The Hulbert Financial Digest was founded in 1980 with the goal of tracking investment advisory newsletters. Ever since it has been the premiere source of objective and independent performance ratings for the industry. The Hulbert Financial Digest was acquired by CBS MarketWatch in 2002; that firm was in turn acquired by Dow Jones in 2005 and renamed MarketWatch.

Editor Mark Hulbert quickly became a sought-after analyst of the stock, gold and bond markets. Since 2002 he has been a senior columnist for MarketWatch, and while at MarketWatch he also has had a regular column for the Money & Investing Section of the Wall Street Journal and a monthly investing column for Barron’s. In addition, between 1998 and 2007, he was the “Strategies” columnist for the Sunday New York Times’ Business Section, and from 1987 through 1998 he was a bi-weekly columnist for Forbes magazine.

One of the most distinct patterns that Mr. Hulbert soon noticed in his newsletter monitoring was the inverse correlation between the markets and the consensus opinions of monitored newsletters: They tended to be most bullish at or near market tops and most bearish at or near bottoms. This led him in the 1990s to create his now-famous Hulbert Sentiment Indices, and they have been updated on a daily basis ever since. In addition, he has retroactively calculated those indices’ daily values back to 1985. Those historical values are made available to paid subscribers.

MarketWatch/Dow Jones closed The Hulbert Financial Digest at the end of January, 2016. Mark Hulbert formed Hulbert Ratings LLC in 2016. Hulbert Ratings LLC calculates newsletter performance from the date The Hulbert Financial Digest was closed, using The Hulbert Financial Digest pre-closing calculations as the base, and calculating all followed newsletter performance on its own since that time. Newsletters pay a flat fee to be tracked.