Magic Formula Investing

DEFINITION of 'Magic Formula Investing'

A money-making strategy that teaches investors a common-sense method for value investing in the stock market that is designed to beat the market's average annual returns. The Magic Formula strategy is described in the best-selling book "The Little Book That Beats The Market" (1980) by investor and Wharton graduate, Joel Greenblatt.

BREAKING DOWN 'Magic Formula Investing'

Investors can use Greenblatt's online stock screener tool to select 20 to 30 top-ranked companies, based on their earnings yield and return on capital, in which to invest. These will all be large companies, and no financial companies, utility companies or non-U.S. companies will be included.





Investors sell the losing stocks before they have held them for one year to take advantage of the income tax provision that allows investors to use losses to offset their gains. They sell the winning stocks after the one-year mark, in order to take advantage of reduced income tax rates on long-term capital gains. Then they start the process all over again.