Barron’s Roundtable: 2013 Performance & Updated 2002-13 Rankings

January 8, 2014  |  Finance

We have been tracking the annual investment picks of the Barron’s Roundtable since 2002. After a remarkable run from 2002-10, during which the Roundtable trounced the S&P 500 for nine consecutive years, the last two years have been marked by underperformance:

Roundtable Avg-5.7%45.7%20.9%9.1%22.2%15.7%-21.4%31.4%17.8%
S&P 500-24.5%19.7%8.0%5.2%10.3%4.2%-36.0%19.7%9.8%

201120122002-12 CAGR
Roundtable Avg-4.9%10.5%11.4%
S&P 500-1.1%11.6%0.8%


So would 2013 mark a reversion to the ‘good old days’ or would the stock-pickers struggle again? Let’s take a look at how their picks fared this past year:

Roundtable Member2013 Return
Average Roundtable21.2%
Meryl Witmer60.9%
Oscar Schafer37.7%
Mario Gabelli34.7%
Brian Rogers32.6%
S&P 50028.2%
Abby Joseph Cohen18.7%
Scott Black10.8%
Felix Zulauf0.0%
Fred Hickey-26.1%

The Roundtable underperformed again in 2013, posting a 21.2% return on average versus the 28.2% of the S&P.  The group’s performance was dragged down by a few members, in particular Fred Hickey. Due largely to his big bet on gold, Hickey’s picks returned -26.1% on average. Felix Zulauf, the second best roundtable performer since 2002 (behind Marc Faber, who did not make picks this year), also had a tough year given his bet on emerging markets. Scott Black and Abby Joseph Cohen underperformed as well.

On a positive note, several members posted stellar years, notably Meryl Witmer who made three picks, all of which posted 49%+ returns. Oscar Schafer, Mario Gabelli, and Brian Rogers also outperformed the index.

For a full breakdown of all the pundit’s individual picks in 2013, click here.

Despite the sluggish performance in recent years, the group’s long-term record remains admirable. The Roundtable members have posted a 13.3% average CAGR since 2002 versus 1.5% for the S&P.

Here is how they have fared on an individual basis, relative to the corresponding S&P performance for the years in which they made picks:

Total (2002-13, 12 years)13.3%1.5%11.8%
Marc Faber (2002-12, 11 years)22.8%3.1%19.7%
Felix Zulauf (2002-13, 12 years)20.2%1.5%18.7%
Oscar Schafer (2002-13, 12 years)16.0%1.5%14.5%
Meryl Witmer (2002-13, 12 years)14.7%1.5%13.2%
Barton Biggs (2002-03, 2 years)3.4%-4.9%8.3%
Art Samberg (2002-08, 7 years)4.2%-3.9%8.1%
John Neff (2002-07, 6 years)9.8%2.8%7.0%
Mario Gabelli (2002-13, 12 years)8.2%1.5%6.7%
Scott Black (2002-13, 12 years)5.4%1.5%3.9%
Brian Rogers (2012-13, 2 years)22.9%19.6%3.3%
Abby Joseph Cohen (2002-03, 2005-13, 11 years)4.2%2.4%1.8%
Fred Hickey (2005-13, 9 years)4.0%4.1%-0.1%
Archie MacAllaster (2002-11, 10 years)-1.9%-0.2%-1.7%

For a full breakdown of the Roundtable performance from 2012-13, click here.


For those new to our site, PunditTracker levels the playing field by allowing users to compete with the ‘experts’. If you’d like to make your own picks on year-end targets for the S&P, Gold, Bitcoin, Oil, Twitter, and more, head over to our Finance section and use the ‘Vote Now’ button to make your picks. As with the Roundtable pundits, we will hold you accountable at year end!





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