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About Zacks Performance

We are very proud of the returns generated by the Zacks Rank, our model portfolios, and our Research Wizard strategies. We also are committed as a firm to the concept of transparency and to providing you with accurate and transparent explanation of our performance metrics. You will find this information below. Just click on "details" to see the specifics in the Model Portfolios, Zacks Method for Trading & Research Wizard strategies and Trading Services. Some of the performance numbers we show are based on backtests while others are based on the actual trades delivered to clients via our web sites. To effectively use our services you should understand the difference between returns of a backtest.

Questions or comments can be forwarded to Or call us 800.767.3771 x9339. (Outside the U.S., call 312.265.9339).

Return data displayed on this page has been updated as of September 12, 2022 unless specifically noted otherwise.


Model Portfolios 2022 2021 2020 Annualized* Information
Zacks #1 Rank* -5.84% +41.10% +33.86% +24.51% Stocks, Disclosure
Focus List -24.57% +20.40% +25.94% +12.20% Stocks, Disclosure
S&P 500 -13.52% +28.68% +19.27% +10.66%

*The time period used in the calculation of the annualized returns vary by portfolio and are displayed below. Comparable annualized returns for the S&P 500 are also shown below.


Zacks Rank Disclosure

Annualized returns are for January 1, 1988 through September 12, 2022. Comparable annualized returns for the S&P 500 are +10.66% .

The Zacks Rank #1 performance schedule for the period from April 1, 2018 through March 31, 2022 was examined by PKF Muller, an independent accounting firm, who concluded that the Zacks Rank #1 performance schedule is presented in accordance with the criteria established by Zacks, in all material respects. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank # 1 that were rebalanced monthly (see additional details regarding rebalancing below) with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. Zacks Rank #1 stock-rating system returns are computed monthly based on the beginning of the month and end of the month or weekly based on each week's open and next week's open Zacks Rank #1 stock prices plus any dividends received during that particular month or week. A simple, equally-weighted average return of all Zacks Rank #1 stocks is calculated to determine the monthly return. The monthly and weekly returns are then compounded to arrive at the annual return. Only Zacks Rank #1 stocks included in Zacks hypothetical portfolios at the beginning of each month or week are included in the return calculations. Zack Rank #1 stocks can, and often do, change throughout the month or week. Certain Zacks Rank #1 stocks for which no month-end price or weekly open price was available, pricing information was not collected, or for certain other reasons have been excluded from these return calculations. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index.

The Zacks Rank Performance Summary returns examined herein are returns from a hypothetical portfolio consisting of Zacks Rank 1 stocks selected as described above, these returns are not based on a backtest. These returns are higher than the returns an investor would achieve investing real money in a portfolio of Zacks Rank 1 stocks because the returns of the hypothetical portfolio exclude commissions incurred for trading, the average bid ask spread, the price impact of the trading and, prior to 2013, in those months when the end of the month fell on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, the overnight return from the month end close to the open on the next trading day.

The universe of companies for which Zacks Rank performance is reported has changed over time. The portfolios of Zacks #1 Ranked stocks created monthly from 1988 through 1995 exclude ADRs, exclude Canadian companies trading only on Canadian Exchanges, exclude companies trading on the OTC Bulletin Board and exclude companies followed by only one analyst. From 1996 through 2007 the portfolios exclude ADRs, exclude Canadian companies trading only on Canadian exchanges and exclude companies trading on the OTC Bulletin Board, but include companies followed by only one analyst. From 2008 and going forward the portfolios are comprised of all stocks with the indicated Zacks Rank which is more reflective of the list of stocks that customers will find on the Zacks web sites.

The annual S&P 500 returns in this table for the years 2016, 17, 18 differ by +2.8%, -.4% and +.6% from the S&P 500 returns shown on other web sites. The S&P 500 returns shown for these periods are total returns of the IVV S&P 500 Index Fund and the returns are shown for 364 day periods that begin at the first Monday open of each year for years 2016, 17 and 18. Similarly the S&P 500 returns for the months are IVV returns for the 28 or 35 day periods that begin at the open on the first Monday of each month.


Focus List Disclosure

Annualized returns are for February 1, 1996 through YTD September 30, 2022. Comparable annualized returns for the S&P 500 over this time period are +8.50% .

The performance of the Focus List for annual and year-to-date periods are the linked monthly total returns (price changes + dividends) of equal weighted hypothetical portfolios, rebalanced at the time a trade is made and assuming zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios. The hypothetical portfolios and changes to these portfolios are available to Zacks Premium subscribers on the Zacks web site.


Zacks Method for Trading & Research Wizard

Zacks Research Wizard contains numerous predefined stock screens and strategies designed to help the individual investor beat the market on a consistent basis. An investor could also create their own strategy and test its performance over time. The results of a few of the predefined strategies are highlighted below.

Zacks Method for Trading & Research Wizard

Method 2022*
Value Method1 4.9% +95.3% +72.1% +16.4% -19.3%
New Highs -13.6% -0.8% +9.1% +51.8% -17.7%
Filtered Zacks Rank5 2.4% +48.2% +2.4% +44.6% -0.2%
TA & FA Winners -23.8% +67.6% +44.1% +43.3% +6.9%
Big Money -11.7% +45.9% +8.6% +9.0% +5.1%
S&P 500 -23.9% +28.8% +18.5% +32.6% -5.0%

*2022 returns are through October 3, 2022.

"Indicates 1 week holding period.


The performance calculations for the Research Wizard strategies were produced through the backtesting feature of the Research Wizard using the DBCMHIST database and consist of the total return (price changes + dividends) of an equal weighted portfolio. Returns are calculated on a specified periodic basis (most often one or four weeks) and assume no transaction costs. The portfolio is rebalanced at the start of each new period. Returns can be stated as either annualized or compounded.


Stock trading/investing involves risk and you can lose some or all of your investment. Hypothetical or backtested results may not always be duplicated in the real world. Backtesting can at times produce an unintended look-ahead bias. Results can also at times be over or understated due to the exclusion of inactive companies. In addition, hypothetical trading does not involve financial risk, and no hypothetical trading record can completely account for the impact of financial risk in actual trading, not the least of which is the ability to withstand losses or to adhere to a particular trading strategy in spite of trading losses. These are material points which can also adversely affect actual trading results. The backtested results prepared for the Zacks Method were done using the DBCMHIST database and consisted of only active companies. The Research Wizard program has been aligned, to the extent possible, to eliminate look-ahead bias. Zacks however cannot make any guarantees in regard to this or any other possible limitations.


Potential Limitations in Backtesting

There are four types of biases that can distort your backtest results.

1. Look Ahead bias - this occurs when the stocks selected on a rank date use financial information that was not available on that rank date. For example if a company reports its financials for the quarter ending Mar 2006 on Apr 20, 2006, the rank that is created at the end of the March 2006 quarter should not use the financials for that quarter, since they were not available at the end of the quarter. We have eliminated to the best of our ability all of the look ahead bias from backtesting using the DBCMHIST database.

2. Restatement bias - this occurs when a company restates its historical financials. For example if a company reports its 3/06 results and restates its Dec 2005 results; a rank done as of end of Dec 2005 should use the originally reported financials for Dec 2005, not the restated financials for Dec 2005 which were not available until March 2003. We have eliminated to the best of our ability all of the restatement bias from backtesting using the DBCMHIST database.

3. Survivor bias - this occurs when stocks that have been delisted or acquired are not included in the backtest results. Depending on your strategy, the impact of survivor bias on your backtest may be significant. As of May, 2010, we have eliminated to the best of our ability the survivorship bias from from Dec 17, 1999 to the present in the DBCMHIST database.

4. Split bias - this can occur if your screen uses price as a qualifier, e.g., Price > $5.00. The DBCMHIST database is split adjusted. So using the example above, if the company had a stock split between the screened date and the date of your backtest, the company may not be included in your backtest results if the split adjustment caused the historical price at the date of the backtest to be below that $5.00 threshold. Typically, stock splits occur at higher prices. If a stock's price is an important part of your screen definition (and backtesting), we suggest that you test your screen and vary the price limit to see the impact on your results.