Benjamin Graham, a British-born American economist, is widely regarded as the “father of value investing.”
He authored foundational texts in neoclassical investing, including ‘Security Analysis’ and ‘The Intelligent Investor,’ and influenced notable disciples such as Warren Buffett and Irving Kahn.
Graham’s philosophy emphasized investor psychology, fundamental analysis and a contrarian mindset.
Born in London to Jewish parents, he moved to New York at a young age and experienced poverty after his father’s death, which influenced his investment theories.
He graduated from Columbia University, started his career on Wall Street and founded the Graham-Newman Partnership.
Despite facing criticisms, his average investment performance was a 20% annualized return over 20 years, significantly outperforming the market.
His most significant gain was from GEICO, which grew from $712,000 to $400 million.
Graham died in 1976, but his legacy endures in the principles of value investing and the successes of his disciples.
Here is a collection of the best quotes from Benjamin Graham.
Best Benjamin Graham Quotes
In the short run, the market is a voting machine, but in the long run it is a weighing machine. ~ Benjamin Graham.
Successful investing is about managing risk, not avoiding it. ~ Benjamin Graham.
An investment operation is one which, upon thorough analysis, promises safety of principal and an adequate return. ~ Benjamin Graham.
Wall Street people learn nothing and forget everything. ~ Benjamin Graham.
A great company is not a great investment if you pay too much for the stock. ~ Benjamin Graham.
You must never delude yourself into thinking that you’re investing when you’re speculating. ~ Benjamin Graham.
Confronted with a challenge to distill the secret of sound investment into three words, we venture the motto, Margin of Safety. ~ Benjamin Graham.
High valuations entail high risks. ~ Benjamin Graham.
The distinction between investment and speculation in common stocks has always been a useful one and its disappearance is cause for concern. ~ Benjamin Graham.
Famous Benjamin Graham Quotes
The intelligent investor gets interested in big growth stocks not when they are at their most popular – but when something goes wrong. ~ Benjamin Graham.
The margin of safety is always dependent on the price paid. ~ Benjamin Graham.
Thousands of people have tried, and the evidence is clear: The more you trade, the less you keep. ~ Benjamin Graham.
The sillier the market’s behavior, the greater the opportunity for the business like investor. ~ Benjamin Graham.
To have a true investment, there must be a true margin of safety. And a true margin of safety is one that can be demonstrated by figures, by persuasive reasoning, and by reference to a body of actual experience. ~ Benjamin Graham.
Mr. Market’s job is to provide you with prices; your job is to decide whether it is to your advantage to act on them. You do not have to trade with him just because he constantly begs you to. ~ Benjamin Graham.
Before you invest, you must ensure that you have realistically assessed your probability of being right and how you will react to the consequences of being wrong. ~ Benjamin Graham.
Individuals who cannot master their emotions are ill-suited to profit from the investment process. ~ Benjamin Graham.
By refusing to pay too much for an investment, you minimize the chances that your wealth will ever disappear or suddenly be destroyed. ~ Benjamin Graham.
The intelligent investor is a realist who sells to optimists and buys from pessimists. ~ Benjamin Graham.
The investor’s chief problem – and even his worst enemy – is likely to be himself. ~ Benjamin Graham.
Top Benjamin Graham Quotes
The vast majority of stock traders are inevitably doomed to failure. ~ Benjamin Graham.
Never mingle your speculative and investment operations in the same account nor in any part of your thinking. ~ Benjamin Graham.
Obvious prospects for physical growth in a business do not translate into obvious profits for investors. ~ Benjamin Graham.
The intelligent investor is likely to need considerable will power to keep from following the crowd. ~ Benjamin Graham.
The memory of the financial community is proverbially and distressingly short. ~ Benjamin Graham.
Experience teaches that the time to buy stocks is when their price is unduly depressed by temporary adversity. In other words, they should be bought on a bargain basis or not at all. ~ Benjamin Graham.
It is absurd to think that the general public can ever make money out of market forecasts. ~ Benjamin Graham
Investment is most intelligent when it is most businesslike. ~ Benjamin Graham.
Although there are good and bad companies, there is no such thing as a good stock; there are only good stock prices, which come and go. ~ Benjamin Graham.
The intelligent investor shouldn’t ignore Mr. Market entirely. Instead, you should do business with him- but only to the extent that it serves your interests. ~ Benjamin Graham.
In an ideal world, the intelligent investor would hold stocks only when they are cheap and sell them when they become overpriced, then duck into the bunker of bonds and cash until stocks again become cheap enough to buy. ~ Benjamin Graham.
Powerful Benjamin Graham Quotes
If the share price advances, it is because most investors expect earnings to grow. ~ Benjamin Graham.
No statement is more true and better applicable to Wall Street than the famous warning of Santayana: “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. ~ Benjamin Graham.
Never mingle your speculative and investment operations in the same account, nor in any part of your thinking. ~ Benjamin Graham.
It is easy for us to tell you not to speculate; the hard thing will be for you to follow this advice. ~ Benjamin Graham.
While enthusiasm may be necessary for great accomplishments elsewhere, on Wall Street it almost invariably leads to disaster. ~ Benjamin Graham.
The best way to measure your investing success is not by whether you’re beating the market but by whether you’ve put in place a financial plan and a behavioral discipline that are likely to get you where you want to go. ~ Benjamin Graham.
The best values today are often found in the stocks that were once hot and have since gone cold. ~ Benjamin Graham.
An investment operation is one which, upon thorough analysis, promises safety of principal and an adequate return. Operations not meeting these requirements are speculative. ~ Benjamin Graham.
Have the courage of your knowledge and experience. If you have formed a conclusion from the facts and if you know your judgment is sound, act on it – even though others may hesitate or differ. ~ Benjamin Graham.
Investing isn’t about beating others at their game. It’s about controlling yourself at your own game. ~ Benjamin Graham.
Profound Benjamin Graham Quotes
If I have noticed anything over these 60 years on Wall Street, it is that people do not succeed in forecasting what’s going to happen to the stock market. ~ Benjamin Graham.
The intelligent investor should recognize that market panics can create great prices for good companies and good prices for great companies. ~ Benjamin Graham.
Never buy a stock because it has gone up or sell one because it has gone down. ~ Benjamin Graham.
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. ~ Benjamin Graham.
There are two requirements for success in Wall Street. One you have to think correctly; and secondly you have to think independently. ~ Benjamin Graham.
In the old legend the wise men finally boiled down the history of mortal affairs into a single phrase: ‘This too will pass.’ ~ Benjamin Graham.
People who invest make money for themselves; people who speculate make money for their brokers. ~ Benjamin Graham.
The essence of investment management is the management of risks, not the management of returns. ~ Benjamin Graham.
Stocks can be dynamite. ~ Benjamin Graham.
Meaningful Benjamin Graham Quotes
Successful investing professionals are disciplined and consistent and they think a great deal about what they do and how they do it. ~ Benjamin Graham.
The margin of safety is always dependent on the price paid. It will be large at one price, small at some higher price, nonexistent at some still higher price. ~ Benjamin Graham.
A stock is not just a ticker symbol or an electronic blip; it is an ownership interest in an actual business, with an underlying value that does not depend on its share price. ~ Benjamin Graham.
Basically, price fluctuations have only one significant meaning for the true investor. They provide him with an opportunity to buy wisely when prices fall sharply and to sell wisely when they advance a great deal. “Obvious prospects for physical growth in a business do not translate into obvious profits for investors.” ~ Benjamin Graham.
Never buy a stock immediately after a substantial rise or sell one immediately after a substantial drop. ~ Benjamin Graham.
For most investors it would be probably best to assure themselves that they are getting good value for the prices they pay, and let it go at that. ~ Benjamin Graham.
The genuine investor in common stocks does not need a great equipment of brain and knowledge, but he does need some unusual qualities of character.” Benjamin Graham
It remained true that sound investment principles produced generally sound results. ~ Benjamin Graham.
If you are shopping for common stocks, choose them the way you would buy groceries, not the way you would buy perfume. ~ Benjamin Graham.
The investor who permits himself to be stampeded or unduly worried by unjustified market declines in his holdings is perversely transforming his basic advantage into a basic disadvantage. ~ Benjamin Graham.
Wise Benjamin Graham Quotes
Mr. Market does not always price stocks the way an appraiser or a private buyer would value a business. Instead, when stocks are going up, he happily pays more than their objective value; and, when they are going down, he is desperate to dump them for less than their true worth. ~ Benjamin Graham.
At heart, “uncertainty” and “investing” are synonyms. ~ Benjamin Graham.
People who habitually purchase common stocks at more than about 20 times their average earnings are likely to lose considerable money in the long run. ~ Benjamin Graham.
Avoid second-quality issues in making up a portfolio unless they are demonstrable bargains. ~ Benjamin Graham.
The function of the margin of safety is, in essence, that of rendering unnecessary an accurate estimate of the future. ~ Benjamin Graham.
Losing some money is an inevitable part of investing, and there’s nothing you can do to prevent it. But to be an intelligent investor, you must take responsibility for ensuring that you never lose most or all of your money. ~ Benjamin Graham.
To achieve satisfactory investment results is easier than most people realize; to achieve superior results is harder than it looks.” ~ Benjamin Graham.