Jim Shepherd’s Track Record?

August 29, 2009 • Posted in Individual Gurus

A reader asked: “Have you ever tracked Jim Shepherd’s market calls?”


CXOadvisory.com has no reviews of market calls by Jim Shepherd, “the man who’s been predicting the financial future since 1982.” Here are a few observations based on the information presented on his web site:

Jim Shepherd’s explanation of his market timing model (from “Frequently Asked Questions”) is as follows: “It is a proprietary model. Its mathematical calculations are based on a large number of variables that are updated weekly and give him short, medium and long-term indications on market direction.” This explanation is insufficient to assess its logic or the statistical or economic significance of its outputs. Some market timing models based on hypothetical backtests incorporate look-ahead bias such that one would not have known enough to generate the backtest signals in real time.

There is not enough information to tell whether the claims about investment results, including an annualized return of 29% since 1982, represent a reasonable expectation for a subscriber. The “NOTES TO PERFORMANCE DATA” at the bottom of this page disclaim the investment results as follows:

“No guarantee of any kind is made that any individual could have or would have achieved these precise results. These data are for illustrative purposes only and should not be relied upon to make investment decisions… No guarantee of future results is given or implied and the company and its agents are not in the business of rendering investment advice. The returns depicted herein simply portray approximately what could have been achieved if an investor had exactly followed directives of the model at the precise time each signal was generated and no warranty is made that any future results would be similarly profitable… There is no provision made for commission or other fees or expenses in any of the data… An investor should not rely on these returns as being predictive of any future outcome.”

Among his responses to “Frequently Asked Questions” is: “Jim uses his Model and his technical skills as a guide when making his own investments.” It would be instructive for potential subscribers to know whether Jim Shepherd has personally achieved an annualized return of 29% over the past 17 years.

Jim Shepherd offers no extensive public archive of his past newsletters or commentaries that would allow systematic review of his past market calls.

Searches of several financial web sites, including MarketWatch, MSN Money and TheStreet.com, uncover hardly any citations of Jim Shepherd’s past market calls. It is possible that Hulbert Financial Digest tracks the performance of his newsletter.

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