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The S&P 500

It has often been quoted that 80% of professional money managers cannot outperform the S&P 500. So what is the S&P 500? Well, to answer the questions "How did the stock market do today?" and "Is your portfolio beating the stock market?" we need a way to measure the performance of the stock market. The most commonly-used measurement is the S&P 500 Index.

The S&P 500 Index is determined by combining the price movements of 500 of the largest companies in the United States. It's a broad measure of stock price movements using large, generally "safe"
companies.

Standard & Poor's (S&P) describes the index thusly: "Widely regarded as the standard for measuring large-cap U.S. stock market performance, this popular index includes a representative sample of leading companies in leading industries. The S&P 500 is used by 97% of U.S. money managers and pension plan sponsors. More than $1 trillion is indexed to the S&P 500."

Since 80% of professional money managers cannot outperform the S&P 500, if an investor's portfolio can beat the S&P 500 by even a fraction of a percentage, then that investor is in the top 20% of all investors. Our Primary Stock Portfolio has easily outperformed the S&P 500.

Investors can invest directly in the S&P 500. Probably the most common way is through no-load index mutual funds. The Vanguard 500 Index is one such index fund (ticker symbol VFINX). When comparing our performance to the S&P 500, we use VFINX as a proxy for the S&P 500. Whenever we recommend an investment, an equal amount is invested in VFINX in our tracking portfolio. This way we can compare our returns to returns that an investor could actually achieve had they instead invested in an S&P 500 index fund.

-Rex M. Jacobsen
Sr. Editor


BeatTheStockMarket.com is an on-line investment newsletter specializing in stock and mutual fund recommendations.

From 1998 to December 31, 2022 our Primary Stock Portfolio has averaged 31.9%  per year. We use a proprietary investment selection method that has been under development since 1993. Our performance is based on simply buying and holding stocks for 1-3 years. Our model portfolio has never recommended risky futures, commodities or options (although at times we have recommended some options outside of our model portfolio).

We believe in investing, not gambling. And we also don't utilize market timing or day trading. We simply focus on stock and fund selection and let our profits ride.

Why don't we recommend day trading? Because to profit from day trading, your investment needs to make enough profit in a very short time to overcome the cost of incurring frequent commissions, the higher taxation of short-term trading, the cost of proprietary information systems that day traders are led to believe that they need, and the excessive time that day trading requires.

Our method of investing is not time-consuming for our subscribers. Merely monitor your email for our buy/sell recommendations which occur roughly once every two weeks for our Primary Stock Portfolio (subscribers also receive buy/sell signals for our alternative model portfolios). We will tell you via email and on our web site exactly what to buy and when to buy it. And even more importantly, what to sell and when to sell it. In addition, subscribers receive weekly emails to keep them up-to-date on our recommended portfolios.

Furthermore, when we notify subscribers of buy/sell recommendations, subscribers are notified by email in real-time. That's just one of the many advantages that on-line investment publications have over printed publications. Subscribers don't have to wait for us to send our data to the printer so it can be printed and then mailed via the oftentimes slow U.S. Postal Service. Waiting for the next regularly-scheduled publication would be a disservice to our subscribers since timing is immensely important in the securities markets.

 





 

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