Study: Index Funds Top Mutual & Hedge Funds

Index funds may sound boring, but in his latest New York Times column, Mark Hulbert offers some data that indicates index funds may, in the end, actually yield higher net returns than mutual funds and even hedge funds. Hulbert details a study performed by Mark Kritzman, president and CEO of Windham Capital Management and a professor at M.I.T. In the study (presented in the Feb. 1 issue of Economics & Portfolio Strategy), Kritzman developed an complex method to measure the performances of thee hypothetical investments over a 20-year period — a stock index fund that averaged a gross return of […]

Hulbert: Signs of Investors Moving Back Toward Risk

In his latest column for MarketWatch, Mark Hulbert notes that a “dramatic reversal” is taking place in the bond market — and says it’s a reversal that could signal good things for the economy and the stock market. The yield spread between 10-year U.S. Treasuries and 10-year triple-A-rated municipal bonds has fallen significantly in the past month, Hulbert says. A month ago, those Treasuries were yielding 2.3% versus 3.53% for the munis. Given that interest from munis is not subject to federal taxes, the munis usually yield less than Treasuries, Hulbert says, adding that the reversal from that norm had […]

Hulbert: Graham’s Approach Endures

In his latest MarketWatch column, Mark Hulbert wonders whether the recent market plunge has shown that “maybe Ben Graham isn’t old-fashioned after all”. Over the past couple decades, Hulbert says, the strict, conservative approach used by Graham — who is known as both the “Father of Value Investing” and the mentor of Warren Buffett — had fallen out of favor on Wall Street. But as the current downturn has dragged on, Graham’s approach seems quite relevant again, Hulbert says.

Hulbert: Current Crisis is “Textbook Illustration” of Liquidity Shock

In his regular New York Times column, Mark Hulbert looks at the stock market’s behavior since the credit crisis began and references a 2001 academic study to glean some insight as to what we can learn from these types of periods. He writes, “you can view the markets’ behavior since mid-2007 as a textbook illustration of a statistical pattern uncovered years ago by two finance professors, Lubos Pastor of the University of Chicago and Robert F. Stambaugh of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. They found that the financial markets are always vulnerable to what they called a […]

Hulbert: Small-Cap Value Stocks May Be Ripe for Impressive Gains

Small-cap value stocks are risky but they also historically produce jaw-dropping gains at the begining of bull markets, Mark Hulbert writes in the New York Times. Referencing academic research performed by professors Eugene Fama (University of Chicago) and Kenneth French (Dartmouth), Hulbert writes that small-cap value stocks (stocks with the lowest price/book ratios) “gained 17.1 percent, on average, in the first three months following the 13 market bottoms since 1969, equivalent to an annualized rate of 88 percent.” We’ve started to see some signs of improvement in Validea’s value-based models as well, with our Piotroski, Dreman, Neff, and Graham models […]