Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on October 15, 2012
This book contains a tested systematic approach to stock market investing that most people can implement on their own.

As I write this review, there are already 266 reviews of Joel Greenblatt's "The Little Book..." on Amazon. Why bother? One reason is that since first published in 2005, Greenblatt's investment accomplishments have become even more widely appreciated, giving added credibility to his advice. For example, he is featured as one of the "Hedge Fund Market Wizards" in Jack Schwager's recently published book of the same name 
Hedge Fund Market Wizards  (please see my review of that book). Additionally, at present returns on traditional savings accounts are very close to zero and the US Treasury Note yields a mere 1.7 percent. Any of us who envisioned living in retirement from the interest on our savings were sadly mistaken. Greenblatt's investment system as presented in this book may be one of very few, or the only, approach that is likely to generate low-risk investment results that might really help savers and seniors meet their previous expectations.

The writing style is clear and simple. The author explains investment terms like return on capital and earnings yield in a conversational tone without condescention. He uses a couple of example fantasy businesses in an entertaining manner to illustrate the concepts. As the book progresses, he uses these basic examples as the foundation for more advanced concepts (not complex, but necessary). Necessary for what? For the reader to believe in the investment system that Greenblatt presents in the book to a degree that the reader will stick to the system without variance for a period of years in order to enjoy the benefits that accrue to long-term investors (think Buffett, Rogers, Graham, Bogle, Templeton).

I urge you to read the book review by "Value Investor" on these pages. He lays out the reasons why this system is very likely to perform well over a period of years. In a nutshell, it is likely to work because the author has done extensive testing of the system, uses it as the basis for his own hedge fund's portfolio management, and because it takes considerable patience and fortitude to follow (traits not found in excess on Wall Street).

One aspect that I really appreciate is the author's willingness to concede that many investors want a higher degree of involvement in selecting the stocks for their portfolios. They may be uncomfortable following a more mechanical system. He addresses this issue by giving clear guidance on how one may still follow the system even with the addition of an element of personal discretion, depending on the investor's level of expertise, time commitment and available capital.

Finally, the author maintains a free website (now for 7+ years) to aid investors with portfolio selection. This is a high value service in my opinion.

I highly recommend this book to any saver or investor, or speculator or trader for that matter, who wishes to increase their returns on investment and improve their overall portfolio performance. Five stars.
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