While it’s doubtful the Intelligent Investor needs yet another review, there are a few reasons why this book endures throughout the ages. It’s not only well established – and well deserved, it’s also thoughtful and contains surprisingly modern language and lessons.
This modern edition, however, has been through some less than desirable revisions. It’s probably a bit like an amateur trying to touch up a Michelangelo, so if you can it would be preferable to get an earlier edition (we recommend the 4th edition from 1973, which was also the last one written personally by Graham). Putting some minor squabbles related to the edits aside, you will find superb financial advice, written by a brilliant mind with a firm grasp on language and ideas of what he wants to say.
It’s not for us to judge whoever decided that this book required commentary and annotations, but the advice has aged so well it makes one wonder why anyone went through the trouble of adding it. There’s already extensive writing on the book available online, for reference, if one were so inclined.
Graham’s language is humble and kind, like a welcoming father passing down advice. He benefits from a classical education, intelligence and humor that comes through at every line. The biggest issue with this particular version of the classic is that the commentary simply adds too much. It goes off on tangents, and appears to contradict Graham’s advice by contrasting with modern methods, which is exactly the opposite of what Graham teaches.
The book is a solid 10/10, but this version of it gets a few points off for going off on too many tangents.