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YOUR MONEY | Investment Watch

September 15, 1996

How good are investment newsletters at picking mutual funds? Not very, suggests newsletter tracker Mark Hulbert, writing in the Journal of the American Assn. of Individual Investors. He studied 27 fund portfolios recommended by 11 newsletters since mid-1986. Only one portfolio, by Stockmarket Cycles of Santa Rosa, Calif., beat the stock market's average annual gain of 13.1% in that period, as measured by the Wilshire 5,000 index. The average newsletter portfolio lagged the market by 4.35 points a year. Still, 20 of the 27 portfolios were less risky than the market overall, so at least they may have been valuable to subscribers in reducing their exposure to loss, Hulbert says. But even adjusted for risk, only seven of the portfolios beat the market.

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