Department Renames the Value Investing Program after Benjamin Graham

The Economics Department is delighted to announce the renaming of its undergraduate Value Investing Program after the field’s pre-eminent pioneer, Benjamin Graham. With the concurrence and encouragement of Mr. Graham’s son, Dr. Benjamin Graham, Jr., the program will now be known as the Benjamin Graham Value Investing Program.

Benjamin Graham, widely known as the “father of value investing,” graduated from Columbia University at age 20. He began a storied career on Wall Street, eventually founding the Graham-Newman Partnership, where he employed Warren Buffett. Mr. Graham also took up teaching positions at Columbia University and later at UCLA. He wrote two of the founding texts in neoclassical investing: Security Analysis (1934) with David Dodd, and The Intelligent Investor (1949). Benjamin Graham’s investment philosophy stressed investor psychology, minimal debt, buy-and-hold investing, fundamental analysisconcentrated diversification, buying within the margin of safetyactivist investing, and contrarian mindsets.

“We are thrilled that our Program will now be linked with the legendary Benjamin Graham,” said Adjunct Professor and Program co-founder William E. Simon, Jr. “As it happens, our classes take place in the same building where Benjamin Graham taught here, and knowing this reinforces our commitment to honor his legacy, especially his dedication as a teacher.”

Undergraduates in the Benjamin Graham Value Investing Program learn to evaluate investment opportunities as well as to direct capital to enhance value. The program’s industry-based curriculum prepares students through applied research projects, financial modeling, and group projects in four core concentration courses: Introduction to Value Investing, History of Financial Crises, Applied Value Investing, and Special Projects in Investing. To complete the concentration, students must also select two additional courses from: History of Capitalism in the American Economy; Corporate Finance; Pricing and Strategy; Investments; Real Estate Finance and Investment; Development of Economic Institutions in Western Europe; and Financial Statement Analysis. Upon completing the program, students understand the full set of fundamental economic and strategic forces that favor or disfavor a particular investment opportunity from both a theoretical and practical perspective.

The Program, co-founded by Andrew Atkeson, Stanley M. Zimmerman Professor of Economics and Finance, together with Professor Simon, offers students significant industry exposure from experts in the field. Distinguished guest lecturers serve as “Investors in Residence” who share their experience as chief investment officers and portfolio managers. In addition, students have the opportunity to work closely with the buy-side industry through an honors-level, applied investment project. Private equity firms, hedge funds, mutual funds, pension funds, and endowments submit “Requests for Project Proposals” which are then assigned to teams of three to five students. Each student group is expected to attend and participate in all class meetings with the hosting professor, while engaging with their firm liaison on a regular basis. The course culminates with the submission of a comprehensive research report and a student presentation on campus delivered to the participating firm and its management team.

Students are admitted to the Benjamin Graham Value Investing Program by application only. The application for the 2020-2021 concentration will launch in spring 2020 for fall enrollment, which will be limited to 40 students. To learn more about the Benjamin Graham Value Investing Program, please contact Professor Atkeson (, Professor Simon (, Humberto Merino-Hernandez (founding manager of the Program, or Tony Winston (Program Manager,