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Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings


Critical Praise for Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings

"You will find lots of jewels in these pages that may do as much for you as they have for me."
–– Kenneth L. Fisher

"I sought out Phil Fisher after reading his Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings. When I met him, I was as 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
former editor, Forbes

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

Updated features include a new Preface and Introduction from Kenneth L. Fisher

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. Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings reveals these timeless philosophies.

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.
Kenneth L. Fisher writes the "Portfolio Strategy" column for Forbes magazine and serves as Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of Fisher Investments, Inc., a firm that manages financial assets for institutions and high-net-worth individuals around the world.
Preface: What I Learned from My Father’s Writings (Kenneth L. Fisher).

Introduction (Kenneth L. Fisher).



1. Clues from the Past.

2. What “Scuttlebutt” Can Do.

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

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

5. When to Buy.

6. When to Sell: And When Not To.

7. The Hullabaloo about Dividends.

8. Five Don’ts for Investors.

9. Five More Don’ts for Investors.

10. How I Go about Finding a Growth Stock.

11. Summary and Conclusion.




1. The First Dimension of a Conservative Investment.

2. The Second Dimension.

3. The Third Dimension.

4. The Fourth Dimension.

5. More about the Fourth Dimension.

6. Still More about the Fourth Dimension.


Dedication to Frank E. Block.

1. Origins of a Philosophy.

The Birth of Interest.

Formative Experiences.

First Lessons in the School of Experience.

Building the Basics.

The Great Bear Market.

A Chance to Do My Thing.

From Disaster, Opportunity Springs.

A Foundation Is Formed.

2. Learning from Experience.

Food Machinery as an Investment Opportunity.

Zigging and Zagging.

Contrary, but Correct.

Patience and Performance.

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

An Experiment with Market Timing.

Reaching for Price, Foregoing Opportunity.

3. The Philosophy Matures.

E Pluribus Unum.

History versus Opportunity.

Lessons from the Vintage Years.

Do Few Things Well.

Stay or Sell in Anticipation of Possible Market Downturns?

In and Out May Be Out of the Money.

The Long Shadow of Dividends.

4. Is the Market Efficient?

The Fallacy of the Efficient Market.

The Raychem Corporation.

Raychem, Dashed Expectations, and the Crash.

Raychem and the Efficient Market.


Appendix: Key Factors in Evaluating Promising Firms.

Functional Factors.

People Factors.

Business Characteristics.