Perhaps the world’s best-known market timer, Joe Granville, died in September 2013. Author of the Granville Market Letter, Joe’s newsletter was used by thousands of subscribers who paid $250 a year for the publication. At his peak, Granville filled Carnegie Hall and gave the audience financial advice. According to the Hulbert Financial Digest, a Dow Jones publication that tracks market timers, Granville’s recommendations resulted in a -20% annualized return over the 25-year period ending 2005.
Granville’s recommendations and calls oscillated wildly sometimes. He missed a bear call during the 1973-74 recession when the Dow dropped 50% but predicted the bear market that followed a decade later. In 1982, the Journal of Portfolio Management claimed Granville could successfully time the market through his algorithm. In 1982, Granville missed the start of the long bull market. In 1989 his recommendations resulted in a 1,200 gain for the year.
According to Timer Digest, which ranks stock newsletters by the accuracy of their calls, Granville Market Letter was in the top 10 for the five years ending 2012, and number one for 2011.