Top critical review
Choppy, incomplete, unclear audience
Reviewed in the United States on October 15, 2012
If you are new to investing or have been burned by your own actions or those of your managers, this book is likely to be useful to point out the specific conditions that make the markets and money managers' interests not line up with yours. It also quickly summarizes a simple but on-point method of evaluating companies and whether their stock is a good investment.
But for anyone who has read Greenblatt's other books, this one is a severe disappointment. Here is my outline of the book:
* Everybody selling you stuff in the financial area has incentives that don't line up with yours, so don't fall for their tactics
* High return on capital and earnings yield identify good investments, on average
* I have found a nifty new way to get good returns at low risk, but I'll only give you the 30,000-foot view
* Whatever you do, don't get greedy (invest too high a percentage in stocks) or fearful (invest too small a percentage), especially in reaction to recent results
* But there is nothing you can do with this information since a) it's impractical to do yourself, b) I didn't give you enough information anyway, and c) there are no products available that use my method
Cross referencing back to previous books (especially The Little Book That [Still] Beats the Market) could help more technically minded investors derive the return on capital and earnings yield formulations (they are not straightforward). But I am at a loss to understand how a novice investor would use any of the information in this book, aside from avoiding bad money managers (which I suppose is worthwhile, but isn't the apparent point of the book).
All in all this reads like a book thrown together from pieces here and there and not finished. It's choppy and incomplete, and varies a great deal in tone and intended audience from one passage to the next.
Entirely unexpectedly poor quality from someone as good at what he does.