In “The Dividend Connection: How Dividends Create Value in the Stock Market,” the 1995 book she wrote with her son Gregory, Ms. Weiss explained that earnings can be “hidden or disguised behind vague bookkeeping terms such as cash flow, depreciation or inventory reserves” and distorted by taxes.
“A clever accountant,” she contended, “can make earnings appear good or not so good,” and companies that buy back their shares instead of paying dividends often overpay for them.
The newsletter’s record from the outset in 1966, and continuing Ms. Weiss’s method for recommendations after her retirement, was not flashy, but it was consistently rewarding. It produced an average annual stock market gain of 11.8 percent from 1986 to early 2022, including economic downturns, according to Mark J. Hulbert, founder of The Hulbert Financial Digest, a newsletter rating service, compared with an 11 percent gain, including dividends, for the Wilshire 5000 Total Market Index, the broadest measure of the United States stock market.
Once a year, the service compiles a list of favorite stocks, which it dubs its Lucky 13. “It’s a method that works, has proven it has staying power and is simple,” Mr. Hulbert said, adding that the still-popular newsletter has one of the longest tenures in the business. “They make more money in the market, with less risk,,” he said.
Geraldine Sylvia Schmulowitz, known as Gerry, was born in San Francisco on March 16, 1926. Her father, Alvin, was a real estate agent; her mother, Sylvia, was a homemaker. Her father changed the family surname to Small after Geraldine faced antisemitism in school. “That was a big change in my life,” she said.