Following the previous year’s best performing advisory newsletter would have resulted in an annual return of -17% a year over the past 20 years vs. a 9% annualized return from the Wilshire 5000 Index (adjusted for dividends). This is based on a hypothetical portfolio that from January 1st through December 31st of each year followed the newsletter from the previous year’s #1-rated portfolio from the > 500 newsletters tracked by Hulbert Financial Digest.
By investing in the #1-rated newsletter did not mean you trailed the S&P 500 every year, but you would have trailed it most years; in some cases, the annual loss from the newsletter’s timing would have been horrific.
20-Year Annualized Returns [1994-2013]
Invest in the Wilshire 5000 Index
9% a year (buy and hold)
Invest in Previous Year’s Top Newsletter
-17% a year (new strategy each year)
Invest in Previous Year’s Worst Newsletter
-52% (new strategy each year)