Unlocking Market Magic: A Simple Guide to Smart Investing

Offers a simple, effective investment strategy, blending humor with empirical data for successful stock market investing.


In an era where financial literature is often riddled with jargon and complex theories, “The Little Book That Still Beats the Market” emerges as a breath of fresh air. Written by Joel Greenblatt, a seasoned investor and educator, this book offers a compelling blend of wit, wisdom, and practical advice for both novice and seasoned investors.

A Glimpse into the Content

At its core, the book revolves around a simple yet powerful investment strategy, often referred to as the “magic formula.” This formula, backed by empirical data and Greenblatt’s extensive experience, promises impressive returns for those who adhere to its principles. The book’s narrative is interspersed with anecdotes, real-life examples, and a touch of humor, making it an engaging read.

Quotes and Excerpts

“And yes, the dog was fine. To find out what Jimbo should do, check out the box at the end of the chapter!”

This quote encapsulates the book’s light-hearted approach to serious financial topics, making it relatable to a broad audience.

“The special database used for our magic formula study (Compustat’s “Point in Time” database) contains data going back a total of 17 years. It contains the exact information known by Compustat customers at the time of each stock purchase.”

Here, Greenblatt emphasizes the robustness of the data backing his magic formula, instilling confidence in the reader about its efficacy.

“Luckily, I learned a valuable lesson from the whole experience. Although I don’t exactly remember what that was, I’m pretty sure it had something to do with the importance of saving money for things that you might want or need in the future.”

Through personal anecdotes like these, Greenblatt drives home the importance of financial prudence in a manner that’s both entertaining and enlightening.

Real-life Examples

The Little Book That Still Beats the Market is replete with real-life examples that drive home the principles Greenblatt espouses. For instance, he discusses the growth potential of an initial investment of $11,000, illustrating how, at a rate of 30.8 percent per year for 17 years, it could burgeon to a staggering $1,056,000 before taxes and transaction costs.

Why You Should Consider This Book

1. Simplicity: Greenblatt’s magic formula is straightforward, making it accessible to investors of all levels of experience.

2. Empirical Backing: The formula isn’t just theoretical; it’s backed by data from reputable sources like Compustat.

3. Engaging Narrative: The book isn’t just about numbers and strategies. It’s filled with anecdotes, humor, and personal experiences that make it a delightful read.

4. Educational Value: Beyond the magic formula, the book offers insights into the broader world of investing, making it a valuable addition to any financial literature collection.

5. Relevance: Despite being written years ago, the book’s 2010 edition includes an afterword that discusses events, results, and lessons learned since its original publication in 2005, ensuring its continued relevance in today’s financial landscape.


The Little Book That Still Beats the Market” is more than just a guide to investing. It’s a journey through the financial world, guided by one of its most astute observers. Whether you’re a seasoned investor looking for a fresh perspective or a novice seeking guidance, this book promises to be a valuable companion. As Greenblatt himself puts it, “Stay with it, and I assure you the payoff for both beginning and experienced investors will be huge.”