FORTUNE -- There are a million ways to try to beat the market, and the one iBillionaire has chosen is as good as any, I suppose.
What started as an iOS app (iBillionaire) and website (iBillionaire.me) morphed at the end of October into an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that offers investors a portfolio of 30 stocks selected to mirror the investment strategies of 21 billionaire investors -- people like Warren Buffett, George Soros and Carl Icahn.
Here's the iBillionaire pitch:
"We analyze more than 250 billion dollars in assets held and managed by a pool of over 20 billionaires. Each quarter, we look at roughly 1,500 investments, 93% in equities and 7% belonging to other asset classes. Our software has processed over a decade of SEC filings to ensure that the iBillionaire Index is a diversified portfolio of high-quality companies. "
The goal is simple: Beat the S&P 500.
And how's that working?
So far so good. Since Oct. 31, the iBillionaire fund is up 7.3% compared with 4.8% for the S&P 500. The catch, I suppose, is that when events unfold quickly iBillionaire will always be a beat behind the real billionaires.
Below: The top 10 stocks in the index and their relative share in the S&P 500.
Note that in both cases, Apple (AAPL) is the No. 1 security, although it is weighted more than three times as heavily in the iBillionaire fund than in the broader index.
What's one bad year after so many good ones?
FORTUNE -- Apple (AAPL) as an investment looks very different, depending on your time frame.
This could explain why long-term investors tend to be happy campers. More recent arrivals, not so much.
People who tried to beat high-frequency trading algorithms in the Apple options markets may never come back. See The rise and fall of Andy Zaky.Philip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 1, 2014 7:55 AM ET
Don't Bloomberg's brainiacs know the difference between an RSU and a pay check?
FORTUNE -- Remember the stories in the tech press last year that named Apple's (AAPL) Tim Cook the highest-paid CEO of 2011? Remember the headlines a year later announcing that Cook had taken a 99% pay cut?
The problem with both narratives is that they treated the 1 million RSUs (restrictive stock units) Cook was granted in August 2011, MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 16, 2013 10:33 AM ET
As the S&P 500 hits a record high, Apple is once again flirting with new lows.
FORTUNE -- At 3.07% of total market value, Apple (AAPL) is still the single largest component of the S&P 500. But for the past nine months -- for better or worse -- it's gone its own way.
See also: The S&P 500's P/E is headed for a 3-year high. Not Apple's.Philip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 29, 2013 7:08 AM ET
Apple is the largest slice of the 500 and it's one of only three stocks whose P/E shrank
FORTUNE -- Apple (AAPL), Oracle (ORCL) and EMC (EMC).
Those are the only three companies in the S&P 500 whose price-to-earnings ratio did not grow over the past 90 days, according to a Seeking Alpha piece posted Monday by someone or something called Pendulum.
The other 497 companies have all seen their valuations increase to MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 25, 2013 11:13 AM ET
4.7% of earnings. 4.3% of free cash flow. 3.5% of dividends paid. 9.1% of cash on hand.
FORTUNE -- A few weeks ago I got an e-mail from Laurence Balter, chief market strategist for Oracle Investment Research, chastising me for not crediting him with the downgrade -- issued in late August -- that helped lop more than $400 billion off Apple's (AAPL) market value.
I promised to keep a closer eye on his MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 1, 2013 9:41 AM ET
Apple grows 13 times faster than the S&P 500 but trades at a 40% discount ex cash
FORTUNE -- You can add Topeka Capital's Brian White to the growing chorus of sell-side analysts coming to Apple's (AAPL) defense after an eight-week slide that at Friday's intraday low had knocked 28% off its share price and $187 billion off its market cap. (See What's eating Apple?)
"The sell-off," White wrote his clients Monday, "has MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Nov 19, 2012 9:14 AM ET
One of these S&P 500 companies is not like the others
FORTUNE -- Despite widespread economic turmoil on the Continent, Apple's (AAPL) sales in Europe are expected to grow a whopping 32.3% year over year in the second quarter of 2012, according to a report issued Friday by FactSet.com.
Of the 10 largest companies in the S&P 500 by market cap, only two others are expected to see any growth in Europe MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jun 9, 2012 3:42 PM ET
The picture is even more striking than it was a month ago
In February, Jonathan Golub at UBS started a new fashion on the Street by publishing two versions of his regular quarterly forecast: one for the S&P 500, and another for what he called the "S&P 500 ex-Apple."
Strategists at Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Barclays and Wells Fargo soon followed suit.
In Golub's February calculation, the S&P 500's Q1 2012 earnings were on MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Mar 25, 2012 6:21 PM ET
Investors search for reasons the company's market cap grew by $15 billion in one day
The $16.49 Apple (AAPL) rose Thursday was only its sixth largest one-day dollar gain, according to AAPLInvestors, and in percentage terms, 3.46% doesn't even make the top 10.
But when the world's most valuable company rallies a few points, its market capitalization gets a whole lot bigger. According to the Bespoke Investment Group, Apple's one-day gain Thursday -- MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Feb 10, 2012 6:05 AM ET
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