How Did So Many Investors Beat the Market Over Five Years?



Dig in to a recent study of investment performance among 6 million investors, which reveals a significant number outperformed the S&P 500 by 200 basis points. You might be surprised by the two strategies these investors used to beat the market.

An index is a portfolio of specific securities (common examples are the S&P, DJIA, NASDAQ), the performance of which is often used as a benchmark in judging the relative performance of certain asset classes. Indexes are unmanaged portfolios and investors cannot invest directly in an index. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

According to Barron’s, “The formula [used] to rank advisors has three major components: assets managed, revenue produced and quality of the advisor’s practice. Investment returns are not a component of the rankings because an advisor’s returns are dictated largely by each client’s risk tolerance. The quality-of-practice component includes an evaluation of each advisor’s regulatory record.” Only advisors who apply are ranked. “The Top 100 Independent Financial Advisors” was published Aug. 27, 2012; Aug. 28, 2010; and Aug. 31, 2009.

Dollar Cost Averaging does not assure a profit or protect against a loss in a declining market. For the strategy to be effective, you must continue to purchase shares in both up and down markets. As such, an investor needs to consider his/her financial ability to continuously invest through periods of low price levels.

The Top 40 Independent Advisory Firm Ranking issued by Barron’s is qualitative and quantitative, including assets managed, the size and experience of teams, and the regulatory records of the advisers and firms. Firms elect to participate, but do not pay to be included in the ranking. Investor returns/experience are not considered. 2018 ranking refers to Edelman Financial Services, LLC. (EFS), which combined its advisory business in its entirety with Financial Engines Advisors L.L.C. (FEA) in November 2018. For the same survey, FEA received a precombination ranking of twelfth.