Before the end of the negative interest rate I was wondering what about investing my money in raw materials, maybe in gold. Having almost finish my reading of The Intelligent Investor I was wondering why don't he consider gold as a potential investment for the intelligent investor ? I used Dave Lisehgo sum up to see that :

Applied to raw materials its general wisdom remains sound :

  • We can base decisions on the value of the underlying business that use the raw materials such as a rare raw material that is going to be used more and more.
  • We can buy raw materials that are clearly underpriced in the market.
  • Dollar-cost averaging remains critical. We can still but raw materials every months to spread the risks over the period.

But when dealing with defensive or offensive advises he doesn't speak about these kind of assets.

  • Applying the criteria from #1, it would be hard to argue that gold is underpriced, or maybe that it ever has been. Commented Nov 4, 2017 at 19:56
  • Gold has no earnings. Commented Nov 5, 2017 at 6:01

1 Answer 1


During Graham's career, gold and currency were the same thing because of the gold standard. Graham did not advise investing in currencies, only in bonds and stocks, the latter only for intelligent speculation. Graham died a couple of years after Nixon closed the gold window, ending the gold standard.

Gold may be thought of as a currency even today, as endowments and other investors use it as a store of value or for diversification of risks. However, currency or commodities investing does not seem Graham-like. How could you reliably estimate intrinsic value of a currency or commodity, so that you can have a Graham-like margin of safety after subtracting the intrinsic value from the market value?

Saying that gold is "clearly underpriced in today's market" is just hand-waving. A Graham analysis such as "net net" (valuing stocks by their current tangible assets net of all liabilities) is a quantitative analysis of accounting numbers audited by CPAs and offers a true margin of safety.

  • I like this answer which is clearly connected to Graham's thinking and analysis. I let it open for a few days to be contradicted if people bring new perspectives Commented Nov 5, 2017 at 10:49

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .