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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

David Korn's Response to Mark Hulbert

Bob Brinker is not in Hulbert Financial Digest "Top-5 Performers" for the past 5 or 10 years. However, Mark Hulbert, in a Marketwatch [LINK] article claimed that Bob Brinker was one of his "top 7" market timers during the last couple of bear markets. (Please see my prior post on this subject.) [LINK]

David Korn wrote these comments (posted with permission)

"2. I was pretty shocked that Brinker made the list of top timing newsletters, even under Hulbert's stated criteria. Sure, Brinker side-stepped the bear in 2000-2002 and did better than a buy and holder with his good call to raise 60% cash reserves in January 2000 (increased to 65% in August 2000) and redeploy them in March 2003. Hulbert didn't include the QQQQ recommendation which would have hurt Brinker's performance considerably. But since March 2003, Brinker has been a buy and holder. No timing moves whatsoever in his model portfolio. In fact, Brinker made several buy recommendations in 2008 at much higher levels. All of these recommendations turned out to be extremely lousy buy points. When he finally gave up trying to identify bottoms, he missed the market bottom in March. So how he made this list is beyond me.

3. In the past, I have communicated with Mark Hulbert directly on several occasions and he has quoted me before. He always responded to my questions and asked to continue to receive my newsletter. When he published this article, I immediately sent him an e-mail with some pointed questions about his article and how he came up with Brinker. He did not respond to my e-mail this time. Perhaps the other newsletters Mark tracks are so bad, they couldn't make the list. But given that Bob has made no timing moves since 2003 in his model portfolios (which is what Mark claims he tracks), I can't fathom how his advice did better than a buy and holder in the last bear market and intervening bull market. Incidentally, I also e-mailed Peter Brimelow from CBSMarketwatch who has quoted me in the past and who usually responds to my e-mails, but he didn't on this one either. Hmm, very strange. If I do hear something back from them, I will let you know."

Complimentary issues of David Korn's newsletter and the Retirement Advisor [LINK]

[Honeybee here] I posted some comments at Hulbert's Marketwatch article. I advised readers that Bob Brinker had not done any model portfolio market-timing during the 2007/08/09 bear market -- that he had remained fully invested. I also quoted Brinker's model portfolio performance numbers for 2008. MY POSTS WERE SINGLED OUT AND DELETED.

Here are Bob Brinker's 2008 model portfolio numbers:

Model Portfolio I = Down 39.7%

Model Portfolio II = Down 37.4%

Model III (balanced) = Down 23.9%

SJ Al sent these pictures from his recent visit to New Orleans:


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