This Book is intended for all those who have a serious interest in security values. It is not addressed to the complete novice, however, for it presupposes some acquaintance with the terminology and the simpler concepts of finance. The scope of the work is wider than its title may suggest.It deals not only with methods of analyzing individual issues, but also with the establishment of general principles of selection and protection of security holdings. Hence much emphasis has been laid upon distinguishing the investment from the speculative approach, upon setting up sound and workable tests of safety, and upon an understanding of the rights and true interests of investors in senior securities and owners of common stocks.
In dividing our space between various topics the primary but not the exclusive criterion has been that of relative importance. Some matters of vital significance, e.g., the determination of the future prospects of an enterprise, have received little space, because little of definite value can be said on the subject. Others are glossed over because they are so well understood. Conversely we have stressed the technique of discovering bargain issues beyond its relative importance in the entire field of investment, because in this activity the talents peculiar to the securities analyst find perhaps their most fruitful expression. In similar fashion we have accorded quite detailed treatment to the characteristics of privileged senior issues (convertibles, etc.), because the attention given to these instruments in standard textbooks is now quite inadequate in view of their extensive development in recent years.