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How to Value Invest in a Bull Market: Advice From Irving Kahn

You might not be aware of him, but Irving Kahn is one of the best value investors to have ever lived.

Unlike other, more famous value investors, Kahn kept a relatively low profile during his career, but that does not mean his advice is any less relevant.

Born in 1905, Kahn's investing career began in 1928. He continued value investing until his death a few years ago. Kahn was one of the few value investors who were able to learn from the godfather of value investing himself, Benjamin Graham. In fact, Kahn worked closely with Graham over his career, even assisting as Graham's teaching assistant at Columbia University Business School. He went on to contribute to Graham's bible on value investing, "Security Analysis," by providing some statistical help.

Such a close relationship with Graham helped Kahn build his value mentality, and he was able to add to this base education over the course of his career as he rode through the peaks and troughs of the market.

Indeed, Kahn's long life gave him an unrivaled knowledge of the market, stocks and trading psychology. Kahn's career started in the days when it was not easy to find an undervalued equity; you had to do the hard work yourself :

Kahn wrote few thought pieces over his career but those he did pen are fascinating. In 2012, a letter to Kahn's investors from himself was published on Bloomberg . It contained some advice on the state of the market and thoughts on the market rally that was in place since 2009:

With many decades of experience behind him at this point, Kahn's views on the level of trading being conducted by investors are fascinating. This was only a few years ago, and in that time trading volumes have picked up further still. If Kahn thought there was too much information around in 2012, what would he have thought today?

What was his advice at the time? Well, Kahn warned readers that, considering the level of the market and overtrading, it's best to look to protect the downside, don't take on too much risk and stick to the basics because you never know when the decline will come:

Disclosure: The author owns no stock mentioned.

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This article first appeared on GuruFocus .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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