I have said on my blog [VonAldo.com] many times that my favorite group of researchers sit in Minneapolis and toil under the name of The Leuthold Group Research. (Disclosure: I have an investment in Leuthold's Core fund, ticker: LCORX.) In Leuthold's January “Green Book,” the researchers ask the question: “Allocation Strategy: buy the Winner, Loser … Or Runner Up?”

The answer: “The best single asset class strategy is to own the prior year's runner-up or Bridesmaid asset class. Such a strategy — while not without considerable diversification and career risks — has generated an annualized total return of 15.8 percent since 1973, while matching or exceeding the S&P 500 in 29 of 39 years.” This year's Bridesmaid? Gold, up 11.7 percent in 2011, way behind the best asset class, 20-year U.S. Treasury bonds, up 22.8 percent. Oh, as for the Contrarian Strategy (buying the worst performing asset class)? A mere 6 percent average annual return since 1973, well behind the Agnostic Strategy — buying the S&P 500, which returned 9.6 percent during that time.

Calling All Oustanding, Philanthropic Advisors

If you are a retail financial advisor (independent, RIA-affiliated, wirehouse employee — it doesn't matter where you sit) please visit RegisteredRep.com to offer a candidate (even yourself) for Registered Rep.'s 32nd Annual Advisors With Heart Awards. It used to be called the Outstanding Broker Award, but that didn't describe the awards well enough. Each year we pick 10 excellent, sophisticated FAs who do more than practice financial planning or merely write checks to charitable organizations. We are looking for that and more: FAs who put sweat equity (as well as money) into a cause. The special package will run in May. Please apply on RegisteredRep.com. Please explain why the candidate should be considered for the award.

Introducing Wealth Management Research Initiative

Registered Rep. and WealthManagement.com just completed one of the broadest and most comprehensive studies (1,500+ respondents) on advisors' use of, and firm policy on, social media — especially as it relates to prospecting, marketing, and communication. The study looks at all channels (RIA, wirehouse, IBD, insurance, etc.), age, sex, and more. Highlights include: Half of advisors use social media for business purposes. Social media is most often used for networking with other professionals, keeping up with industry news and client prospecting. Wirehouse advisors are less likely than those from other channels to use social media for business purposes. Advisors from regional firms have an average understanding of FINRA regulations and are concerned with what kind of opinions they can post. And advisors from insurance firms are also most likely to have landed clients as a result of social media efforts. For more information on our study, please contact William.oconor@penton.com.

Registered Rep. Has Gone App-nutty.

Financial advisors on the go can now download RegisteredRep.com via their iPhones and iPads; just go to the Apple app store to download for free. In addition, the RegisteredRep.com app is available on the Android Marketplace and the Blackberry App World.

Introducing WealthManagement.com

WealthManagement.com is the premier new online community and marketing platform that allows you to profile your company's products and services to highly-targeted wealth management professionals. Highlight your company's news, events, white papers, videos and contact information — all in one place — and update your information 24/7. We'll promote your resources via all Registered Rep. and Trusts & Estates digital and print channels that reach in excess of 5,000 firms and over 200,000 wealth professionals. It's a highly efficient way to fortify your existing marketing programs with the critical decision makers you're trying to reach. For more see, RegisteredRep.com or hit WealthManagement.com directly.

(We thank you for your support. Drop us a line with your comments: 249 W. 17th St., New York, N.Y. 10011-5300. Or email us: dgeracioti@rrmag.com. Publisher Rich Santos can be reached at rich.santos@penton.com.)