2020 Stock Picking Contest: 1Q Results

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Well that was ugly. 

Most experts agree that global pandemics are bad for the stock market, and this quarter proved no exception.

Let’s look and see how our heroes are faring in a very dangerous leg of our adventure story:

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Whoa.

At least PK from Don’t Quit Your Day Job has used some brilliant picks to eke out a positive return and lead the table. Let’s take a look at his top stocks – perhaps we can learn something from this wily veteran investor.

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Um, it appears that PK hasn’t invested in anything. He hasn’t bought a single share and is just sitting on a million dollar pile of cash. I’d like to think that’s because he’s super smart; however, the Vegas odds are that he’s super lazy. But that counts too 🙂

Ian Bezek is also almost entirely in cash, but at least he’s embraced the spirit of the contest (hint: it’s in the name) – he actually purchased some shares. Ian doesn’t appear to suffer from laziness, so it’ll be interesting to see if his impeccable timing (well displayed in 2019, when he crushed the field to claim top honors) continues this contest year. 

Matthew from All About the Dividends and Nelson of Canadian Dividend Investing round out our top entries, and they too have significant cash balances.

The top entrants offer a good reminder that while equity markets are great over the long haul, they can seriously underperform other asset classes – even lowly cash – in the short term. A lot of cub investors are learning that painful lesson.

My own entry is a bit of a mess. I shorted AMD and Tesla to start the year, and the AMD punt took a long time to go positive. Tesla took me to the bottom of the table for much of the first quarter, and it’s still unclear if I’ll lose my shirt there or not. 

But my biggest loss is from a “deep-value” play (Tenneco – TEN), which may be less of a deep-value and more of a future bankruptcy. Or, as one savvy investor noted:

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This will be a short update: I don’t want to pull a blogging muscle in my first workout in a long while. But those of you wondering where the steady stream of scintillating satire has gone, take heart. The sausage factory is now open and will start churning out content as early as later this week. 

Thanks to everyone for playing, and good luck!


1 thought on “2020 Stock Picking Contest: 1Q Results”

  1. Hi Paul,

    A very good picture to represent how the first Q was on the Contest.

    Last year I was very conservative in the picks and kept 20% in cash. The market went up more than 25%. This year I’m 100% on stocks and bet on some not very know stocks…and the market is so far around 25% down.

    My investment decisions on the real-life look to be as good as the one on the digital life 🙂 🙂

    Thank you for organizing the contest. I really like to see what others are investing in.

    Have a nice week.

    Cheers!

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