More and more, I'm becoming convinced that the stock market is going crazy. This week's sign of the apocalypse is Blue Investment Management, which was founded on the premise that companies that espouse values most associated with Democrats, such as human rights or protecting the environment, are more likely to outperform their so-called red counterparts.
The booger of an idea
No, really. Blue Investment Management says that the more than 75 stocks in its "Blue Large-Cap Index" trounced the S&P 500 by an average of 13 percentage points annually over the past five years. Better still, the firm says, is that blue beat red by more than 15 percentage points annually over the same period.
So which stocks are we talking about? Among the large caps, CBS
Put on the tinfoil hat
Of course, the red stocks are equally obvious, right? Don't be so sure. Payday lender Advance America Cash Advance Centers
If that revelation suddenly has you thinking the firm's performance claims are a little suspect, I'm with you. But cherry-picking is just one of many reasons -- that have nothing to do with politics -- this loony idea deserves a tinfoil hat.
Because, my friends, this is a gimmick. It's the same as the StockCarStocks IndexFund, which only invests in companies affiliated with NASCAR. Talk about a limited universe of investment choices.
Tale of the tombstone
Certainly, as the StockCar fund has occasionally done, these gimmicks can outperform the market over short periods of time. But that doesn't mean that any of them make for viable long-term investing strategies.
And the worst part of all of this is that specialty funds tend to charge exorbitant fees. And that's the case with the new Blue Large Cap and Blue Small Cap funds, which are charging 1.50% and 1.75%, respectively. For a comparison, consider that exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that track these areas of the market will ding you just 0.10%.
The Foolish bottom line
Frankly, you can do better. Motley Fool Champion Funds advisor Shannon Zimmerman seeks low-cost funds (e.g., expense ratios of 1% or less) with managers that have compiled longstanding records of beating the market using proven stock-picking strategies. If his winning methodology sounds like something you'd like to learn more about, you can try Champion Funds free for 30 days. Just click here for more information.
Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a registered Democrat whose liberal leanings leave him among the minority in his home state of Colorado. Tim didn't own shares in any of the companies or funds mentioned in this story at the time of publication. Advance America is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. Whole Foods is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy is always bipartisan.