Resource for evaluating past stock recommendations?
July 21, 2008 7:10 AM   Subscribe

Is there anyone (especially online) who's collected reasonably well-informed stock picks from, say, 2, 5, or 15 years ago and explained why the recommendations did or did not work out?

Is there a better way to track that stuff down than hunting around for old articles on financial websites? It seems like making the effort to learn from mistakes in the past would help guard against over-optimistic, irrationally exuberant picks today.
posted by ibmcginty to Work & Money (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Although it doesn't get to the level of individual picks, you might want to read this analysis of various stock market gurus.
posted by burnmp3s at 7:23 AM on July 21, 2008 [2 favorites]

Warren Buffett.

He is arguably the best stock picker who ever lived, and is pretty transparent with his methods. His annual letters to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway (his holding company) are a pleasure to read, and contain explanations for most of his picks.

There's a lot to be said for buying BH and letting Warren do your stock picking for you.
posted by dinger at 8:20 AM on July 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

The CNBC people like Cramer are widely watched, but their investment horizon is about 2 weeks.

Mark Hulbert tracks investment "newsletters".

If you want individual analysts from brokers or the aggregate of analysts, there's plenty of that, too.
posted by milkrate at 8:45 AM on July 21, 2008

On a more general note about people forecasting the future and then seeing how it turns out, Philip Tetlock's Expert Political Judgment is really great (New Yorker review).
posted by milkrate at 9:51 AM on July 21, 2008

There's a wide range of academic research into stock picking results. The basic result is that stockpickers are very seldom better than random chance and there's no way to identify the few who seem to actually beat pure luck. A bit of research will yield more than you could ever want to read; some useful keywords are "efficient markets", "index fund", "john c. bogle", etc.

If you research this yourself a particular thing to look out for is "survivor bias". It's hard to do a proper study of stock picking funds because the ones that fail end early and become hard / impossible to get data for.
posted by Nelson at 11:26 AM on July 21, 2008

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