When It Comes to Stock Picking, Goldman Sachs Is Tops

Goldman Sachs, top stock picker
Goldman Sachs, top stock picker

Who's the smartest money on Wall Street? It's everybody's favorite firm to hate -- Goldman Sachs (GS). That's according to Bloomberg Markets' ranking of the "World's Best Financial Stock Pickers" released on Wednesday.

The magazine examined stock picks issued by more than 2,500 analysts at 77 firms from Jan. 1, 2008, through July 30, 2010, to rank firms on their ability to forecast stock movements correctly. Goldman Sachs analysts topped the list, followed by researchers at KBW (KBW) and Deutsche Bank (DB).

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"It's a very difficult climate to make stock recommendations in," says S.P Kothari, a professor of management and deputy dean at MIT'S Sloan School of Management who is quoted in the article announcing the ranking. "First you had to predict the downfall of the financial sector in 2008, which only very few people did. Then, you had to change your outlook to catch the recovery -- all within a relatively short period of time."

Following the recommendations of the top 10 firms on Bloomberg Markets' list could have helped investors improve their fortunes during one of the most volatile periods in stock market history. Some investors may want to pay more attention to these firm's recommendations. But remember: An analyst's past performance has no bearing on future results.

The entire top 10 ranking follows:

1. Goldman Sachs (GS)
2. KBW (KBW)
3. Deutsche Bank (DB)
4. Credit Suisse (CS)
5. Citigroup (C)
6. JP Morgan Chase (JPM)
7. Barclays (BCS)
8. Sanford C. Bernstein
9. Alphavalue
10. Sandler O'Neill & Partners