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The Hulbert Financial Digest NEWSLETTERS PROFILED IN THIS ISSUE: February 2016

Volume 36, Issue 6


Bob Brinkers Marketimer
Investment Reporter
Written and edited
Louis Navelliers Emerging Growth by Mark Hulbert

ASK MARK HFD EXCLUSIVE

How can I track an advisers


performance in the absence Lessons learned over the last 36 years
of services such as the
HFDs? As this is the last issue of the HFD (see notice
My first suggestion is to track, below), I am devoting this issues lead article
on your own, any adviser to summarizing the timeless lessons that have
youre interested in following. emerged from the 36 years the HFD has been
Just sign up for a several- tracking the investment advisers. I am confi-
month trial subscription to dent that, even if the HFD were to continue
his service and paper-trade publishing for another 36 years, these lessons
his recommendations over would remain just as true.
that trial period. Pay close
attention to not just whether Lesson #1
your overall numbers match The first, and perhaps most important, lesson
his, but also such details as to draw from the HFDs database is that it is
whether the execution price very difficult to beat the market over the long The depressing evidence is summarized in
you obtain for your paper term. Not just very difficult, but extremely so. the page-two chart: Fewer than 10% of advis-
trades are close to what he I am hardly the first to draw this lesson, of ers for which the HFD has continuous data
reports. Discrepancies are a course. Nor is this issue of the HFD the first beat the stock market over the entire period
red flag, to say the least. time that I have drawn it for you. So you may from mid-1980 through this past January 31.
If paper trading an be tempted to downplay this lessons signifi- To be sure, these results wouldnt have
advisers portfolio is too cance or even to overlook it altogether. But to be fatal, provided the advisers with great
cumbersome, there are still regardless of whether this lesson is boring or long-term records proceeded to beat the
some rules of thumb that can earth-shattering, it remains overwhelmingly market in subsequent years. But they also
be helpful. Here are a few of true. You overlook it at your peril. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

these rules:
Does the adviser maintain a The last issue of the HFD! goal of independently tracking investment
specific model portfoliowith advisers performances was downright revo-
numbers of shares or portfolio It is with much sadness that I report that this is lutionary. In todays world, in contrast, awash
percentages assigned to each the last and final issue of the HFD. In coming as it is in Big Data, it seems to be less needed.
holding? Other things being days you will receive an email from Dow Jones That, at least, is the judgment of the market.
equal, you should give more providing details of the refund youre owed The one subscription product that will
weight to the performance for the unused portion of your subscription. continue is to the Hulbert Sentiment Indices;
numbers claimed by such an If you have any questions please dont hesitate for more information on those indices email
adviser, since advice this pre- to contact us via email at orders@marketwatch. sentiment@hulbertratings.com. And I will
cise makes it more difficult for com or by calling 1-888-485-2378. continue to write columns for the Market-
an unscrupulous advertiser to Thank you for being part of the HFDs Watch website. So I am not going away!
fudge the numbers. remarkable 36-year journey. The world today In the meantime, thanks again and best of
CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 is a lot different than it was in 1980, when my luck in your investments!

The HFD is one of a suite of products based on a database containing 35 years worth of invest-
ment recommendations from retail-oriented investment advisers. A service of
2 HFD

ASK MARK Lessons learned over the last 36 years


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

I say this because I have found find it extremely difficult to beat the market. ren Buffett, the most successful investor alive
that outright lying about perfor- Though the pasts long-term winners have bet- today, did betterthough not by a lot: He beat
mance is relatively rare. Far more ter subsequent track records than the pasts a buy-and-hold over this period by an annual-
common is spinning the numbers long-term losers, even they struggle. ized average of 7.7 percentage points per year.
in a way that implies something Keep these numbers in mind the next
that is false but doesnt actually Lesson #2 time an adviser claims annual returns in the
outright lie. The second lesson: The reason to deviate hundreds of percent. Though its theoretically
Particularly worthy of paying from a long-term buy-and-hold is as much possible a far-better-than-Buffett genius has
attention to are advisers whose psychological as statistical. You may find that decided to share his stock picks with you, call
specific portfolios arent hypothet- you cant resist trying to beat the market, for me if youre inclined to subscribe to him: I
ical but real-worldand who offer example. If so, the psychologically realistic have a bridge I want to sell you too.
to share brokerage statements thing to do is indulge your compulsion with-
with interested clients. out risking your entire portfolio in the process. Lesson #4
A related rule of thumb is to be I recommend following the advice of the The last timeless lesson I want to leave you
skeptical of performance claims late Harry Browne, a well-regarded adviser with is that short term performance is mostly
that are based simply on the from the 1970s and 1980s. He recommended noise. That means, when choosing an adviser,
average return of a list of recom- dividing your investments into two portfolios. you should barely pay any attention to recent
mended positions. Thats because The first, which he called your Variable performance and focus instead on returns
it makes a big difference the order Portfolio, would be the one that you actively produced over many, many years.
in which those recommendations manage and in which you try to beat the mar- When using a model introduced by Brad-
were made. Its theoretically pos- ket. Only a small fraction of your investable ford Cornell of the California Institute of
sible that you could lose every- net worth should be invested in it, with the Technology, for example, I calculated that
thing by following stocks whose balance in a so-called Permanent Portfolio more than 90% of the annual fluctuations in
average return is quite impressive. that would be well diversified among index advisers returns was due to luck rather than
When the advisor makes per- funds benchmarked to various asset classes. skill. Cornell reached the same result when
formance claims, does he report focusing on large-cap equity mutual funds.
the precise period over which the Lesson #3 Hopefully it goes without saying that if you
performance was produced and The third lesson: The best you can hope for were to pick an adviser based on his luck, you
the assumptions used to calculate is beating the stock market by an annualized have done absolutely nothing to increase your
that performance? The vaguer the average of just a few percentage point. This is odds of success. Yet that is what youre doing
parameters, needless to say, the crucial since it defines the risks and rewards of when choosing an adviser based on how hes
less importance you should place trying to beat the market. You might conclude, done over the last few months or quarters.
on them. for example, that even though beat-
100% Investment newsletter performance from June 1980 through January 2016
If a performance claim seems ing the market over the long term
90%
too good to be true, it probably is. is not impossible, you might as well 80%
Im amazed by investors gull- not even trysince what you gain if 70%
ibility: Those who are incredibly you win is too small to justify the 60%
shrewd elsewhere in their lives risk of the bigger losses you will 50%

become surprisingly naive in the incur if youre wrong. 40%

face of advisers claiming sky-high Consider the letter at the top of 30%

returns. As the proverbs say, a the scoreboard for performance 20%

fool and his money will soon be since mid-1980: It beat a buy-and- 10%

parted. Dont let that sage wisdom hold by 3.7 percentage points per 0%
Beat market since mid-1980 Lagged market since mid-1980 Newsletter didn't survive but was Newsletter didn't survive but was
be referring to your behavior! year on an annualized basis. War- ahead of market at time coverage behind the market at time
came to an end coverage came to an end
HFD 3

Hulbert NASDAQ Newsletter Sentiment Index

Two months ago in this space I warned 5,400 100%


that stock market sentiment was unfa-
vorable, at levels that in the past had 5,200 80%

spelled at least short-term trouble for


60%
the stock market. As we know now, 5,000
of course, we got a lot more than just 40%
short-term trouble! 4,800

Contrarians were not surprised by the 20%


ferocity of the decline earlier this year. 4,600
0%
Throughout January and early February,
the stock market timing community 4,400
-20%
stubbornly refused to become even as
4,200
bearish as they had been at the depths -40%
of last summers correction. Only as NASDAQ Composite (Left axis)
4,000
this issue of the HFD goes to press HNNSI (Right axis)
-60%

(February 9) does it appear as though


3,800 -80%
those stock market timers are finally 12/31/14 02/28/15 04/30/15 06/30/15 08/31/15 10/31/15 12/31/15
throwing in the towel.
Consider the average recommended much longer, and take the market that Newsletter Sentiment Index (HGNSI)
stock market exposure level among a much higher. stands at plus 40.0%, after having gotten
subset of short-term equity market tim- One virtue of contrarian analysis is as low as minus 23.3% in early January.
ers monitored by the Hulbert Financial that there is no need to predict which On average, the HGNSI over the last
Digest (HFD) who focus on the NAS- of these two outcomes is most likely to 12 months was minus 7.3%.
DAQ market in particular (as measured come to pass. Instead, we can sit back
by the Hulbert NASDAQ Newsletter and watch the sentiment story unfold in Two months ago in this space I
Sentiment Index, or HNNSI). This real timeand react accordingly. warned that stock market senti-
index currently stands at minus 68.8%. Of course, the usual qualifications ap- ment was unfavorable, at levels
Thats now lower even than the minus ply: Contrarian analysis doesnt always that in the past had spelled at
50.0% to which the HNNSI fell at the work, and even when it does it applies least short-term trouble for the
bottom of this past summers correc- only to the short-term (up to three or so stock market. As we know now, of
tion. Contrarians would therefore not months into the future). So even if its course, we got a lot more than just
be surprised by a rally of at least similar current optimism is on target, it doesnt short-term trouble!
magnitude to what the market produced mean the stock market couldnt be
in September and October. markedly lower, say, a year from now. BondsThe Hulbert Bond Newslet-
It will be crucial to see how the stock ter Sentiment Index (HBNSI) stands at
market timing community reacts when Summary of other Hulbert plus 15.9%, after having gotten as high
the stock market finally does mount a sentiment indices as plus 32.4% in mid January and as low
strong rally. It would be a bad sign if General stock marketThe Hulbert as minus 8.8% in early December. Its
they quickly jump back on the bullish Stock Newsletter Sentiment Index 12-month average is plus 9.9%.
bandwagonin which case contrarians (HSNSI) stands at minus 31.4%, after
would forecast an earlier end to the having gotten as low as minus 32.1% in If you dont want to wait until subsequent HFD
issues for sentiment updates, you can sub-
rally. But if the market timers remain mid-January and as high as plus 65.7% scribe to daily or weekly email updates. The
mostly bearish during the early phases in early December. On average, the cost depends on the frequency of updates and
of the rally, then it would suggest that HSNSI over the last 12 months was how many of the HFDs four sentiment indexes
the so-called Wall of Worry is quite plus 31.7%. you desire. For more information, send an
email to: sentiment@hulbertratings.com
strongand that the rally could last that Gold marketThe Hulbert Gold
4 HFD
N E W S L E T T E R A N A LY S I S

Bob Brinkers Marketimer

MARKS COMMENTARY:
$10,000,000
Wilshire 5000 Total Market Index
Represented by vertical bars
Bob Brinkers newsletter is primarily (Series shifted so that the index
equals $100,000 at the point the HFD
intended to help mutual fund investors began following newsletter)

time the domestic and international $1,000,000

stock and bond markets as well as select


individual funds. His approach involves
a combination of both technical and
fundamental analysis. $100,000

Brinker maintains three model port-


Bob Brinker's Marketimer
folios. He also recommends two addi- 1980 results reflect last 6
months of the
(Average of portfolios)
Represented by line
tional portfolios, one for fixed-income year only
$10,000
investors and another that utilizes index 6/80 6/81 6/82 6/83 6/84 6/85 6/86 6/87 6/88 6/89 6/90 6/91 6/92 6/93 6/94 6/95 6/96 6/97 6/98 6/99 6/00 6/01 6/02 6/03 6/04 6/05 6/06 6/07 6/08 6/09 6/10 6/11 6/12 6/13 6/14 6/15

funds, neither of which he considers a *


model portfolio for tracking purposes. PERFORMANCE (THROUGH 1/31/16)
Even though the HFD calculates indi- Lifetime* 1 yr 3 yrs 5 yrs 8 yrs 10 yrs 15 yrs
% GAIN/LOSS**
vidual track records for these two addi- Letters Average +1219.4( 9.3) -3.3 +22.7(7.1) +42.9(7.4) +59.5(6.0) +80.1(6.1) +180.9( 7.1)
tional portfolios, their performances are Wilshire 5000 +1402.4( 9.8) -2.1 +35.4(10.6) +63.7(10.4) +68.0(6.7) +86.3(6.4) +106.2( 4.9)
not included in what the HFD calculates ADJUSTED FOR RISK***

Letters Average +0.15 -0.07 +0.23 +0.21 +0.13 +0.12 +0.15


to be the newsletters average.
Wilshire 5000 +0.14 -0.03 +0.28 +0.25 +0.13 +0.12 +0.09
Calculated in this way, Brinkers port- *Over entire period tracked by HFD. **Annualized equivalents are shown in parentheses.
folio average, as of January 31, 2016, is ***Average monthly % performance per unit of risk. The higher the number, the better.

ranked in 7th place over the last 25 years


PORTFOLIO ANALYSIS1/31/16 (AVERAGE OF ALL PORTFOLIOS)
(among the 38 newsletters the HFD
Composition: Long: 100%
tracked over this period). On a risk-
Number Of Securities Held: 4
adjusted basis, the newsletters rank over Avg. Holding Period of Current Positions: 2,133 days
this 25-year period jumps to second. Volatility vs Wilshire last 12 Months: 18% less
Over entire period followed: 16% less
Long Term Market Timer Largest 12-Month Loss: -36.4% (vs. -43.3% for Wilshire)
Though Brinker is a stock market
Robert J. Brinker Subscription: $185/year
timer, he typically focuses on longer- 10789 Bradford Rd., Suite 210 Frequency: Monthly
Littleton, CO 80127 Hotline? Yes
term trends rather than on shorter-term 303-660-8686 Manages money? No
gyrations. Over the 29+ years that the www.bobbrinker.com Investment focus: Mutual funds
help@marketimer.com HFD data since: 12/31/1986
HFD has tracked his newsletter, for
example, only twice has he deviated
from being fully invested. The first was mutual funds on average have not Brinkers bear market bet on QQQ
after the 1987 crash, a move that ended beaten the market. For example, his Please note: In late 2000, Brinker fore-
up costing his portfolios. His second Aggressive portfolio would have casted a several-month bear market rally
deviation, a profitable one, lasted from performed 0.7 of a percentage point and recommended an investment in
January 2000 until March 2003. Despite per year better since year-end 1986 if, the NASDAQ 100 Indexa trade that
this mixed market timing record, these instead of investing in the particular turned out quite unprofitably. However,
deviations from being fully invested actively-managed mutual funds that because Brinker at the time of making
have, on balance, ended up helping his Brinker actually recommended, it had this forecast chose not to make this trade
performance. instead invested the same amounts in a part of his model portfolios, his HFD
In contrast, Brinkers recommended stock market index fund. record did not suffer as a result.
HFD 5
N E W S L E T T E R A N A LY S I S

The Investment Reporter

MARKS COMMENTARY:
$10,000,000
Wilshire 5000 Total Market Index
Represented by vertical bars
The Investment Reporter has been (Series shifted so that the index
equals $100,000 at the point the HFD
published continuously since 1941, began following newsletter)

making it one of the oldest investment $1,000,000

newsletters in North America.


Each weekly issue examines a group
of stocks in depth and provides overall
market commentary. Beginning in mid- $100,000

1991 it also began to provide regular ad- The Investment Reporter


1980 results reflect last 6
vice on U.S. companies. Its investment months of the
(Average of portfolios)
Represented by line
year only
approach is primarily fundamental, $10,000
and it takes a relatively long-term view 6/80 6/81 6/82 6/83 6/84 6/85 6/86 6/87 6/88 6/89 6/90 6/91 6/92 6/93 6/94 6/95 6/96 6/97 6/98 6/99 6/00 6/01 6/02 6/03 6/04 6/05 6/06 6/07 6/08 6/09 6/10 6/11 6/12 6/13 6/14 6/15

of investing. *
The HFDs performance calculations PERFORMANCE (THROUGH 1/31/16)
for The Investment Reporter are based Lifetime* 1 yr 3 yrs 5 yrs 8 yrs 10 yrs 15 yrs
% GAIN/LOSS**
primarily on the stock recommenda- Letters Average +3586.2( 11.9) +1.8 +18.3(5.8) +59.2(9.7) +77.1(7.4) +118.5( 8.1) +372.5(10.9)
tions that appear in a monthly supple- Wilshire 5000 +2282.6( 10.4) -2.1 +35.4(10.6) +63.7(10.4) +68.0(6.7) +86.3(6.4) +106.2( 4.9)
ment entitled The Investment Planning ADJUSTED FOR RISK***

Letters Average +0.15 +0.06 +0.15 +0.21 +0.13 +0.13 +0.17


Guide. This monthly supplement
Wilshire 5000 +0.14 -0.03 +0.28 +0.25 +0.13 +0.12 +0.09
recommends Canadian stocks in five *Over entire period tracked by HFD. **Annualized equivalents are shown in parentheses.
different risk categories (ranging from ***Average monthly % performance per unit of risk. The higher the number, the better.

Very Conservative to Speculative)


PORTFOLIO ANALYSIS1/31/16 (AVERAGE OF ALL PORTFOLIOS)
and U.S. stocks in the same five catego-
Composition: Long: 100%
ries. The makeup of these categories
Number Of Securities Held: 9
changes very rarelyas evidenced by Avg. Holding Period of Current Positions: 1,878 days
their 1,878-day average holding period Volatility vs Wilshire last 12 Months: 1% more
(see table to the right). Thats over five Over entire period followed: 11% more
years, on average. Largest 12-Month Loss: -50.9% (vs. -43.3% for Wilshire)
The Investment Reporter does not
Marc Johnson Subscription: $337/year
recommend a specific stocks-versus- 133 Richmond St. West Frequency: Weekly
cash division of its portfolios, so the Toronto Canada M5H 3M8 Hotline? Yes
416-869-1177 Manages money? No
HFD constructs a portfolio for each www.investmentreporter.com Focus: Stocks
customers@mplcomm.com HFD data since: 12/31/1983
category that is fully invested at all times.

Portfolio performance produced an 11.9% annualized gain Balanced, and Growth. They are
Since the beginning of 1996, The Invest- from the beginning of 1984 through constructed from stocks recommended
ment Reporter has recommended that 1/31/16beating the 10.4% annualized in the monthly Investment Planning
subscribers allocate 25% to U.S. stocks. return for the Wilshire 5000 index. It Guide. However, because the editor
Therefore, in calculating an average of also outperforms the Wilshire 5000 on insists that these are not recommended
this newsletters many portfolios, the a risk-adjusted basis. model portfolios, the HFD simply
HFD follows this allocation advice. calculates their performances but does
Prior to 1996, in contrast, each portfolio Sample portfolios not take them into account when calcu-
was given equal weight. In 2001, this newsletter created three so- lating the newsletters overall average
Calculated in this way, the newsletter called sample portfolios: Income, performance.
6 HFD
N E W S L E T T E R A N A LY S I S

Louis Navelliers Emerging Growth

MARKS COMMENTARY:
$10,000,000
Wilshire 5000 Total Market Index
Represented by vertical bars
Louis Navelliers Emerging Growth is (Series shifted so that the index
equals $100,000 at the point the HFD
in 5th place among the 24 investment began following newsletter)

newsletters the HFD has tracked over $1,000,000

the last 30 yearsover which period it


produced a 10.4% annualized return
(according to the HFD), versus 10.0%
annualized for the Wilshire 5000 Total $100,000

Market Index. Louis Navellier's Emerging Growth


1980 results reflect last 6
To be sure, this stock-market-beating months of the
(Average of portfolios)
Represented by line
year only
return was produced with a lot more $10,000
volatility, or risk, than the stock market 6/80 6/81 6/82 6/83 6/84 6/85 6/86 6/87 6/88 6/89 6/90 6/91 6/92 6/93 6/94 6/95 6/96 6/97 6/98 6/99 6/00 6/01 6/02 6/03 6/04 6/05 6/06 6/07 6/08 6/09 6/10 6/11 6/12 6/13 6/14 6/15

itself83% more, to be exact, as you *


can see from the table to the right. On PERFORMANCE (THROUGH 1/31/16)
a risk-adjusted basis over these 30 years, Lifetime* 1 yr 3 yrs 5 yrs 8 yrs 10 yrs 15 yrs
% GAIN/LOSS**
therefore, it moderately lags the stock Letters Average +3,364.1( 12.1) -25.5 -2.6(-0.9) -4.9(-1.0) -24.5(-3.5) -37.8(-4.6) -12.8(-0.9)
market. Wilshire 5000 +2,212.1( 10.6) -2.1 +35.4(10.6) +63.7(10.4) +68.0(6.7) +86.3(6.4) +106.2( 4.9)
Navelliers stock-picking strategy is, in ADJUSTED FOR RISK***

Letters Average +0.12 -0.41 +0.02 +0.02 0.00 -0.03 +0.01


essence, to favor those stocks that have
Wilshire 5000 +0.15 -0.03 +0.28 +0.25 +0.13 +0.12 +0.09
exhibited the highest recent return with *Over entire period tracked by HFD. **Annualized equivalents are shown in parentheses.
the least amount of volatility. In his re- ***Average monthly % performance per unit of risk. The higher the number, the better.

search, Navellier has reported that such


PORTFOLIO ANALYSIS1/31/16 (AVERAGE OF ALL PORTFOLIOS)
an approach historically has worked
Composition: Long: 100%
the best among the smallest-cap issues.
Number Of Securities Held: 37
So in the first years of the newsletters Avg. Holding Period of Current Positions: 200 days
publication, it focused primarily on this Volatility vs Wilshire last 12 Months: 41% more
sector of the stock market. However, as Over entire period followed: 83% more
Navelliers reputation grew, along with Largest 12-Month Loss: -57.8% (vs. -43.3% for Wilshire)
the number of investors following his
Louis Navellier Subscription: $995/year
strategy, it became increasingly difficult 700 Indian Springs Drive Frequency: Monthly
for him to sustain the impressive returns Lancaster, PA 17601 Hotline? Yes
800-861-5968 Manages money? Yes
that his strategy had produced when it navelliergrowth.investorplace.com/emerging Investment focus: Stocks
service@Navellieremerging.com HFD data since: 12/31/1984
was less widely followed.
In response, Navellier gradually
shifted this newsletters focus away from No market timing according to the HFDs calculations, in
the small-cap and micro-cap sectors to- Navellier does not engage in any explicit contrast to just a 37.2% loss for the
ward the mid-cap sector. An additional stock market timing. To be sure, he at- Wilshire 5000.
response was to create an alternate news- tempts to increase or decrease the aver- The lesson to draw: Navelliers system
letter that focuses on the large-cap sec- age beta (riskiness) of his recommended cant promise to make money in a bear
torentitled Louis Navelliers Blue Chip stocks as perceived stock market risk market. Insofar as his system will work
Growth. Since 1998, which is when the changes. Nevertheless, its a good bet in the future, it most likely will be over
HFD began tracking this newer service, that Navelliers advice will be a big loser an entire cycle. You thus need to be
it has handily outperformed his Emerg- during a bear market. During calendar prepared to invest for at least that time
ing Growth newsletter. year 2008, his newsletter lost 57.2%, horizon before following his newsletter.
HFD 7

Scoreboard for Mutual Fund Newsletters


The rankings below show which mutual fund newsletters (or fund portfolios from non-mutual-fund newsletters)
About HFD
have performed the best. A newsletters ranking is based on an average of its fund portfolios in the event it recom-
mends several. These scoreboards follow the same format as those on page 8.

15 YEARS (28 newsletters tracked) The Hulbert Financial Digest


RISK-ADJUSTED RANKING UNADJUSTED
(ISSN: 10424261) is pub-
RANK RATING NEWSLETTER RISK GAIN RANK DATA BEGAN lished monthly by The Hul-
1 0.19 InvesTech Research Portfolio Strategy 73.8 8.7% 1 1986 bert Financial Digest Inc.,
2 0.18 No-Load Mutual Fund Sel. & Timing 33.6 4.6% 14 1990 8001 Braddock Road #107,
3 0.15 Bob Brinkers Marketimer 78.1 7.1% 2 1987
Springfield, VA 22151. The
4 0.13 Fidelity Monitor & Insight 82.0 6.7% 5 1987
5 0.13 No-Load Fund Investor 71.7 5.8% 10 1986 HFD is a service of Market-
6 0.12 Independent Adviser for Vanguard Invs. 81.8 6.1% 7 1992 watch, Inc. An introductory
7 0.12 Moneyletter 83.2 6.0% 9 1987 subscription (for first-time
BENCHMARKS subscribers only, via e-mail)
0.09 Wilshire 5000 Total Return 100.0 4.9%
is $59; the regular price is
0.00 T-Bill Portfolio 3.1 1.4%
$89 per year.
10 YEARS (43 newsletters tracked) Subscription-related
RISK-ADJUSTED RANKING UNADJUSTED questions should be directed
RANK RATING NEWSLETTER RISK GAIN RANK DATA BEGAN to 1-888-HULBERT or, via
1 0.19 The Sector GPS 72.2 8.3% 1 2003 e-mail, to orders@market-
2 0.19 Brinker Fixed Income Advisor 34.9 4.6% 18 2005
watch.com
3 0.18 No-Load Mutual Fund Sel. & Timing 35.5 4.5% 22 1990
4 0.15 InvesTech Research Portfolio Strategy 75.8 6.8% 2 1986
Mark Hulbert, Editor;
5 0.13 Independent Adviser for Vanguard Invs. 85.2 6.4% 4 1992 John Kimble, Chief Portfo-
6 0.12 Bob Brinkers Marketimer 87.5 6.1% 5 1987 lio Analyst; James Sterns,
7 0.12 The Outlook 62.4 4.8% 16 1999 Portfolio Analyst; Alycia
BENCHMARKS
Fulgencio, Portfolio Analyst;
0.12 Wilshire 5000 Total Return 100.0 6.4%
0.00 T-Bill Portfolio 3.3 1.1%
William Bradley, Portfolio
Analyst. (Copyright 2016
5 YEARS (47 newsletters tracked) by The Hulbert Financial Di-
RISK-ADJUSTED RANKING UNADJUSTED gest, Inc.) The HFD is based
RANK RATING NEWSLETTER RISK GAIN RANK DATA BEGAN on information and research
1 0.35 The Sector GPS 89.0 13.3% 1 2003 believed to be reliable, but
2 0.26 Independent Adviser for Vanguard Invs. 84.8 9.2% 4 1992
3 0.24 Peter Dag Portfolio Strategy & Mngmnt 52.4 5.4% 19 1983
its accuracy cannot be guar-
4 0.24 Richard E. Bands Profitable Investing 59.8 6.0% 16 1994 anteed. The HFD, its editors,
5 0.24 Fidelity Monitor & Insight 82.9 8.2% 6 1987 and its writers cannot be
6 0.24 Fidelity Investor 87.9 8.6% 5 1999 responsible for errors and
7 0.23 ETF Selections & Timing 32.3 3.2% 29 2010 omissions.
BENCHMARKS
0.25 Wilshire 5000 Total Return 100.0 10.4%
The HFDs purpose is
0.00 T-Bill Portfolio 0.1 0.1% to provide objective per-
formance data on various
investment strategies. The
HFD is not affiliated with
Market exposure among market timers any of the investment letters
The following reports the average percentage mar- it rates; nor does the HFD
ket exposure as of 1/31/16 among market timers STOCKS 73% 37% endorse the use of its name
in the stock, gold and bond markets. Please note:
in advertising. The HFD cau-
Each markets reading is independent of the others;
there is no expectation that they add up to 100%.
GOLD 0% 30% tions readers to be skeptical
BONDS 100% 44% of editors characterizations
GREEN number indicates the average among those
who have beaten a buy-and-hold over the last ten of their HFD ratings, as we
years on a risk-adjusted basis. cannot police such use.
BLUE number indicates the average among all
timers the HFD follows.
Overall Performance Scoreboard MOST POPULAR STOCKS
CURRENTLY OWNED BY MOST LETTERS
The rankings below show which newsletters that the HFD follows have performed the best, on both a total return and
a risk-adjusted basis, over various lengths of time through January 31, 2016. (Page 7 contains a special ranking of just 1 5 10 Apple (AAPL)(28)
mutual fund letters and portfolios.) A letters ranking is based on an average of its several portfolios in the event it 1 10 AT&T (T)(17)
recommends more than one (including any the letters may have discontinued). 10 Facebook (FB)(17)
5 Wells Fargo (WFC)(17)
10 Gilead Sciences (GILD)(16)
20 YEARS (57 newsletters tracked) 1 IBM (IBM)(16)
RISK-ADJUSTED RANKING UNADJUSTED 15 Microsoft (MSFT)(15)
RANK RATING NEWSLETTER RISK GAIN RANK DATA BEGAN 1 Qualcomm (QCOM)(15)
1 0.20 No-Load Mutual Fund Sel. & Timing 38.1 6.5% 26 1990 5 Home Depot (HD)(14)
2 0.18 Utility Forecaster 67.6 8.6% 11 1993 1 5 10 Pfizer (PFE)(14)
3 0.17 The Investment Reporter 114.3 12.1% 2 1984 1 10 Verizon (VZ)(14)
4 0.17 Bob Brinkers Marketimer 77.6 8.9% 8 1987
5 0.16 No-Load FundX 104.6 10.8% 4 1980
6 0.16 Investor Advisory Service 114.6 11.1% 3 1996
7 0.16 Investment Quality Trends 90.5 9.5% 6 1986
BENCHMARKS
0.12 Wilshire 5000 Total Return 100.0 7.8% LEAST POPULAR STOCKS
MOST SHORTED, OR MOST DOWN-
0.00 T-Bill Portfolio 3.9 2.3%
GRADED, OVER LAST MONTH

10 YEARS (115 newsletters tracked) 1 5 10 Apple (AAPL)(5)


5 10 Electronic Arts (EA)(5)
RISK-ADJUSTED RANKING UNADJUSTED
RANK RATING NEWSLETTER RISK GAIN RANK DATA BEGAN First Trust DJ Internet (FDN)(4)
1 0.25 Utility Forecaster 59.5 8.8% 8 1993 5 10 Under Armour (UA)(4)
2 0.21 Morningstar Dividend Investor 81.3 9.8% 5 2005 Alphabet (GOOGL)(3)
3 0.19 The Sector GPS 72.2 8.3% 11 2003 5 10 Amazon (AMZN)(3)
4 0.19 Brinker Fixed Income Advisor 34.9 4.6% 49 2005 5 10 Disney (DIS)(3)
5 0.18 No-Load Mutual Fund Sel. & Timing 35.5 4.5% 52 1990 General Electric (GE)(3)
6 0.18 Morningstar StockInvestor 90.8 9.0% 7 2000 5 10 Gilead Sciences (GILD)(3)
7 0.17 Motley Fool Inside Value 113.8 10.5% 4 2004
Kraft Heinz (KHC)(3)
BENCHMARKS
SPDR S&P 500 Trust (SPY)(3)
0.12 Wilshire 5000 Total Return 100.0 6.4%
0.00 T-Bill Portfolio 3.3 1.1%

5 YEARS (138 newsletters tracked)


RISK-ADJUSTED RANKING UNADJUSTED
RANK RATING NEWSLETTER RISK GAIN RANK DATA BEGAN
MOST POPULAR FUNDS
1 0.40 Morningstar Dividend Investor 75.7 13.2% 9 2005 CURRENTLY OWNED BY MOST LETTERS
2 0.36 The Christian Value Investor 84.7 13.0% 11 2010
1 Vang. Div. Growth (VDIGX)(11)
3 0.35 Louis Navelliers Blue Chip Growth 100.1 15.1% 4 1998
DoubleLine TR Bond (DLTNX)(8)
4 0.35 The Sector GPS 89.0 13.3% 8 2003
1 Vang. ST Inv. Grade (VFSTX)(8)
5 0.32 Utility Forecaster 57.6 7.9% 38 1993
6 0.31 Morningstar StockInvestor 91.0 12.1% 13 2000 1 Vang. Wellesley Income (VWINX)(8)
7 0.30 Motley Fool Inside Value 109.7 14.1% 6 2004 Vang. Selected Value (VASVX)(7)
BENCHMARKS 1 Fidelity Contrafund (FCNTX)(6)
0.25 Wilshire 5000 Total Return 100.0 10.4% PRIMECAP Odyssey Growth (POGRX)(6)
0.00 T-Bill Portfolio 0.1 0.1% 1 Vang. Hi Yield Corporate (VWEHX)(6)
Vanguard REIT Index (VGSIX)(6)

Glossary
Risk-Adjusted RankThis reports what the letters rank risk level above 100 means the letter was riskier than KEY
would be if all were ranked on a risk-adjusted basis. the Wilshire 5000. A lower number is preferable. 1 Ranks in top ten among those letters
Risk-Adjusted RatingMonthly performance per unit Unadjusted GainThe newsletters total return (an- beating market over trailing 1 year
of risk, calculated using the Sharpe Ratio. Other things nualized), before adjusting for risk. 5 Ranks in top ten among those letters
being equal, a higher number here is preferable. Unadjusted RankThe newsletters rank when ranked beating market over the last 5 years
RiskRisk, as measured by volatility. All letters risk on basis of performance before risk adjustment.
10 Ranks in top ten among those letters
levels are normalized so that the risk level of the Data BeganThe year HFD began monitoring this
Wilshire 5000 Total Market Index becomes 100. Thus, a
beating market over the last 10 years
newsletters performance.