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Monday, January 26, 2015

Bob Brinker 2014 Performance Results - Income & Stock Portfolios

Bob Brinker 2014 Performance Results for his Income & Marketimer Model Portfolios.

Every month Bob Brinker, editor of the Marketimer newsletter and host of the "Moneytalk with Bob Brinker" radio show, posts the totals for his three model portfolios on his web site. This makes it very easy to track how he is doing compared to the major indexes.  It was a very good year for US stocks but not so good for other markets. 



Unfortunately, Bob Brinker does not post the totals for his "individual issues" which I call my "Explore Portfolio" in my newsletter. He also has an "Income Portfolio" in his newsletter that he does not report results for. Mark Hulbert, editor of the Hulbert Financial Digest, tracks his income portfolio. Below are the results from Brinker's web site and from Hulbert.

Bob Brinker's Reported 2014 Performance Results:
  • Model Portfolio #1 (100% in stocks) up 8.1% (calculated)
  • Model Portfolio #2 (100% in stocks) up 8.3% (calculated)
  • Model Portfolio #3 (~67% in stocks) up 6.2% (calculated)
  • Active Passive (100% in stocks) up 8% (given)
  • Income Portfolio (0.0% in stocks) not given
  • Individual Issue Portfolio not given 
From BobBrinker.com website
What strikes me is Brinker took a ton of risk with 100% in stocks for two of his portfolios and got far less than just sitting in an index fund.   

Bob Brinker's 2014 Performance Results via Mark Hulbert:
  • Model Portfolio #1 (100% in stocks) up 7.7% 
  • Model Portfolio #2 (100% in stocks) up 8.0% 
  • Model Portfolio #3 (~67% in stocks) up 4.7%
  • Income Portfolio (0.0% in stocks) up 1.1%
  • Active/Passive portfolio (100% in stocks) up 8.7% 
Excerpts from Jan 2015 Hulbert Financial Digest
Why are the returns different?

My guess is Mark Hulbert rebalances Brinker's model portfolios back to the percentage guidelines given in the newsletter while Brinker lets the winners run which makes the percentages listed meaningless. For example, how can you have a "balanced model portfolio 3" when you have about 70% of it in stocks?  I don't believe it is responsible to recommend retired people have such a large percentage of their portfolio in stocks.

Kirk Lindstrom's 2014 Performance Results:

  • Kirk's "Core Aggressive" (80% in stocks) up 8.7%
  • Kirk's "Explore Portfolio" (67% in stocks) up 7.6%
  • Kirk's Core Conservative (50% in stocks) up 5.8%

Unlike Bob Brinker, AT LEAST once a year I rebalance back to my target allocations.  This hurts results when we are near all time highs (since 100% in stocks show better returns when at or near all time highs as we are now) but it makes for much safer portfolios.

Bob Brinker's "Individual Issues" portfolio

If there is interest, I could calculate Brinker's "Individual Issue Portfolio" assuming 4% in each recommendation to get an idea of that adds or subtracts from Bob Brinker's reported returns.


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