I'm learning about stocks concepts right now. I'm new in the field of finance. At current I'm reading Chapter 1 of The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham.

I'm having a problem in understanding the below paragraph, especially the last two lines where the author has written something related to "representative stock list." I don't know what that means. Please help. Thank you in advance.

We implied that "at normal levels of the market" the investor should be able to obtain an initial dividend return of between 3½% and 4½% on his stock purchases, to which should be added a steady increase in underlying value (and in the "normal market price") of a representative stock list of about the same amount, giving a return from dividends and appreciation combined of about 7½% per year.

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1 Answer 1


A list of stocks that are representative of the total market

The meaning is quite literal - a representative stock list is a list of stocks that would reasonably be expected to have about the same results as the whole market, i.e. be representative of an investment that invests in all those stocks. Of course, you don't want to invest in all stocks individually, that would be impractical, but you can either choose a diverse array of stocks that are (should be) representative, as the article recommends, or alternatively choose to invest in an index fund which offers a practical way to invest in all the stocks in the index at once.

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    +1. Or representative, perhaps more specifically, of the dividend-yielding large capitalization industrial stocks that Graham referred to previously in the text ... a pretty big chunk of the whole market, but not quite the whole market. Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 22:58

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