The Real Trick Behind Greenblatt's "Magic" Formula

Hedge fund guru Joel Greenblatt has produced remarkable returns over the long haul using what he calls his Magic Formula. But in his latest column for, Validea CEO John Reese says there is much more to Greenblatt’s approach than magic.

“While the remarkably simple strategy includes just two variables, Greenblatt — much like the magician who pulls a rabbit from his hat — possesses no real magical powers,” Reese writes. “Instead, his success, too, is the product of hard work, an understanding of human nature, and lots and lots of discipline.”

Reese talks about how Greenblatt’s strategy works, and how the Guru Strategy he bases on Greenblatt’s approach has fared. He also talks about just how important a good mental approach is when using such a strategy, which often targets unloved, beaten-down stocks. Reese offers five picks from his Greenblatt inspired model. Among them: much-maligned Herbalife.