David Dodd: scholar’s contribution to the formation of modern approaches to investing
If Benjamin Graham’s name is known practically to the whole world, David Dodd is in the shadows and only a narrow circle of specialists know him. However, the financier’s contribution to the formation of the modern market is huge. In addition, the book, which has become a reference book for investors, “Securities Analysis”, was written by Graham in co-authorship with Dodd.
David was born in 1895 in a small West Virginia town to the family of a high school principal. After high school, Dodd decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a teacher, for which he joined the University of Pennsylvania in the Department of Economics. However, the young man did not have time to graduate – World War I became a barrier. David went to serve in the Navy, where he stayed from 1917 to 1919. On his return, he resumed his studies and received a bachelor’s degree, and later a master’s degree from Columbia University. In 1930 Dodd became a doctor of philosophy.
Although David’s academic work was focused on economics, he was a versatile individual. In 1925 he provided financial advice and was involved in investing. At the same time Dodd met Benjamin Graham, with whom they became partners for many years.
In 1929, when Wall Street was recovering from a severe financial crisis, Graham decided to develop a model for safe investing and was looking for an assistant. Dodd, who was a young university professor at the time, volunteered to be his assistant. Thus, on the basis of their cooperation a monumental work “Securities Analysis” appeared, which was published in 1934. Two years later David resigned as a teacher and founded an investment company with Jerry Newman. The initial capital for the firm was $400,000, and in three years the capital grew to $2.5 million. Dodd had been a director since 1944, and left in 1957, when the company closed.
In 1950, the financier met Warren Buffett, who had just graduated from university at the time. David invited him to work as an analyst at his own company, but the future billionaire did not serve long there.
After closing the business, Dodd continued teaching until 1961, and then he moved to California. There he gave professional advice and was active in the stock market.
David Dodd passed away in 1988, when he was 93 years old. During his long life he helped thousands of students find their way, learn the basics of finance, start companies and succeed.