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

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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 accessible guide, he’s going 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 accessible guide, he’s going to show you how to do it, too. You’re about to discover investment opportunities that portfolio managers, business-school professors, and top investment experts regularly miss—uncharted areas where the individual investor has a huge advantage over the Wall Street wizards. Here is your personal treasure map to special situations in which big profits are possible, including: · Spin-offs · Restructurings · Merger Securities · Rights Offerings · Recapitalizations · Bankruptcies · Risk Arbitrage


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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 accessible guide, he’s going 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 accessible guide, he’s going to show you how to do it, too. You’re about to discover investment opportunities that portfolio managers, business-school professors, and top investment experts regularly miss—uncharted areas where the individual investor has a huge advantage over the Wall Street wizards. Here is your personal treasure map to special situations in which big profits are possible, including: · Spin-offs · Restructurings · Merger Securities · Rights Offerings · Recapitalizations · Bankruptcies · Risk Arbitrage

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

  1. 4 out of 5

    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 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 situations where an undervaluation is most likely to be found - spinoffs, any financial instrument other than common stock that is given as consideration in a merger, post-bankruptcy common stock of good companies, restructurings, recapitalizations, and call options. Greenblatt, towards the end of the book, lists other books that give good investment advice, books that teach you how to read a financial statement, and which publications to review for financial news and investment ideas. All in all, a good read. Now I'm going to see if any of the advice works.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Russ

    Unfortunately dated. It probably gave some great "secret" advice when first released but now hedge funds and mutual funds have been designed around his ideas. He describes opportunities mostly in special opportunities including: 1) spinoffs, 2) arbitrage, 3) bankruptcy and restructuring, 4) recapitalizations. Maybe once this stock market cycle has run its course, the book will be relevant again. Unfortunately dated. It probably gave some great "secret" advice when first released but now hedge funds and mutual funds have been designed around his ideas. He describes opportunities mostly in special opportunities including: 1) spinoffs, 2) arbitrage, 3) bankruptcy and restructuring, 4) recapitalizations. Maybe once this stock market cycle has run its course, the book will be relevant again.

  3. 5 out of 5

    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 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 interested in markets. The best part of this book are the case studies that illustrate everything that the author has to say. Also, where the author suggests working on the financials yourselves and says, 'You must be paid for your hard work and not only for the risk that you take.' The humour sprinkled around in the book is quite enjoyable (esp. the bit about Pythagoras theorem). Sadly, one doubts whether in the Indian context, the filings/proforma statements make as much sense, are as reliable and reveal as many details as they do in US. Still, I'd be on the hunt for some of the special situations mentioned here.

  4. 5 out of 5

    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 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 potentially neglected corners of the market. Also many investing books are written by financial journalists or people without a great track record themselves. However this book like a couple of others (for example those written by Peter Lynch and Howard Marks) is written by one of the most successful investors in the world so the information contained in the book can be considered very credible. Joel Greenblatt is a giant of the investment world and his investment track record speaks volumes about his skill as an investor. To me this makes an investment book more compelling as the the knowledge is first hand and there is real wisdom in the writing. A must read for all investors. One star taken off for writing style and lots of repetition (sometimes unnecessarily). The content though, regardless of this, is first class and this book deserves to be read. Loved it!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Iliya Polihronov

    I love Joel's writings. They're simple, well explained, funny, relevant, and very well thought out. This book is a bible for dealing with special situations. I have not seen anything that comes even close to making so much sense and offering this amount of opportunity for vicarious learning in the area. I love Joel's writings. They're simple, well explained, funny, relevant, and very well thought out. This book is a bible for dealing with special situations. I have not seen anything that comes even close to making so much sense and offering this amount of opportunity for vicarious learning in the area.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Yousif Al Zeera

    The book provides extensive and interesting examples of opportunities that can be exploited in spinoffs, takeovers, mergers, corporate restructurings, right offerings, and, to your disbelief, bankruptcies. In other words, "special situations". The book may be suitable more to those with finance and/or investment backgrounds but some experience in the stock market may be enough. The author has other books that are easier for the nonspecialists. Published in 1997 so the examples will not be too rece The book provides extensive and interesting examples of opportunities that can be exploited in spinoffs, takeovers, mergers, corporate restructurings, right offerings, and, to your disbelief, bankruptcies. In other words, "special situations". The book may be suitable more to those with finance and/or investment backgrounds but some experience in the stock market may be enough. The author has other books that are easier for the nonspecialists. Published in 1997 so the examples will not be too recent but mostly still relevant and applicable.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ardon Pillay

    A excellent exploration of some unique investment opportunities, and some ways to help you determine how far off the market’s pricing of a stock is. I really enjoyed the writing style, it made reading about some relatively complex topics painless and even fun. It’s certainly made me more keen to develop a greater understanding of how markets work.

  8. 4 out of 5

    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 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 the limits of their prospectus (limited region, market cap, etc.)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Charlie Mcdonald

    Agree with Tim Ferriss - this is a stupid book title but the book itself is very good. It lays out how to find opportunities where nobody else is looking by taking advantage of your own research and seller psychology in a very straight forward and easy to digest way. I honestly would never to think of investing in any of the areas Greenblatt suggest before this, but now I have a new lens to evaluate profitable opportunities.

  10. 5 out of 5

    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.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Penny Luo

    Greenblatt introduces readers to the world of investing in special situations. He usually introduces the theories, give several case studies and then provides a summary. Very easy to read, great sense of humor. Highly recommend for those new in investments.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ksenia

    Have you read "The Big Short"? I got the reference for this book from it, yet never got a chance to sit down and actually read it. My main concern about the book was that it was published to long ago, before the crisis, before the modern stock exchange rules and terminologies. Still, I decided to give it a try. It was absolutely worth it. The book is not selling you some mambo-jumbo crap on how to get rich in a minute, it provides you with the way of thinking. An easy read (if you are familiar Have you read "The Big Short"? I got the reference for this book from it, yet never got a chance to sit down and actually read it. My main concern about the book was that it was published to long ago, before the crisis, before the modern stock exchange rules and terminologies. Still, I decided to give it a try. It was absolutely worth it. The book is not selling you some mambo-jumbo crap on how to get rich in a minute, it provides you with the way of thinking. An easy read (if you are familiar with basic financial concepts) with a lot of humor and real life stories. This book literally made me laugh on numerous occasions and that made the reading even simpler and that much more enjoyable. Highly recommended. Grain of salt - I never played "The Game" so can't verify how effective it is.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    Perfect book for beginning enterprising investors. Same goes for advanced investors wishing to find several motivated seller situations. Very well written: concise, full of wisdom and explaining/summarising motivated seller situations and why. Joel followed Einstein's advice 'Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler'. Very powerful book! Perfect book for beginning enterprising investors. Same goes for advanced investors wishing to find several motivated seller situations. Very well written: concise, full of wisdom and explaining/summarising motivated seller situations and why. Joel followed Einstein's advice 'Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler'. Very powerful book!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Davy Hsu

    Practically a gateway drug(book) to special situation investing. Witty writing style with real life (albeit old) cases make it so much more enjoyable. Even though I wish there were more details on the research process, I fully understand the author's intention to merely spark interest. The resources page is definitely worth bookmarking. Practically a gateway drug(book) to special situation investing. Witty writing style with real life (albeit old) cases make it so much more enjoyable. Even though I wish there were more details on the research process, I fully understand the author's intention to merely spark interest. The resources page is definitely worth bookmarking.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Chiso

    There a a few books, you'd wish you read earlier. This is one of those. There a a few books, you'd wish you read earlier. This is one of those.

  16. 4 out of 5

    InvestingByTheBooks.com

    With this his first book, superstar investor Joel Greenblatt tried to bring the process that gave him his early success to the general public. Even though the author is broad within his niche - special situations - the area in itself is specialized and also highly labor intensive making the venture doomed to failure. Instead the book became an instant classic among hedge fund managers. The basic premise of the book is that it pays off to search for areas where there is a high probability of findi With this his first book, superstar investor Joel Greenblatt tried to bring the process that gave him his early success to the general public. Even though the author is broad within his niche - special situations - the area in itself is specialized and also highly labor intensive making the venture doomed to failure. Instead the book became an instant classic among hedge fund managers. The basic premise of the book is that it pays off to search for areas where there is a high probability of finding undervalued equities. In contrasts to many other ventures, when it comes to investments you have the possibility to choose your battles and even your playing fields. No one will punish you for not doing something, only for doing stupid things. Therefore you can specialize in a specific type of investing. If there are no immediate opportunities in the chosen area you can always keep money in cash. So how do you find corners of the market where the competition is lower? The underlying theme in Greenblatt’s hunt is change, in the form of spin-off’s, mergers, restructurings, rights offerings, liquidations, asset sales, distributions etc. “Essentially, it all boils down to a simple two step process. First identify where you think the treasure [...] lies. Secondly, after you’ve identified the spot (preferably marked by a big red X), then, and only then, start digging. No sense (and no fun) digging up the whole neighborhood”. The author dedicates chapters to several types of special situations such as merger securities, corporate restructurings and others. Spin-offs for example, have had a massive outperformance over the three years that follows the separation. The spun-off company’s shares are often sold regardless their merits either as the original investor was interested in the mother company in the first place or because the new company is too small. Combined with the fact that the management gets a real boost from being liberated from the old corporate overhead, this opens up for outsized returns. However, the investor should wait for the selling to ebb out before making his purchases. Which spin-offs offer the best value? Greenblatt advices to let insider buying be the judge of which spin-off’s to invest in. There will in general be very little possible downside to a stock coming out of bankruptcy. After a bankruptcy the old equity holders will be wiped out and the old debt will have been turned to a combination of new debt and new equity. Hence the equity holders are the old bondholders. As they in most of the cases are fixed income investors the shares will be sold regardless of their merits which will make them cheap. Corporate information from the bankruptcy proceedings is available, most investors will be traumatized from previous ownership and the sell side doesn’t want to touch the stock. The author further advises to seek the good businesses that can deleverage. There are only a very few books written on special situations investing making the book relatively unique. Despite the slightly esoteric area there is no doubt that Greenblatt is a devoted value investor seeking margins of safety, seeing risk as “permanent loss of capital” etc. He argues for deep research and focusing on the best ideas instead of broad diversification. Over time the portfolio will have many positions and it will have diversified over time instead of at any given time. “It’s better to do a lot ofwork on one idea than to do some work on a lot of ideas”. The book is written in a breezy easy-going style of writing that might fool you into doubting the quality of its advice. This would be a serious mistake. The logic is explained and there are some examples but – to bring up a negative - practical details are in rather short supply. To succeed is probably two parts being at the right place at the right time and only one part perseverance, skill and intelligence. However, to navigate to the right place at the right time is a rare and underappreciated competence in itself.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jack Alexander

    Marvelous. I wouldn't recommend that anyone else read this book (lest they steal the fun, new investing strategies that I stole). Marvelous. I wouldn't recommend that anyone else read this book (lest they steal the fun, new investing strategies that I stole).

  18. 5 out of 5

    Gregory

    If you are a committed index investor (like I am) then you may want to pass on this book. However, if you are willing to experiment and take some risks with active strategies, the methods in this book are a great place to start.

  19. 5 out of 5

    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 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 make easy money. This is mainly because all the shareholders fell bearish at such an event and the securities are available at a discounted price due to heavy selling. The author also explains the key information one must look for when deciding whether to invest or not, like the level of debt being transferred, insider/management ownership etc. Identifying where to invest becomes very easy with this approach. But knowing when to get out of the trade remains to astonish much of the investor community. The author, with the descriptions of his trades, has outlined a framework for this task. Undoubtingly, this book should be on the shelves of each and every stock market whiz.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ian Cassel

    Originally published in 1997, 1CYou Can Be A Stock Market Genius 1D remains popular today and is enthusiastically endorsed in a number of reviews on the internet. The author, Joel Greenblatt, ran hedge fund Gotham Capital racking up a 50% average annual return over a 10 year period spanning the mid 80 19s to the mid 90 19s. 1CYou Can Be A Stock Market Genius 1D reveals how he did it and suggests that a motivated individual could do it too, even if he wasn 19t all that smart. Mr. Greenblatt has s Originally published in 1997, 1CYou Can Be A Stock Market Genius 1D remains popular today and is enthusiastically endorsed in a number of reviews on the internet. The author, Joel Greenblatt, ran hedge fund Gotham Capital racking up a 50% average annual return over a 10 year period spanning the mid 80 19s to the mid 90 19s. 1CYou Can Be A Stock Market Genius 1D reveals how he did it and suggests that a motivated individual could do it too, even if he wasn 19t all that smart. Mr. Greenblatt has since acknowledged in subsequent books that these methods require more work than the average individual investor can muster. His two subsequent books 1CThe Little Book That Beats the Market 1D and 1CThe Big Secret for the Small Investor 1D suggest stock screening methods that outperform the market without much effort from the individual.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Endre Moen

    The book has the lamest title, and the first impression isnt good when the author starts the introduction with regurping Ben Graham's Intelligent investor. But from there on the book improves. It shows examples of special situations - which I have spendt a long time trying to learn from seasoned traders at chat-forums like Xtrainvestor.com. There are opportunitites like bankruptcy, IPO's , Spinoffs and mergers where the efficient market hypotesis clearly is invalid - and Mr. Market rules. “What c The book has the lamest title, and the first impression isnt good when the author starts the introduction with regurping Ben Graham's Intelligent investor. But from there on the book improves. It shows examples of special situations - which I have spendt a long time trying to learn from seasoned traders at chat-forums like Xtrainvestor.com. There are opportunitites like bankruptcy, IPO's , Spinoffs and mergers where the efficient market hypotesis clearly is invalid - and Mr. Market rules. “What could be more advantageous in an intellectual contest – whether it be bridge, chess, or stock selection than to have opponents who have been taught that thinking is a waste of energy?” –Warren Buffett, 1985 Berkshire Hathaway Letter to Shareholders

  22. 5 out of 5

    Brian Nwokedi

    Overall, a very well written and straight forward book on investing. This book has opened up a whole new area of investment that was unknown to me. And while I might fail at implementing some of these strategies, I am very excited to at least start the process of trying to uncover some hidden opportunities. Joel Greenblatt gives you a disciplined approach to seeking out bargains that ultimately seems to pay off. With a bit of time and effort, the average investor can gain from the strategies in t Overall, a very well written and straight forward book on investing. This book has opened up a whole new area of investment that was unknown to me. And while I might fail at implementing some of these strategies, I am very excited to at least start the process of trying to uncover some hidden opportunities. Joel Greenblatt gives you a disciplined approach to seeking out bargains that ultimately seems to pay off. With a bit of time and effort, the average investor can gain from the strategies in this book... Now it's time for me to go ahead and try!

  23. 5 out of 5

    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

  24. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    One of the best investing books I have read and will be sure to recommend to others. While having many years of investing experience already this book looks at special situations like companies involved in spinoffs, mergers, coming out of bankruptcy, restructuring, LEAPS. All areas are not ones I have paid close attention to but now feel prepared to investigate for future opportunities. A great tool and service for any investor to have in their repertoire.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jake Roese

    If event driven investing turns your gears this is the book for you. LEAPs, warrants, spin-offs, mergers, bankruptcy, and stub stocks are all covered, presenting the reader with a cornucopia of obscure investment ideas. Greenblatt is a genius and funny to boot. Learn to make a fortune and read this book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Varun Rajwade

    Dont get put-off by the cheesy and shady title - YCBaSMG is a superb book that focusses on special situations that arise from time to time in the markets and how a smart (and hard-working) investor can profit tremendously from these situations. The book does a really good job of showcasing these situations. Not too hard to read either (well except a few chapters)!!

  27. 4 out of 5

    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. 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.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brian Moyer

    Several great investing ideas relating to special corporate situations. Not for the average investor. If you had enough money and wanted to quit your day job and do lots of reading and research this would be a great strategy.

  29. 5 out of 5

    J

    Easily one of the top 3 worst titles I've ever seen for a book; easily one of the top 3 books on investing I've ever read. Easily one of the top 3 worst titles I've ever seen for a book; easily one of the top 3 books on investing I've ever read.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Matt Iong

    This is the investment book I wished I had read 10 years ago and would have read it 10x already by now. But better late than never

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