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Friday, August 13, 2010

Mark Hulbert's "Honor Roll": What Does it Mean?

August 13, 2010.....It's been years since Bob Brinker made it into the Top-5 of Hulbert Financial Digest "Overall Performance Scoreboard" in the 25-year, 15-year and the 5-year time slots that Mark Hulbert uses in his newsletters.

However, Hulbert has created a special category based on his own private criteria. He calls this category "Honor Roll." Interestingly, Bob Brinker's Marketimer has made it on that list several times, including 2010, in spite of Marketimer under-performing other newsletters that Hulbert ranks.

So how did Hulbert create the "Honor Roll"? In the August 2010 issue of Hulbert's Financial Digest, Mark Hulbert wrote:

"How much weight should you put on all this? To help you decide, let me briefly review how I constructed this Honor Roll........I started by dividing up the last dozen years into four distinct “up” periods and four well-defined “down” periods. Focusing first on the “up” periods, I determined which investment newsletters were in the upper 50% for performance among all advisers the HFD tracks. I then did the same for the “down” periods. Only those newsletters that were in both groups made it onto the Honor Roll. This approach was not designed to identify the advisers who produced the greatest profit over the last dozen years. And, sure enough, it didn’t......

.....Instead, to use a baseball analogy, it identifies advisers with a good on-base percentage and avoids those who might have a lot of home runs but also a disturbing number of strikeouts."

Honey here: Mark Hulbert is well aware that Bob Brinker rode the 2008-2009 Megabear market all the way down fully invested and issuing buy-signals as the market continued to drop. Brinker's had at least 3 strikeouts, but Hulbert repeatedly gives Brinker market-timing mulligans.

Brinker uses Hulbert's Honor Roll to promote and advertise Marketimer on his website. How fortunate for Brinker that Hulbert created the Honor Roll since Marketimer does not make it into any of the actual performance rankings. See this page: Bob Brinker's Land of Critical Mass

As Hulbert also said in the latest Hulbert Financial digest, his "Honor Roll advisers are bullish." Hulbert cited the following quote from Bob Brinker's August, 2010 Marketimer:

•Bob Brinker’s Marketimer. In the most recent issue of this newsletter, Bob Brinker wrote: “In our view, the stock market is in the second year of a cyclical bull market and has further to go in terms of percentage gains and durations. [We are] not anticipating a new cyclical bear market anytime soon.”


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