DEFINITION of 'Hulbert Rating'

A ranking system that tracks the performance of investment newsletters over time. The Hulbert rating system creates theoretical portfolios based on the buy and sell advice of each newsletter and then tracks their risk-adjusted returns over time. Newsletters that perform the best on a risk-adjusted basis are given the highest ratings, while those that underperform are given lower ratings.

BREAKING DOWN 'Hulbert Rating'

The Hulbert rating system was the first system used to objectively evaluate the recommendations of investment newsletters. The rating system has found several newsletters that have outperformed the market over considerable periods, although most underperform. This result roughly matches with academic work that has found that the majority of actively managed mutual funds underperform the market. Yet a small percentage that outperform over longer time periods remains. Whether this outperformance is due to good luck or superior skill is a matter of debate.

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