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The Little Book That Still Beats the Market (Little Books. Big Profits 29) by [Joel Greenblatt, Andrew Tobias]
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The Little Book That Still Beats the Market (Little Books. Big Profits 29) Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 1,527 ratings
Book 9 of 29: Little Books. Big Profits

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

An Exclusive Q&A with Author Joel Greenblatt

It's been five years since you first published The Little Book That Beats the Market. Have your thoughts changed at all about the effectiveness of value investing?

In my mind, the principles of value investing have not changed. As we've learned yet again, markets can be volatile and emotional. They often go to extremes of pessimism and optimism, and prices can and often do fluctuate wildly and significantly over short periods of time. As a result, Mr. Market can provide some excellent opportunities to purchase bargain priced stocks when people are unduly pessimistic. This is where value investing comes in. Buying companies below their true value is the road to being a successful investor. The magic formula found in the Little Book seeks to buy a group of above average companies but only when they are available at below average prices. Because it is a formula, it seeks to do this in an unemotional way that can take advantage of the market's mood swings. Ben Graham taught us these lessons in the 1930s and the principles still hold as well today as when he first wrote them down more than 70 years ago.

Do you think individual investors should re-think their investment strategy as a result of the recent market crash and recession?

I think the best lesson that can be learned from the recent price drop and partial recovery is that stocks are volatile. For most people, stocks should represent a portion of their investment portfolio because I still believe that over the long term they will provide superior returns relative to most alternative investments. However, whether that portion of an investment portfolio devoted to stock investments should be 40% of an investor's portfolio or 80% is a very individual decision. How much are you willing (or able) to lose before you panic out? There's no sense investing such a large portion of your assets in a long-term strategy if you can't take the pain when your chosen strategy doesn't work out for a period of years. The "magic formula" found in the book can underperform the market for years. It can also lose money if the market goes down. But it is also a strategy that makes a lot of sense and that should work well for investors over the long term.

Can you explain the Magic Formula's basic strategy in one sentence?

The Magic Formula strategy is a long-term investment strategy designed to help investors buy a group of above-average companies but only when they are available at below-average prices.

You make reference in the new afterword to receiving a number of emails from readers after the The Little Book That Beats the Market was published. Could you share with us some of the comments you received?

I received many emails after the first edition of the book was published. Some suggested that the strategy was working great for them while others reported that they had waited over a year and the strategy was underperforming. These results and emails are consistent with the message of the book. Over the five years since the book was published, the strategy earned very nice returns for investors, but the ride was bumpy. Not only did the formula underperform for a period of time, in 2008 it lost money along with the market. Overall, the formula performed quite well but only for those who maintained a true long-term perspective. This is easier said than done. In the new afterword, I try to give more facts, color and information about the strategy that I hope will help investors be successful in taking full advantage of the magic formula over the long term. Of course, I also got plenty of emails where investors just asked us to do it all for them. Other emails asked us to apply the formula internationally. As a result, we have worked on both of these projects over the last several years.

In the new afterword, you write "Beating the market isn't the same thing as making money." Can you elaborate on this and why it's a difficult concept to swallow at times?

Since the strategy involves buying a portfolio that is 100% long the stock market, if the stock market goes down, our portfolio may well go down, too. If the market drops 40% and we beat the market by losing only 38%, this is small consolation. As I say in the afterword, while I firmly believe that for most people an investment in the stock market should represent a substantial portion of your investment portfolio, how big that portion should be can vary widely. For some it can be well over half of assets, for others well less than half might be appropriate. The magic formula strategy is a wonderful strategy for that portion of your portfolio that you choose to invest in the stock market. In fact, I truly believe that the magic formula remains one of your best options. How much to invest in the stock market, however, is a very personal decision that should be partially based on your ability to withstand short-term negative price movements. One encouraging fact, though, discussed in the afterword is the performance of our large cap portfolio over the last decade. Over that period, the market as measured by the S&P 500 was actually down, yet our backtests showed that following the formula over those same ten years would have resulted in a more than tripling of your money. Unfortunately, those great long-term returns came with plenty of bumps, including some not so short periods of losses and underperformance. But once again, if the formula worked every day, every month and every year, everyone would follow it and it would be ruined. Fortunately, it's not so great, and as a result I strongly believe that long-term investors should continue to benefit from the magic formula for many years to come.

From AudioFile

A Wharton-trained head of a successful investment partnership has a foolproof method for evaluating stocks: Companies are worth what they return to investors on a consistent basis. Trusting yourself to use this simple principle will work much better than any get-rich schemes, and much better than trusting other people to select stocks for you. The method requires some digging into a stock's fundamentals, understanding risk factors, and paying close attention to timing when buying and selling. An enhanced CD contains printable details of the author's "magic formula" for evaluating stocks. Adam Grupper does well with this material, projecting confidence and using vocal tones and pacing that are enjoyable for the entire program. T.W. © AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

Product details

  • ASIN : B003VWCQB0
  • Publisher : Wiley; 1st edition (July 16, 2010)
  • Publication date : July 16, 2010
  • Language : English
  • File size : 438 KB
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Screen Reader : Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Enabled
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print length : 112 pages
  • Lending : Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,527 ratings

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
1,527 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on November 18, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on February 26, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on October 26, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on June 4, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on March 18, 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read, even today
By Amazon Customer on March 18, 2020
This is one of the most highly rated introductions to value investing for "average folk" - and reading it through, you can clearly see why. If you have prior experience with stocks and investment, the first two chapters may seem a bit "slow", but this builds a solid foundation for the rest of the book. The rational, logical explanation to the investment approach recommended by the author is easy to understand, and clear guidance to implementing the steps in effective valuation (along with alternatives, if you choose to use slightly different approaches to the strict method recommended) is provided as well. Overall an excellent read.
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Top reviews from other countries

Jake Suter
2.0 out of 5 stars A shame the author doesn't clarify on the cover the book is for kids
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 24, 2018
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Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant for the Very Patient
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 9, 2016
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4.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read but not for those looking to actively analyse company fundamentals
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 5, 2020
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Pedro
5.0 out of 5 stars Simples e Genial
Reviewed in Brazil on August 26, 2019
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Dr. K. Maslin
5.0 out of 5 stars Great guide
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 13, 2017
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