapter, the emphasis is placed on companies that are overlooked or misunderstood by investors. It specifically deals with opportunities and pitfalls of low price-to-earnings ratios. The author lists the characteristics, according to Neff, required to effectively invest in companies with low valuation ratios. As mentioned earlier, such a company could be undervalued, a failing business, or even a future bankrupt. The chapter includes an extensive guide on how to find promising companies with low valuation indicators. For example, it's important to pay attention to industries that are widely believed to be in poor condition. The author also writes about when to sell and what to avoid.

 3&4. Benjamin Graham 

In the third chapter, the author writes a brief biography of Graham, focusing on the events that shaped him as an investor. He manages to mention general principles that recur in each chapter in various forms, such as not trying to predict market fluctuations or not relying on technical analysis.

In the next part, three value investing strategies are presented: 

The simplest of these is investing in net current asset value. This is a very straightforward method based on buying stocks where the value of current assets exceeds the company's valuation. It's not 100% effective, of course, and requires significant diversification.

The next strategy is defensive value investing, which focuses on selecting large, significant companies that are leaders in their industries. These companies must also exhibit several characteristics, which are outlined in the book.

The final method is enterprising value investing. It is similar to the aforementioned defensive approach, but it does not adhere to the criteria regarding the size of the companies, nor does it strictly follow the various indicator levels that Graham wrote about. Looking towards the future and seeking potential for growth is also an important aspect of this method.

 5. Phillip Fisher

This investor primarily based his investments on information gathered from his surroundings, such as the opinions of industry experts and rumors within organizations. To this end, he arranged a vast number of meetings with various people to extract information about what was happening in industries and companies. Thanks to this tactic, he could buy promising companies much earlier than institutions and individual investors. Also very important to him was the atmosphere within the company and an honest and competent management team.

6&7. Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger

In Chapter 6, similar to Chapters 3 and 4, a brief biography of Warren Buffett is presented. It explains how his perspective changed over the years and emphasizes the significant influence that Benjamin Graham had on him. The chapter also briefly mentions how Charles Munger and Warren Buffett met and how Munger developed his investment philosophy.

In this section, the author delves into the investment strategies and preferences of Buffett and Munger, highlighting what they consciously avoid. Similar to the other prominent investors mentioned earlier, they steer clear of relying on economic forecasts. Additionally, they avoid following the herd mentality, exhibiting impatience in their investment decisions, or engaging in excessive diversification of their portfolios. Arnold elaborates on their approach to selecting companies, noting its resemblance to Graham's style. Specifically, their strategy aligns closely with enterprising value investing, emphasizing a proactive and discerning approach to choosing investments.


The book 'Value Investing' provides a concise yet insightful overview of the strategies of the most influential investors of the 20th century. The author effectively merges investment theory with practical advice, creating an accessible compendium for a wide range of readers. By highlighting the diversity of methods, from individual strategies to principles common to all the investors studied, the book offers a universal perspective on effective investing, making it a valuable resource for both novices and experienced investors.

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