Time Is On His Side

In a year when market-timing was more important than ever, few did it as well as James Rohrbach of Investment Models in Orlando, Fla.

Rohrbach entered the year with a "buy" recommendation on the

New York Stock Exchange

and added one for the Nasdaq on Jan. 10. He went to a sell call on the Comp on Feb. 9 and on the NYSE on Feb. 26.

On April 18, he reverted to a "buy" mode on the Comp, followed by a similar call on the NYSE on April 20. Those calls were reversed on June 14 for the Comp and, more notably, on Sept. 6 for the NYSE.

Rohrbach adopted buy recommendations for the NYSE on Oct. 10 and the Comp on Oct. 11, which have remained in place since.

Not perfect timing, certainly, but Rohrbach's calls enabled his followers to participate in the bulk of upturns and miss the worst of downturns, as

detailed here in February.

The downside of Rohrbach's work is that in his daily missives, at least, he doesn't offer readers much insight into what goes into his model and why he's recommending a buy or sell at a given time. A true "black box," that is.

Still, results like those produced this year will no doubt encourage many investors to take it on faith.

Nomination and Remembrance

I first started talking to Bill Meehan sometime in 1996, when I was writing market wraps for

MSN's

Investor on a nutty new journalism platform called the Internet.

Bill, who tragically perished in the attacks on the World Trade Center, was a journalists' dream: an incredibly knowledgeable, respected source with tremendous patience, humor and humility. He was always eager to help and, more importantly, commented objectively in an era when it was common practice for commentators to promote an agenda.

Our relationship changed when Bill started writing for

TheStreet.com

and

RealMoney.com

, but he remained the kind of guy I could call and ask, "does this make sense to you?"

Often times, our conversation turned to other issues, such as music, politics or life in general, a reflection of Bill's congeniality and how he truly kept work in its proper perspective.

But the nomination is more than just homage to Bill Meehan, the man, but to Bill Meehan, the market strategist, as

Bill's market calls matched the best Wall Street had to offer.

Last year around the holidays, Bill laid out some

Instructions for Life, including the recommendation to "Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality."

In nominating Bill for GOTY, we seek to honor his memory, and the memory of all the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks.

P.S.

As a rule,

RealMoney.com

contributors aren't considered for GOTY to avoid any appearance of conflict or favoritism. We've made an exception for Bill Meehan because of the extraordinary circumstances. The nominees are limited to those strategists whose work GuruVision has closely followed, meaning it's entirely possible there are other worthy candidates we've missed or who have rebuffed our approaches. Please note, we're always trying to expand the pool of gurus in our galaxy.

The following poll will be up and running until Dec. 31. Shortly after the new year, we'll announce the winner and take a look at what our favorite gurus anticipate for the coming year.

Happy holidays to all.

The "Guru of the Year" for 2001 is:

Thomas McManus

Douglas Cliggott

Don Hays

James Rohrbach

Bill Meehan

For Part 1,

click here.

Aaron L. Task writes daily for TheStreet.com. In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, although he owns stock in TheStreet.com. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. He invites you to send your feedback to

Aaron L. Task.