Bridge over ocean
1 January 1995 Financial Analysts Journal Volume 51, Issue 1

Toward a Science of Security Analysis

  1. Benjamin Graham

This analysis of the application of science to the processes and conclusions of security analysis contains a brief survey of the field, a discussion of the questions being raised that are left for the future to answer, and a few constructive ideas that may assist researchers. The tasks of security analysis can be divided into four categories: selection of safe securities, selection of undervalued securities, selection of growth securities, and selection of "near-term opportunities." For each category, the article raises the questions: How scientific are the methods in this area now, how scientific can they be, and what needs to be done? Security analysis is at the stage now that it needs to (1) collect the studies and recommendations of numerous analysts, (2) classify them in accordance with their objectives (perhaps the four categories of task), and (3) evaluate their accuracy and success. The purpose is to find out which methods are sound and which fail to meet the test of experience. Eventually, the profession will be able to transmit to future practitioners a continuous, ever-growing body of knowledge and technique.

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