Silver Bullet: Great Article On Market Leaders

Ben Carlson recently wrote about current market leaders and the changes over time. This excellent work received some attention, but deserves even more. That is the purpose of the Silver Bullet Award.

For several years I have been highlighting work that represents strong, factual analysis and is not influenced by popularity or page views. It is like the “Lone Ranger” so I called it the Silver Bullet. Trying to get more recognition for these first-rate posts, I am now highlighting them in a new and separate series (rather than inclusion in my regular weekly updates). It is my hope that readers and past winners will help me in highlighting these important posts.

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This Week’s Award - Ben Carlson

There are many current articles about narrow market leadership, excess influence of a few big stocks, and the lack of opportunity. Ben Carlson offers facts, clearly stated and explained. As a helpful starting point, he looks at the change in the top stocks over the last 35 years.

Ben Carlson

Read his full post for the conclusions. He emphasizes the healthy rotation at the top. This would probably be a surprise to most investors. It also directly questions prevailing wisdom.


This kind of post gets inadequate attention because many sources want to turn it into a trade – actionable advice. Others want something dramatic and scary. Here is my list of actions:

  1. Investors should not be frightened about the general market because of allegations about leadership. What we see is normal and healthy.
  2. Investors should probably be wary of chasing the biggest winners. Things change, and the opportunities might not be at the top of the market cap list.
  3. The top companies – at least in recent years – have often fallen on hard times. Caution may be warranted since “trees do not grow to the sky.” Find future winners, not those already in top positions.

While this is not specific advice, it is a great background perspective.

Prior Winners

I began the Silver Bullet award more than three years ago. My hope is to give greater visibility and recognition to the winners. If bloggers and media sources are honest about wanting to get beyond the noise, they will join me in recognizing those who have written special posts. I also invite nominations. I expect about 20 awards each year, but I would be delighted if the community found more great candidates.

Below is a list of past winners. Getting past the overused “Hall of Fame” I am calling it the “Silver Bullet Band.” No one will be surprised to learn that Barry Ritholtz and Josh Brown lead the multiple winners, but there are others. New Deal Democrat has two wins and this is the second for Ben Carlson.

Date of AwardSilver Bullet Band
06/03/17David Templeton
05/28/17Josh Brown
05/20/17David H. Bailey
05/07/17CXO Advisory
03/26/17Charlie Bilello


02/18/17Josh Brown
02/05/17Jacob Wolinsky
02/11/07Nathan Yau
01/14/17David Moenning
12/31/16Robert Huebscher
11/27/16Jon Krinsky and Josh Brown
10/23/16Ryan Detrick
10/08/16Justin Lahart – Wall Street Journal
10/02/16Tracy Allison Altman
09/13/16Ben Carlson
08/13/16Justin Fox
07/13/16Sara Eisen – CNBC anchor
06/12/16New Deal Democrat
05/21/16Gene Epstein and New Deal Democrat
05/29/16Narayana Kocherlakota
05/08/16Jeff Reeves
04/23/16Jeffry Bartash
04/17/16Steven Saville
04/10/16Ethan Harris
04/02/16Tim Duy
03/20/16Todd Sullivan and “Davidson”
03/05/16Robert Novy
02/07/16Paul Hickey–Bespoke
01/03/16Matt Busigin
10/04/15Michelle Meyer
09/05/15David Templeton
09/12/15Michael Boldin and Jonathan H. Wright
08/30/15Michael Batnick and Todd Sullivan
08/22/15Barry Ritholtz
08/02/15Michael Batnick
07/26/15Jimmy Atkinson
07/18/15Fabius Maximus
07/04/15Jordan Ellenberg
06/20/15Pierre Lapointe
06/13/15Cullen Roche
06/08/15Morgan Housel
05/03/15Barry Ritholtz
04/26/15David Fabian
04/19/15Ed Dolan
04/11/15Bill McBride
04/05/15Barry Ritholtz
03/01/15Nicholas Colas and Jessica Rabe (Convergex)
12/21/14Jeffry Bartash
12/07/14Georg Vrba
11/16/14Ethan Harris
11/09/14Floyd Norris
11/01/14Natalie Kitroeff
09/28/14Michael Batnick
07/20/14John Lounsbury
07/06/14Derek Thompson
06/29/14Barry Ritholtz
06/15/14Bill McBride
06/01/14Paul Kasriel
05/25/14Barry Ritholtz and Matt Hardigree
05/11/14Tyler Vigen
03/01/14Scott Grannis
02/24/14Julian Close
02/15/14Ryan Detrick (Schaeffer’s) and Bespoke Investment Group
01/19/14The Bespoke Investment Group

Article by Jeff Miller, Dash of Insight