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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bob Brinker Bullish for 2010 Says Mark Hulbert of Marketwatch

Today Mark Hulbert, editor of "Hulbert's Financial Digest," reports in the Marketwatch article "Upbeat for 2010" that Bob Brinker is bullish for 2010.
I normally don't put too much weight in the year-ahead forecasts that investment advisers circulate every December.

But I make an exception when it comes to the newsletters on the Hulbert Financial Digest's Newsletter Honor Roll for 2010. Making it onto that Honor Roll requires jumping over a number of demanding hurdles; merely beating the market won't do. Instead, to make it onto the Honor Roll, a newsletter had to have above-average performance both in up and down markets.

Bob Brinker's Marketimer.
Brinker in his most recent issue wrote: "Based on our earnings estimate for next year and our fair value price/earnings ratio of 16 to 17 times operating earnings, we estimate upside potential for the S&P 500 index (Quote and chart) into next year in the 1170 to 1240 range." That upside potential represents a gain from current levels of between 6% and 13%; his model portfolios are fully invested.
I don't know what Mark Hulbert was smoking to award Brinker the "Honor Roll" after he missed the biggest bear market since the Great Depression and issued at "gift horse buying opportunity" near the very top in the mid 1400s.

In November 2007 I wrote this article: Bob Brinker Still Bullish According to Mark Hulbert that said:
In his article "The best vs. the worst: Best long-term market timers believe we're in a bull market," Mark writes of Bob Brinker:
Bob Brinker's Marketimer: Bullish. In his most recent issue, which was published in early November, editor Bob Brinker writes: "We continued to believe that there is no risk of a cyclical bear market (a decline of 20% or more as measured by the S&P 500 index (S&P500 chart) in the months ahead ... We expect the stock market to set a series of new record highs into next year." His model portfolios are fully invested.
Mark covers nine of his top market timers and concludes Bob Brinker is not a "lone voice in the wilderness" with his bullishness.
I am not alone with my amazement as the comments on the article show. Here is a sampling:

slee915 10 hours ago
This article loses all credibility as soon as it mentions Bob Brinker's Market Timer is in the Honor Roll. C'mon Mark, Bob stayed FULLY INVESTED through the last bear market.
G-ron 1 hour ago
Not sure how Brinker is on the honor roll because he totally ignored the financial crisis. Barely mentioned it as well as ignoring it in his timing. Hulbert added nothing in this post but that said he still has something to say worth reading from time to time. In my mind it is more important who he has left out of his survey than who he has included.

My criticism is with the method and not with the conclusion which I think has a higher probability of being right than wrong.
MexicanBatman 44 minutes ago
I have to agree with slee and G-ron. Brinker was fully invested during the recent power dive. I can't imagine any newsletter subscriber believing they got their money's worth... [clip]

I think that Bob got on Mark's list because he did have a good call in 2000-2001 to get out of the market... but Mark doesn't consider Brinker's cocky "QQQQ counter trend rally" which he advised people to buy the Q's and never told people to dump them as we slid into the great dot-com abyss. There are scores of web pages complaining about call....

Bob didn't count that QQQQ "free advice to everuone, not just subsctibers" as part of his model portfolio,,, I supect this sleight of hand is why Brinker is on Mark's list...
honeybee2 16 minutes ago
Mark Hulbert never reported the following facts about Bob Brinker. Not only did Bob Brinker remain fully invested for the 2008-2009 megabear ride, but he advised all new money in at ever lower levels as the market fell:

January 4, 2008: Buy S&P 500 in the mid 1400s.
February 10, 2008: Buy S&P 500 in the low 1300s.
August 5, 2008: Buy S&P 500 at 1240 or less.
September 2, 2008: Buy S&P 500 in low-to-mid 1200s
September 16, 2008: Prior buy signal rescinded, dollar cost average recommended
January 15, 2009: Buy S&P 500 low-to-mid 800s
March 5, 2009: Waiting for retest of the lows -- missed the March 9th bottom.

In 2008, Bob Brinker's Model Portfolio I lost 39.7%; Model Portfolio II lost 37.4%; and Model Portfolio III (balanced) lost 23.9%.
More info:

Since 12/31/98 "Kirk's Newsletter Explore Portfolio" is UP 159% (a double plus another 59%!!) vs. the S&P500 UP a tiny 8.6% vs. NASDAQ UP a tiny 3.5% (All through 12/31/09)

In 2009, "Kirk's Newsletter Explore Portfolio" gained 33.5% vs. the DJIA up 18.8%
HURRY! Subscribe NOW and get the January 2010 Issue of "Kirk Lindstrom's Investment Newsletter" for FREE! !


  1. Hubert? Brinker? BOTH ARE IDIOTS!!! You guys listen to what these idiots are preaching and no wonder why you always get blastedin the stock market!!

  2. Some timers are good 'on the way up in the market' and others 'on the way down'.
    Brinker does well on the way up but misses the sharp breaks. Understanding that once a market changes it's long term direction the downward rate can be 2-10x the upward momentum it had we see that missing the downs can wipe out your upward gains very quickly, ala 1987, 2008.
    Conversly, Marty Zweig was one who I think would be late to the party but one of the first to leave it!
    Maybe this is just a wash. Who can accurately predict which way the next drunk out of the bar will fall anyway?

  3. Bob makes good common sense on investing and building wealth.
    He does tend to let his ego get in the way. When things are good the show MONEYTALK is all about investing. When markets are down he talks about anything but investing.
    Timing? I don't think he could time gas in a diarrhea ward...............

  4. ...and let's not forget Bob's QQQ buy recommendation a few years back. Another fumble. Since he called the tech bubble burst, I don't think he's added one pelt to his belt. For the first six months of the financial crisis meltdown, his newsletter talked only about the economy "struggling in the headwind of high energy prices."

    Thanks, Bob, but no thanks.


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