The $700 Used Book of Seth Klarman
Still, over the past few years this work has taken on iconic stature among value investors. Originally listed at $25, the title trades for top prices on the used-book market. About a half-dozen copies are for sale online: The best deal is $700 from a seller at Amazon.com (AMZN ). Another vendor offers it for nearly $2,500.
There are other ways to get hold of it. One entrepreneur even rented it out on eBay (EBAY ) for $75 a week, promptly drawing a customer. University libraries report it as one of their most wait-listed titles as well as one most claimed as lost. (Maybe borrowers figure they can replace it at face value.) All told, just 262 libraries worldwide report having a copy, according to the Online Computer Library Center, an international database that includes about 95% of academic libraries and 75% of public libraries.
The 249-page book is especially hot among those seeking jobs with value-oriented investment firms. "You win serious points for talking Klarman," says a newly minted MBA who got his hands on a copy prior to a late-round interview with a top mutual fund firm. "It's pretty much assumed that you've read Graham and Dodd and Warren Buffett." (Benjamin Graham and David Dodd's 1934 work, Security Analysis, is a seminal book on value investing, while Buffett's annual letters to shareholders are considered gospel.) "The book belongs in the category of Buffett and Graham," says Oakmark Funds manager Bill Nygren, a collector of stock market tomes.
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