April 5, 2019

In an exclusive interview, great value investor Joel Greenblatt reveals his two secrets to investment success.

WEALTHTRACK Episode #1542; Originally Broadcast on April 05, 2019

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Legendary value investor Joel Greenblatt and his longtime investment partner Robert Goldstein have a superb long-term track record as hedge fund managers but discovered that many of their investors couldn’t tolerate the volatility that came with it.  They set out to find a strategy that not only makes sense but is also one that investors can live with.
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Consuelo Mack

We have an exclusive interview with great value investor and financial thought leader Joel Greenblatt this week. He is living proof that active management can still work really well.

Greenblatt is Managing Principal and Co-Chief Investment Officer of Gotham Asset Management which he founded in 2009 and where he co-manages hedge funds and several hedge fund-like mutual funds utilizing long/short strategies. His early claim to investment fame was at his predecessor firm, Gotham Capital where he co-managed an extremely concentrated hedge fund with 34% annualized returns over ten years before he closed it to outside investors because he realized its volatility was too difficult for even sophisticated investors to handle.

His behavioral insight that the best investment strategy is one that both makes sense and that you can stick with led to the creation of the Gotham Index Plus fund in 2015. Index Plus combines index investing tied to the S&P 500 with actively managed long/short strategies where the fund owns, goes long the S&P stocks selling at the biggest discount to Gotham’s estimate of their value, recently 262 of them, and sells short the companies Gotham estimates are trading at the greatest premium, recently 236 names.  Gotham Index Plus has beaten the market and its sizableMorningstar Large Cap Blend category by wide margins since inception.

The proposition that active management still works can be made on a case by case basis in the highly competitive stock mutual fund business, but it doesn’t hold up in general.  Morningstar’s latest Active/Passive Barometer report found that just 38% of active U.S. stock funds survived and outperformed their average passive peers in 2018, down from 46% in 2017.  Active value funds saw the biggest decline, with only 26% beating the passive value competition. The longer term record is even worse. Only 24% of all active funds topped their average passive rival over the 10-year period ending December 2018.

In Greenblatt’s opinion: the investment flows to passive will continue, but there is a silver lining to this trend, which he will explain.

In this week’s exclusive EXTRA feature, Greenblatt discusses why he is dedicated to disrupting  the public school system in New York City with charter schools so children from low income families can achieve at the same level as wealthier children.

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Thank you for watching.  Have a great weekend and make the week ahead a profitable and a productive one.

Best regards,

Mathews Asia


  • Short-term oriented world
  • Investors under pressure to fire underperforming funds and hire outperforming funds
  • Most investment managers and firms don’t have patience, ability or desire to stick with long-term strategy


The Little Book That Still Beats the Market


The Big Secret for the Small Investor: A New Route to Long-Term Investment Success


Astroball: The New Way to Win It All



  • Underperformed for a long time
  • Relative bargain to the S&P 500
  • Good long-term play

No stock mentions in this episode.
This transcript is available here. More information regarding WEALTHTRACK transcripts can be found here

Joel Greenblatt from the WEALTHTRACK Archives:

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Great value investor, Joel Greenblatt has been a major supporter of the Success Academy charter schools in New York City for years. He is on a mission to disrupt the public school system in New York City.

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