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Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings

ISBN: 978-0-471-44550-0
320 pages
August 2003
Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings (0471445509) cover image


Widely respected and admired, Philip Fisher is among the most influential investors of all time. His investment philosophies, introduced almost forty years ago, are not only studied and applied by today's financiers and investors, but are also regarded by many as gospel. This book is invaluable reading and has been since it was first published in 1958. The updated paperback retains the investment wisdom of the original edition and includes the perspectives of the author's son Ken Fisher, an investment guru in his own right in an expanded preface and introduction

"I sought out Phil Fisher after reading his Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits...A thorough understanding of the business, obtained by using Phil's techniques...enables one to make intelligent investment commitments."
Warren Buffet

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Table of Contents

Preface: What I Learned from My Father’s Writings (Kenneth L. Fisher).

Introduction (Kenneth L. Fisher).



1. Clues from the Past.

2. What “Scuttlebutt” Can Do.

3. What to Buy:The Fifteen Points to Look for in a Common Stock.

4. What to Buy: Applying This to Your Own Needs.

5. When to Buy.

6. When to Sell: And When Not To.

7. The Hullabaloo about Dividends.

8. Five Don’ts for Investors.

9. Five More Don’ts for Investors.

10. How I Go about Finding a Growth Stock.

11. Summary and Conclusion.




1. The First Dimension of a Conservative Investment.

2. The Second Dimension.

3. The Third Dimension.

4. The Fourth Dimension.

5. More about the Fourth Dimension.

6. Still More about the Fourth Dimension.


Dedication to Frank E. Block.

1. Origins of a Philosophy.

The Birth of Interest.

Formative Experiences.

First Lessons in the School of Experience.

Building the Basics.

The Great Bear Market.

A Chance to Do My Thing.

From Disaster, Opportunity Springs.

A Foundation Is Formed.

2. Learning from Experience.

Food Machinery as an Investment Opportunity.

Zigging and Zagging.

Contrary, but Correct.

Patience and Performance.

To Every Rule,There Are Exceptions . . . But Not Many.

An Experiment with Market Timing.

Reaching for Price, Foregoing Opportunity.

3. The Philosophy Matures.

E Pluribus Unum.

History versus Opportunity.

Lessons from the Vintage Years.

Do Few Things Well.

Stay or Sell in Anticipation of Possible Market Downturns?

In and Out May Be Out of the Money.

The Long Shadow of Dividends.

4. Is the Market Efficient?

The Fallacy of the Efficient Market.

The Raychem Corporation.

Raychem, Dashed Expectations, and the Crash.

Raychem and the Efficient Market.


Appendix: Key Factors in Evaluating Promising Firms.

Functional Factors.

People Factors.

Business Characteristics.


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Author Information

PHILIP A. FISHER began his career as a securities analyst in 1928, and founded Fisher & Company, an investment counseling business, in 1931. He is known as one of the pioneers of modern investment theory.

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"...written by American Investment genius.... We are delighted to have the opportunity to reproduce an extract from this classic, recently reissued..." (Financial Director, November 2003)

"...these updated classics are packed with investment wisdom..." (What Investment, November 2003)

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