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Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings


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Table of Contents

Preface What I Learned from My Father's Writings xi Kenneth L. Fisher Introduction 1 Kenneth L. Fisher Part One Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits 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 Part Two Conservative Investors Sleep Well 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 Part Three Developing an Investment Philosophy 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

About the Author

PHILIP A. FISHER began his career as a securities analyst in 1928, and founded Fisher & Company, an investment counseling business, in 1931. He is known as one of the pioneers of modern investment theory.


"...written by American Investment genius.... We are delighted to have the opportunity to reproduce an extract from this classic, recently reissued..." (Financial Director, November 2003) "...these updated classics are packed with investment wisdom..." (What Investment, November 2003)

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