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Friday, December 19, 2008

Mark Hulbert's Apparent Affinity for Bob Brinker

Bob Brinker can always count on Mark Hulbert to give him recognition that he can use in Marketimer advertising. Hulbert chose Brinker to be number 1 on his 2009 "honor roll" and wrote about it in the December Hulbert's Financial Digest and on Marketwatch.

It seems like a circular relationship, and goes something like this:

1. Hulbert cherry-picks time-frames and assigns awards based on performance rankings based on incomplete data that he uses an asterisk/footnote to denote.

2. Brinker advertises his newsletters based on Hulbert's awards, but never reveals that Hulbert uses an asterisk/footnote to denote Brinker's QQQQ-trade.

December 18, 2008, Mark Hulbert published a Marketwatch article titled: "Bruised but bullish Commentary: Four of five newsletter on Honor Roll are bullish." In it, Hulbert reviewed the current stock market forecasts of each of the newsletters that he placed on his honor roll.

Here is what Hulbert wrote about Bob Brinker: "Bob Brinker's Marketimer. This newsletter makes it onto this year's honor roll even though editor Brinker last year did not expect the stock market to decline more than 20%." [Honeybee shouts: Stop the press! The market has declined over 50% and Brinker not only didn't expect it, he issued ever-changing buy-signals all the way down, including TWO market bottoms.]

Hulbert continued: "That he nevertheless remains on the Honor Roll is testament both to how good his market calls have been on other occasions over the past 18 years....." [Honeybee coughs: Wha, wha, what about the "not so good calls" over the past 18 years? And why do you choose "18 years" as the magic number? Why not 21 years? That would take us back to 1987 when Brinker "didn't expect" the October stock market crash and rode it all the way down, just to sell out a few months later and subsequently missed out on market gains on the way up.]

Hulbert continued: "....... as well as to the failure of most other newsletters to also anticipate the severity of the market's decline. He was in good company, in other words...." [Honeybee sputters: How can that be? Bob Brinker's Marketimer is NOWHERE to be found in Hulbert's "Top 5 Performers Total Return Ranking (not adjusted for risk) " over the past 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 years -- as reported on Page 8 of the December 2008 Hulbert's Financial Digest.]

Hulbert continued: "....... and the Honor Roll is graded on the curve." [Honeybee hollers: Back up the truck! What kind of "curve" is Hulbert using? It can't be based on performance! Even Brinker's March 2003 buy signal (S&P 807) has been taken out with the piano player! His subscribers would have been ahead to have kept the 65% cash reserves he had them raise in 2000 (minus whatever they put into QQQQ) in CD's or money markets and bought at a lower price on November 20, 2008 at S&P 752.]

Hulbert continued: "Brinker currently believes the stock market is in a perhaps extended bottoming process, and he therefore recommends that subscribers invest in the stock market on a dollar-cost-averaging basis. "We are aware that there is widespread fear that financial Armageddon is the likely outcome of the global financial crisis. We take the opposite view, and expect the stock market to record significant gains during the next major market uptrend. We continue to focus our efforts on the ongoing bottoming process that we regard as essential to establishing the level from which a sustainable market uptrend can occur. When we reach the point at which we can upgrade our current stock market view from dollar-cost-average to a renewed buy recommendation, we will do so." [Honeybee EC: Hulbert's Marketimer quote was from the December 2008 issue.]

Here are some samples of additional comments on the subject: 8-)

Newslettercheat said...

I think you are seeing the incestuous relationship between people who want to sell rags and a guy who wants to sell his own rag rating those rags.

What you have is a rater of garbage. The question above as to who would pay for the end product, and I would add the rag that fluffs up and throws some deodorant on the sorry heap pretending to "rate" the results is hard to understand being worth one's hard earned money.

December 19, 2008 8:37 AM

Blogger chgooldtown said...

Oh thank you King Bobbie for those insights on the market. A monkey could have written this generic dribble. Hell even I could write it. You suppose anyone would pay me $200 for that??

No time table. Or any sign of the size of any move.

I find it absolutely fascinating that peeps are actually sending him their hard earned money for this monthly nonsense.

And for Hulbert to give his 'blessing' is just another sign of the level of corruption and ass kissing in this business.


We are going to 5000 DOW. Beleive it.

Oh by the way, ignore Navallier, hes as wrong as all the rest of these gurus.

Happy New Year to everyone. :)

December 19, 2008 7:25 AM

Blogger hairie13 said...

Mark Hulbert now has Brinker on Hulbert's top five newsletter Honor roll for past 18 years.

I always felt people on this board were a little too hard on Mark Hulbert. After all, he has great columns and his HSNSI Sentiment Indicator is probably the most accurate short term sentiment indication.

However in his December 18column, he now considers Brinker in the Honor Roll of the five most accuate newsletters for predicting the market in the past 18 years. Thus, Hulbert sees Brinker as one of the five most likey to give an accurate forcast for the market in 2009!

WHAT IS HE TALKING ABOUT?? Brinker rode down a 52% bear market fully invested, worse yet he gave buy signals all the down...till he changed to dollar cost averaging.

What about the Secular Bear Market that ended in 2006 or the inverse relationship to oil and the stock market (with Oil down 75% from July's high of $ 147 to $36?)

I'm sure Honey and other will have plenty to say about this!

December 19, 2008 1:08 AM

Blogger Kirk said...

Hairie13. Thanks for your comments. It makes it worthwhile to see people's eyes open.

As for Hulbert's HNSI, I read a fairly long study that said it was worthless for predicting the markets. Hulbert's own studies show looking at what the top newsletters HE FOLLOWS for past years is also worthless, but he won't say it. He shows the data but doesn't show what the Wilshire5000 did over the same period so he avoids saying you are better off in the index.

As for Brinker on the honor roll... ask Hulbert why in the 1990s when Brinker trailed the market he put people on the "honor roll" not for being the best long term records but for having lower volatility... Under performers like Brinker made the list in the 1990s. He would average their results in up and down markets over some period of time (maybe 5 years... I forget) and Brinker would make the list. Now that Brinker's P3 is down more than the market's 52% from the peak, Hulbert changes the rules....

I think it shows Hulbert's studies are as useful for small investors as S&P and Moodies were for rating debt of companies like AIG, Enron, Worldcom, GE, etc. etc. etc... S&P just now put a warning on GE debt after the stock tumbled from $60 to $15... Where was S&P when GE was $60???

December 19, 2008 8:03 AM

Blogger Kirk said...

Correction, Brinker's P1 was down more then the market from the peak, not his P3.... Though P3 was down several point more YTD than having 50:50 in the Total Stock Market and Total Bond market, a FREE alternative portfolio I've recommended on message boards for over 10 years.

Brinker didn't rebalance at the end of 2007 so he had about 66% equities in his "balanced portfolio" so retired folks saw far more downside volatility than they expected or should ever see with a "balanced" portfolio.

December 19, 2008 8:09 AM

Blogger Quis said...

Hulbert and Brinker have absolutely no honor at all. They are both nothing but charlatans.

December 19, 2008 10:17 AM

There are three classes of men: lovers of wisdom, lovers of honor, lovers of gain." __Plato
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