Look Who’s Beating The S&P 500

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As we look back on the 2009 stock market we’ll likely long for more inflection points–those moments when the dark clouds let a ray of sunshine peek through and stocks take off. Some investors capitalized on this turn more than others. To see who played the back-from-the-brink rally best, take a look at the table below provided by Zacks Investment Research. Zachs monitors the recommended portfolios of each brokerage and tallies the performance each year. It then compares that performance to the S&P 500.
The Zacks list (below) shows some unfamiliar names at the top. McAdams Wright Regan is a Seattle broker. The return of 56.44% on its recommended portfolio places it in the top spot for the year. McAdams also bested the S&P 500’s 2009 return of  26.46% by an an impressive 30 percentage points. New Constructs, which placed second, is a research firm affiliated with a hedge fund. Goldman Sachs beat the other big investment banks, though given all the political grief Goldman has been catching lately it’s probably happy not to be topping the entire list lest it be seen as a heartless opportunist.

The top 13 ranked brokerages for Year-End 2009 (12-31-08 to 12-31-09) are as follows…

Rank Brokerage Firm Total Return Excess Return vs. S&P 500
1. McAdams Wright 56.44% 29.98%
2. New Constructs 48.33% 21.87%
3. Morgan Keegan 45.23% 18.77%
4. Goldman Sachs 43.24% 16.78%
5. Citigroup Global Markets 40.53% 14.07%
6. Wells Fargo 34.09% 7.64%
7. Wedbush Securities 33.07% 6.61%
8. Charles Schwab 32.58% 6.12%
9. Credit Suisse 31.16% 4.7%
10. Edward Jones 26.73% 0.27%
11. Morgan Stanley 25.44% -1.02%
12. Bank of America-Merrill Lynch 24.15% -2.31%
13. Raymond James 23.16% -3.30%