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You Can Be a Stock Market Genius: Uncover the Secret Hiding Places of Stock Market Profits
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You Can Be a Stock Market Genius: Uncover the Secret Hiding Places of Stock Market Profits

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  2,250 ratings  ·  77 reviews
A comprehensive and practical guide to the stock market from a successful fund manager—filled with case studies, important background information, and all the tools you’ll need to become a stock market genius.

Fund manager Joel Greenblatt has been beating the Dow (with returns of 50 percent a year) for more than a decade. And now, in this highly accessib
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Paperback, 285 pages
Published February 25th 1999 by Touchstone (first published March 1st 1997)
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The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin GrahamOne Up On Wall Street by Peter LynchCommon Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings by Philip A. FisherA Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton G. MalkielThe Essays of Warren Buffett by Warren Buffett
Best Investment Books
15th out of 58 books — 78 voters
The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin GrahamMargin of Safety by Seth A. KlarmanBeating the Street by Peter LynchThe Little Book That Beats the Market by Joel GreenblattYou Can Be a Stock Market Genius by Joel Greenblatt
Must read investment books
5th out of 45 books — 16 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jeremy K
I read this book because, according to "The Big Short" by Michael Lewis, some of the clever people who foresaw and profited from the financial collapse used this book as a how-to reference guide to investing. I just finished reading it, and haven't tried any of the techniques, but they all seem to make sense.

Starting from a Benjamin Graham/Warren Buffet value-investing view that recommends investing in stocks that are undervalued by the market, author Joel Greenblatt recommends certain situation
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Pushkar
So glad that I am a stock market genius now. :D

I started reading it because it was mentioned a couple of times in 'The Big Short' by Michael Lewis and most of the people who emerged winners in the 2008 downturn had vowed by this book.
The book highlights the special situations where value waiting to be unraveled. The author does a great job of describing all the situations in great detail. Though this is supposed to be a beginner's book, it would make a wonderful read for anybody who is interest
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Matthew Flannery
“...hated the title but liked the book.” - Michael Burry

"Benjamin Graham is value investing’s Old Testament. Warren Buffett is its New Testament. And You Can Be a Stock Market Genius is our Gospel of Mark. It doesn’t repeat sayings or rehash dogma. It just tells stories. The case studies read like the present tense. You feel like you and Greenblatt are analyzing the stocks together." - Geoff Gannon

Sorry to start with other people's thoughts, but they sum it up better than I can. Yes, I heard abo
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Khaleel
An excellent book overall. Very different from almost all other value investing books as it focuses on finding special situations to invest in. This book really opened up my eyes to some new areas opportunities that I should be looking at. Once you've read the classic value investing texts it's great to discover something like this that helps investors discovers new hunting ground. Value investors should always be on the lookout for unchartered territory and this book opens up your eyes to some ...more
Terry
1. Excellent sum-up of investment opportunities in the corporate event-driven space - specifically, spin-offs, merger securities, bankruptcies and restructurings.

2. Greenblatt explains well that WHY these investment opportunities exist - the securities are mostly GIVEN to those investors, who have multiple reasons to sell.

3. A diversified portfolio consisting of spin-offs have handsomely outperformed the market in the long run. A more selective spin-off portfolio can outperform the market even m
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Rob
I read this book after reading "The Little Book that (still) Beats the Market". Very, very different level of detail here!

First off, the title of the book definitely screams "SNAKE OIL!!!" I get that. The author himself even jokes about the title of the book in the foreword. The author is also one of the most important and successful money managers in history. So take a deep breath and consider that he might actually have something interesting to say.

His basic premise in the book is:
1) Find inve
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Jacob
Joel Greenblatt has a very corny sense of humor, which you can see reflected in the title. The title is actually a very good example of how his sense of humor affects the book: while it's mostly relevant, it distracts from the good material inside. Some of it is related to the material and makes the reading more enjoyable, but some of it is just too random. I think Greenblatt learned from this book and reined in his humor in The Little Book That Still Beats the Market.

The point of this book is t
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Tyler
This installment from Joel Greenblatt, now almost fifteen years old, is still a relevant and worthwhile read for aspiring do-it-yourself investors. The book expounds upon the value investing principles, first laid out in the books of Benjamin Graham and practiced by the likes of Warren Buffet, in both an accessible and entertaining way. This is not a wonk’s theory-heavy tome. It is a book that attempts to cut through the obfuscating jargon of the investing world, and to move straight to the hear ...more
David Bruns
For starters, whoever convinced the author to go with You Can Be a Stock Market Genius: Uncover the Secret Hiding Places of Stock Market Profits as the book title needs to be fired.

This is not a book for beginners, but it starts out with a light, airy story-telling aspect that makes one think we are betting at the $5 blackjack table. We're not - Mr Greenblatt discusses some stock market trades that - if done carelessly - could lose alot of money.

Let me be fair: he does make that point as well a
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Shishir
An awesome book for people trying to make their mark on the stock market. Joel Greenblatt explains in a very simple manner the complexities of investing in stock market.

The book does not answer the "how" part of investing, it does not talk about the mechanisms of the stock market. Rather, it caters to a more fundamental question: the 'when' and 'where' to invest. The author, from his experience, has highlighted extraordinary events like spin-offs, mergers, restructurings etc where people can ma
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Bryce
This is actually the first book I read in the "value investor" genre, before Ben Graham (The Intelligent Investor), and before anything Buffett-related. Despite the cheesy title, this book actually set a template for a number of boutique hedge funds to invest, quite successfully, in the types of "special situations" that Greenblatt lays out in this book. Greenblatt is active in the NYC hedge fund community, and teaches MBA classes for Columbia Business School's value investor curriculum.

The prem
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Matthew
Okay, so this book's title is so schleppy that the first thing I'm doing is un-checking all the update feed boxes at the bottom so that my friends who aren't markets-type folks don't unfriend me. Having said that -- Joel Greenblatt's sense of humor is great, he's completely self-aware, and I came from an all boy's high school where that sort of thing is funny.

This book basically discusses a few special situations in which the odds are structurally set in favor of the small-scale investor who is
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David
I really enjoyed this book. Like the book proclaims; it provides insightful advice where other investment book would otherwise shy away from. Personally, it has opened up several areas of opportunity where I would otherwise have never second guessed.

Pros:
Relatively easy read
Summarizes all the chapters
Unique insight
Case Studies

Cons:
Needs more evidence/support
Neglects other methods of investing/trading
Akshay
Case studies of special situations that are less covered by investors and can yield results with minimal work
Spin-offs, mergers, bankruptcy, restructuring, rights offerings, risk arbitrage, merger securities, recaps
Reads a lot like Peter Lynch in that the theme is anyone can come up with these ideas with a little work (also references Buffett several times)
A lot of these securities were unique and no one taught him about them before - he just learned them for the first time by reading the do
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Clement Ting
The ideas are simple to understand. No rocket science here. Almost as though Joel was trying to teach primary school kids on how to earn some extra cash through stocks. However, do not take his words as a biblical practice. The book was written more than a decade back so you will still need to do your own homework if you really want to outperform the market.
Frederic Kerr
Don't be turned off by the hokey title. This is a readable, entertaining guide to investing in spinoffs, turnarounds and special situations. Joel Greenblatt runs a successful hedge fund and knows his stuff. For intermediate investors.
James
This is a pretty good "how to" book on fancy investment instruments. It should be read as a sequel to Andrew Tobia's "The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need", since Tobias doesn't cover the instruments in Greenblatt's book. And every investor should know about these instruments, since by some reports these instruments are traded at 4 times to 5 times the volume of their underlying securities.

Greenblatt's examples and advice may be a little sketchy---given that the book and examples are more
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Andrew
This isn't really a framework for investing, he primarily discusses some of the trades that worked for him.

Telling anecdote he gives is an old joke about walking into a restaurant and asking the proprietor "is this dish good?" and the owner says, "no it's terrible,"

The point is that if you get into the right area of investing, the menu of things to choose from should be attractive.

Where this book struggles is that it strongly advocates investing in spinoffs and that the trades it describes occ
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Julian Bu
enough said about the title. it should be called "don't try this at home". I suppose the special situations investing strategies are best practiced by the professionals.
Todd Fonseca
A very different book at how to look at the stock market along with excellent examples to drive home the different opportunities, their risks and potential.
Ruben
The title is misleading. Great book to learn about how to research and invest in special situations.

Note to myself: re-read it.
Wes Devauld
The book details some strategies for investing. It goes over situations that are likely to create value for an investor, as well as giving up the reasoning behind the deals and why they will work out.

I found the strategies in the book to be well well detailed, my reservations against a higher rating are that the writing style is overly casual for an investing book, and the author never goes into other important factors in investing/trading like money management and controlling risk. They are men
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Pyoungsung Choi
기업의 특수 상황 도래시의 투자에 대한 좋은 지침서이다. 합병이나 분할 등의 특수 상황 발생시에 어떤 점을 참고하여 투자하면 좋은지 초보자들도 쉽게 이해할 수 있게 실제 저자의 투자사례를 곁들여 놓았다. 하지만 국내에서는 이런 사례를 흔하게 볼 수 있는 것이 아니기 때문에 이해하고 내면화하는 데에는 시간이 걸릴 듯 하다.
Philip Scuderi
This is the best book I've been able to find on event-driven investing. Greenblatt addresses mergers, spinoffs, recapitalizations, etc. What's more, he explains to the reader why these situations create so much opportunity. For example, spinoffs can divest a company's interest in a relatively small business or a business that is unrelated to their main business. Shareholders often unload the shares because they don't understand the smaller business or, for mutual funds, are forced sell due to th ...more
Rishi Singh
Good stuff in this book and this book led to an idea on how to trade the BP oil spill when it first happened, which turned out successful (with a bit of luck).

The biggest takeaway from this book that I remember can be summarized like this (not in Joel's words):

Option models tend to price in lognormal distributions but there are moments when an option is more like a binary event or a significantly skewed distribution (like BP being priced to bankruptcy or surviving). When you have a difference in
...more
Vikas Kukreja
Its a book for seasoned investors and wont be of help much to novice. I liked it for the sole reason for introducing special situations with clarity, facts and examples. Anyone who wants to learn investing in special situations and which ones are better than others, needs to go through this gem of a book. The best part abt this book is author's explaination on why some situations are more worthy to invest simply coz system works in such way. Its a great book and a must read for investors to expa ...more
Keith
A solid book with some good ideas, light-hearted writing. Definitely seemed dated though.
Josh Webb
An excellent guide to peculiar cases of value investing. You don't see spin-offs, and opportunities for merger securities all that often, but when they do happen, you can potentially profit big. Towards the end of this book Greenblatt gets a little overly technical with recapitalization and stub stocks, but those are complex topics to begin with. Overall I would stay out of the stock market because the Federal Reserve is injecting lethal doses of liquidity into the markets, but during it's time ...more
Ryan Ellis
I believe a reader must possess a little more knowledge than the title suggests. Although the book was written a few years ago, the information contained is still quite relevant. Anyone who is planning on playing the stock market alone should read a book like this one. It contains some great techniques as well as profitable events to look out for. Of course the stock market cannot be fail safe but the information contained in this book will help move the odds closer to being in your favor.
Douglas O'laughlin
The best special situations book of all time. Approachable and readable, greenblatt proves why he's an investing guru.
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Joel Greenblatt is an American hedge fund manager and founder of Gotham Capital. He is also an academic and a writer. He is also an adjunct professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business. He is the former chairman of the board of Alliant Techsystems and founder of the New York Securities Auction Corporation.
More about Joel Greenblatt...
The Little Book That Beats the Market Fooling Some of the People All of the Time: A Long Short (and Now Complete) Story The Little Book That Still Beats the Market The Big Secret for the Small Investor: The Shortest Route to Long-Term Investment Success The Big Secret for the Small Investor: A New Route to Long-Term Investment Success

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