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Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings. Wiley Investment Classics

  • ID: 2326406
  • Book
  • September 2003
  • Region: Global
  • 320 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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"You will find lots of jewels in these pages that may do as much for you as they have for me."
— from the Introduction by Kenneth L. Fisher Forbes columnist

Widely respected and admired, Philip Fisher is among the most influential investors of all time. His investment philosophies, introduced almost forty years ago, are not only studied and applied by today′s finance professionals, but are also regarded by many as gospel. He recorded these philosophies in Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits, a book considered invaluable reading when it was first published in 1958, and a must–read today.

Acclaim for Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits

"I sought out Phil Fisher after reading his Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits...When I met him, I was impressed by the man as by his ideas. A thorough understanding of the business, obtained by using Phil′s techniques...enables one to make intelligent investment commitments."
—Warren Buffett

"Little known to the public, rarely interviewed and accepting few clients, Philip Fisher is nevertheless read and studied by most thoughtful investment professionals . . . everyone will profit from pondering—as Warren Buffett has done—the investment principles Fisher espouses."
—James W. Michaels Editor, Forbes

"My own copy [of Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits] has underlinings and marginal thoughts throughout."
—John Train author of Dance of the Money Bees

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Preface What I Learned from My Father’s Writings xi
Kenneth L. Fisher

Introduction 1
Kenneth L. Fisher


Preface 31

1. Clues from the Past 34

2. What “Scuttlebutt” Can Do 44

3. What to Buy: The Fifteen Points to Look for in a Common Stock 47

4. What to Buy: Applying This to Your Own Needs 79

5. When to Buy 89

6. When to Sell: And When Not To 105

7. The Hullabaloo about Dividends 114

8. Five Don’ts for Investors 123

9. Five More Don’ts for Investors 135

10. How I Go about Finding a Growth Stock 162

11. Summary and Conclusion 172


Epigraph 176

Introduction 177

1. The First Dimension of a Conservative Investment 180

2. The Second Dimension 187

3. The Third Dimension 198

4. The Fourth Dimension 207

5. More about the Fourth Dimension 213

6. Still More about the Fourth Dimension 218


Dedication to Frank E. Block 226

1. Origins of a Philosophy 227

The Birth of Interest 228

Formative Experiences 229

First Lessons in the School of Experience 231

Building the Basics 232

The Great Bear Market 234

A Chance to Do My Thing 235

From Disaster, Opportunity Springs 236

A Foundation Is Formed 237

2. Learning from Experience 238

Food Machinery as an Investment Opportunity 239

Zigging and Zagging 242

Contrary, but Correct 243

Patience and Performance 244

To Every Rule,There Are Exceptions . . . But Not Many 247

An Experiment with Market Timing 248

Reaching for Price, Foregoing Opportunity 249

3. The Philosophy Matures 252

E Pluribus Unum 253

History versus Opportunity 255

Lessons from the Vintage Years 257

Do Few Things Well 259

Stay or Sell in Anticipation of Possible Market Downturns? 260

In and Out May Be Out of the Money 263

The Long Shadow of Dividends 264

4. Is the Market Efficient? 266

The Fallacy of the Efficient Market 267

The Raychem Corporation 270

Raychem, Dashed Expectations, and the Crash 271

Raychem and the Efficient Market 274

Conclusion 275

Appendix Key Factors in Evaluating Promising Firms 279

Functional Factors 279

People Factors 281

Business Characteristics 282

Index 283

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Philip A. Fisher
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