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The Little Book That Still Beats the Market by Joel Greenblatt book summary:

“The Little Book That Still Beats the Market” by Joel Greenblatt book summary:


“The Little Book That Still Beats the Market” by Joel Greenblatt is a guide to a straightforward investment strategy known as “The Magic Formula.” This strategy aims to help individual investors beat the market by identifying undervalued stocks and achieving long-term success. The book provides an overview of this strategy and the principles behind it.

Chapter 1: The Secret Recipe Revealed

Greenblatt introduces the concept of the Magic Formula, which is based on two key financial metrics: earnings yield and return on capital. He explains how these metrics are used to rank stocks and create a portfolio that aims to outperform the market over time.

Chapter 2: A Little Book for Lazy Investors

Greenblatt emphasizes that the Magic Formula is designed for investors who seek simplicity and minimal time commitment. He highlights the advantages of a systematic, rules-based approach that requires only occasional portfolio adjustments.

Chapter 3: The Nifty Thrifty Approach

Greenblatt discusses the concept of value investing and how it underpins the Magic Formula strategy. He explains that the Magic Formula focuses on buying good companies (those with a high return on capital) at bargain prices (those with a high earnings yield).

Chapter 4: Magic in Action

Greenblatt provides real-world examples to illustrate how the Magic Formula works in practice. He discusses the selection process for stocks using the formula, portfolio construction, and the importance of diversification.

Chapter 5: Getting Some Perspective

Greenblatt addresses common misconceptions about investing, such as the belief that successful investing requires constant trading and market timing. He emphasizes that the Magic Formula is a long-term, low-maintenance strategy that counters these misconceptions.

Chapter 6: Analyzing the Magic Formula

Greenblatt explains in more detail how the Magic Formula ranks stocks based on their earnings yield and return on capital. He also discusses the importance of avoiding financial engineering and accounting manipulation when using the formula.

Chapter 7: The Magic Formula and the Importance of Diversification

Greenblatt stresses the significance of diversification in reducing risk. He explains how the Magic Formula’s approach to portfolio construction ensures adequate diversification across different industries and sectors.

Chapter 8: The Magic Formula in the Real World

Greenblatt provides further evidence of the Magic Formula’s effectiveness by analyzing historical performance data. He compares the strategy’s returns to those of the overall market and demonstrates its ability to outperform consistently.

Chapter 9: The Real Secret to Investment Success

Greenblatt discusses the behavioral aspects of investing and the psychological challenges that investors often face. He emphasizes the importance of discipline, patience, and sticking to the Magic Formula strategy even during periods of underperformance.

Chapter 10: The “Secrets” of Successful Investing

Greenblatt debunks common myths about investing secrets and insider information. He reiterates that the Magic Formula’s simplicity and transparency are key to its success, and investors should focus on the fundamentals of the strategy.

Chapter 11: Is It Too Late to Start Using the Magic Formula?

Greenblatt addresses the question of whether it’s too late to start using the Magic Formula, given its popularity. He argues that the strategy can still provide attractive returns, but investors should temper their expectations as more people adopt it.

Chapter 12: The Bigger They Are, the Harder They Fall

Greenblatt discusses the risks associated with investing in large, well-known companies. He explains how the Magic Formula identifies opportunities in smaller, less-followed stocks that may offer better value.

Chapter 13: Your Portfolio and Your Plan

Greenblatt emphasizes the importance of sticking to a long-term investment plan and avoiding impulsive decisions based on short-term market fluctuations. He encourages investors to maintain discipline and patience.

Chapter 14: Staying on the Path

Greenblatt provides practical advice on implementing the Magic Formula strategy, including tips on portfolio management, tax considerations, and dealing with market volatility.

Chapter 15: The Real Secret Behind the Formula

Greenblatt concludes the book by reiterating the key principles of the Magic Formula: buying good companies at bargain prices, staying disciplined, and maintaining a long-term perspective.


“The Little Book That Still Beats the Market” by Joel Greenblatt offers a simple yet powerful investment strategy based on the Magic Formula. This strategy focuses on selecting undervalued stocks with strong fundamentals, aiming for consistent, long-term returns. Greenblatt’s book serves as a practical guide for individual investors seeking a systematic approach to beat the market while maintaining a disciplined and low-maintenance investment portfolio.

The best quotes from “The Little Book That Still Beats the Market” by Joel Greenblatt:

1. “The stock market is filled with individuals who know the price of everything, but the value of nothing.”

2. “The essence of value investing is buying a dollar for 50 cents.”

3. “Investing is a strange business. It’s the only one we know of where the more expensive the products get, the more customers want to buy them.”

4. “If you can simply avoid the losers, the winners will take care of themselves.”

5. “The stock market doesn’t always agree with you, but that doesn’t mean you’re wrong.”

6. “Over the short term, the market is a voting machine, but over the long term, it’s a weighing machine.”

7. “Investing is the only business I know that when things go on sale, people run out of the store.”

8. “The secret to investing is that there is no secret.”

9. “If you diversify too much, you might as well own an index fund.”

10. “In the short run, the market is a voting machine, but in the long run, it is a weighing machine.”

These quotes capture the essence of Joel Greenblatt’s investment philosophy, emphasizing the importance of value investing, patience, and discipline in achieving long-term success in the stock market.

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