The Story Behind the Legend
Welcome to Beyond Ben Graham

Welcome to Beyond Ben Graham (#1)

Benjamin Graham taught hundreds of thousands of people how to invest in the stock market. He’s also my grandfather and he showed me how to invest in happiness. Beyond Ben Graham takes you beyond the “father of value investing” you already know. Beyond Ben Graham illuminates Benjamin Graham’s extraordinary evolution, his grit in the face of hardship, and the wisdom he gained on his quest for fulfillment.

I don’t have any investment secrets from my Grandpa Ben to impart to you. Instead, I started Beyond Ben Graham to find answers to these questions:

  • What early experiences caused this kind man to have three failed marriages and, by his own admission, to lack “a single chum or crony?”
  • Why did Graham close his Wall Street office while his mutual fund was earning a dazzling 21% annual return?
  • How did this once-remote person become the joyful, accepting Grandpa Ben I knew—and an inspirational figure who could change how we choose to live?

Benjamin Graham explained his investment principles at length in his books: The Intelligent Investor which has sold over a million copies, and the 750-page opus, Security Analysis, co-authored by Graham and David Dodd. However, he wrote only a few words about the psychological insights that transformed his life. I use Benjamin Graham’s brief reflections on his psyche to interpret the sad and surprising stories he shared about his formative years. His own words guide us through his tumultuous middle age, all the way to the sea-change that impelled him toward a big-hearted embrace, not of wealth—but of the richness of life.

As Benjamin Graham’s granddaughter, I am uniquely positioned to access a gold mine of material, including Ben Graham’s unpublished writings and letters; the oral history of my mother, Ben’s eldest daughter; family lore; and my own memories of my Grandpa Ben throughout his long retirement in southern California and Aix-en-Provence. I also take a deep dive into his published remembrances, Benjamin Graham: The Memoirs of the Dean of Wall Street. Grandpa Ben’s idiosyncrasies as a memoirist—recounting his worst early memories in impressive detail, shrugging off their impact, and saying nothing but nice things about anyone responsible—makes my excavation of his emotional life all the more challenging.

I recently Googled “Value Investing Blogs” to get a sense of how many people are still interested in Benjamin Graham’s work. The results flabbergasted me. I feel inspired to write about “the father of value investing” for intelligent investors all over the world. I write for everyone interested in the story of a master of the financial realm who left that realm behind to seek meaning and contentment. If you are reading this post, you are welcome on this blog!

As one of his grandchildren, I explore Ben Graham’s personal history with love, compassion, and care, rather than with objectivity. I make no claim to write a comprehensive biography of Benjamin Graham. Rather, I seek to fathom his mysteries. Beyond Ben Graham offers in-depth answers to crucial questions and encourages readers to reach their own conclusions. The views expressed in the blog are my own, and do not express the views of other members of Ben Graham’s family. I am responsible for any inaccuracies.

Welcome! I hope you’ll join me for the remarkable story behind the legend.

Next: Ben Graham’s First Worst Memory.