What is value investing? What are the key principles of value investing?

Is there evidence indicating whether value investing results in higher returns, or lower risk, compared to other styles of investing?

2 Answers 2


Value investing is an investment approach that relies on buying securities below their intrinsic values. There are two main concepts; one is the Intrinsic Value and the other is Margin of Safety.

Intrinsic value is the value of the underlying business - if we are talking about stocks - that can be calculated through carefully analyzing the business looking at all aspects of it. If there is an intrinsic value exists for a company then there is a price tag we can put on its shares as well. Value investing is looking to buy shares well below its intrinsic value.

It is important to know that there is no correct intrinsic value exists for a company and two people can come up with different figures, if they were presented the same data. Calculating the intrinsic value for a business is the hardest part of value investing.

Margin of Safety is the difference between the buying price of a stock and its intrinsic value. Value investors are insisting on buying stocks well below their intrinsic value, where the margin of safety is 20%-30% or even more. This concepts is protecting them from poor decisions and market downturns. It is also providing a room for error, when calculating the intrinsic value.

The approach was introduced by Benjamin Graham and David Dodd in a book called Security Analysis in 1934.

Other famous investor using this approach is Warren Buffet

Books to read:

I would start to read the first two book first.


Fama-French would be a couple of names if you want to look at this from a value/growth dichotomy. A simplified form of this was to take the stocks with a lower Price/Book Value that would be the value stocks while the others would be the growth. The principle is that some of the beaten-down stocks will appreciate more than the growth stocks will. 6 Ways To Improve Your Portfolio Returns Today also makes note of the "growth vs value" split if you want another reference that way. Historically, growth has been more volatile and produced lower returns, though past performance isn't necessarily always going to hold as some people like to invest in what is known as a "slice & dice" portfolio where a portion in invested in each of 4 corners: Large-growth, large-value, small-growth, and small-value. Some may add in bonds, REITs, and foreign stocks but the idea is that in different years, different parts of the market will do better and this is a way to capture that in a sense.

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