A Guru Year In Review

While 2012 was a good year for stocks, it was slightly better for John Reese’s Guru Strategies — especially for the oldest approach of all. 

Reese’s Benjamin Graham-based 10-stock portfolio returned 33.8% for the year, more than doubling the S&P 500’s 13.4% return (both figures do not include dividends), according to Validea’s year-end guru report. His 20-stock Graham-inspired portfolio, meanwhile, returned 31.9%. Both portfolios — which pick stocks using an approach inspired by Graham’s 1949 book The Intelligent Investor — ranked number one among their respective 10- and 20-stock peers.

Overall, the 24 ten- and twenty-stock guru-inspired portfolios tracked on Validea.com returned an average of 14.2%, slightly ahead of the S&P 500’s 13.4% return (neither figure includes dividends).

Validea’s “consensus” portfolios — which use multiple Guru Strategies to pick stocks — fared particularly well. All four returned at least 20%, led by the “Top 5 Gurus” 10-stock portfolio, which returned 25.5%. The portfolio uses two picks from each of five different strategies with exceptional track records.