Sunday, 26 February 2012
THE BENJAMIN GRAHAM APPROACH TO BOOK VALUE
Graham clearly considered book value an important factor in assessing share investment. He did not include intangibles in his calculations of book value and was attracted towards companies that sold at below their book value.
This was a big factor in making a judgment about the company as an investment. He said this:
‘It is an almost unbelievable fact that Wall Street never asks, "How much is the business selling for?". Yet this should be the first question in considering a stock purchase.
'If a business man were offered a 5% interest in some concern for $10,000, his first mental process would be to multiply the asked price by 20 and thus establish a proposed value of $200,000 for the entire undertaking. The rest of his calculation would turn about whether the business was a "good buy" at $200,000.’
Graham did however acknowledge that under ‘modern conditions’ intangibles were just as much an asset as tangibles, assuming of course that a proper value could be determined. They could, in some situations, even be superior assets.