Classic Books That Could Make You a “Super-Investor”

Read the following books and you will become a super-investor, an investor friend once told me many years ago. Although I was nodding my head, it was more out of politeness than agreement.

So what are those books that he mentioned? They were:

  • The Intelligent Investor” by Benjamin Graham
  • The Most Important Thing” by Howard Marks
  • Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits” by Philip Fisher and
  • Security Analysis” by Benjamin Graham

I took his advice and read those books. Admittedly, they were a tough read. It took me a many years to read, re-read and digest  the wisdom contained in the books. So am I now a “super-investor”?

I am nowhere close. In fact, the wisdom and knowledge of the books are probably far too deep to be understood – let alone implement – in my, thus far, short investment career.

But can we learn something from those books? The answer is a resounding yes.

For instance, the “Father of Value Investing”, Benjamin Graham, offered two great ideas (though he has plenty of other good ideas). They were the concepts of “Mr. Market” and the “Margin of Safety”.

According to Graham, we should treat the stock market, which he called “Mr. Market”, as our servant. We should let Mr. Market serve us by updating us with stock prices. We should also instruct him to buy stocks, only when we like the prices. This idea is wonderfully simple, yet most of us tend to do things the other way around.

As for the second idea, Ben argued that we must always buy things that are cheap relative to their intrinsic value. This is similar to supermarket shopping, in which we stock up with stuff when they are being sold at a discount.

Currently, Singapore shares offer some of the highest yields in Asia. The average yield on the 30 companies that make up the Straits Times Index (SGX: STI) is 4%. It looks as though like Mr. Market is in a good mood, with generous yields on offer at companies that include Keppel Corporation (SGX: BN4), Sembcorp Marine (SGX: S51) and Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (SGX: Z74).

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore contributor Lawrence Nga doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.