2020 Stock Picking Contest: 3Q Results


Let’s get this over with, shall we?

My 2020 stock picking entry decided to stop messing around and went full Chernobyl in the third quarter.

After getting my teeth kicked in by Tesla (TSLA) through 2Q, I had reversed my position and taken my losses. And then I just couldn’t resist shorting it again this quarter. I was even positive on the trade for a while, but right now I’m losing more money.

But the two biggest stones around my neck are Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) and Gamestop (GME). I have no idea how Bed Bath & Beyond continues to stay alive, much less thrive. And Gamestop, which just closed a bad quarter, has been on a tear because an activist investor wants to get more involved and sees Gamestop becoming an e-commerce rival to Amazon. Read that sentence again and see if it makes sense to you. Once again I’m providing a public service on the risks of shorting stocks, as Keynes’ words continue to ring true: “Markets can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.”

You could say that I was crazy for swinging for the fences when I was already lagging the field, but why not? While there’s little chance anyone is going to catch Tawcan given his ticket on the Elon Musk rocket ship, the best hope would be to bet against him, not latch on to his trades.

In any event, it looks like my entry is sunk, but since the lads over at How the Market Works don’t seem to be issuing margin calls, we may get to see an entry actually go below zero this year. And if I end up owing play money they can’t collect, who’s the real winner?

Let’s see how our adventurers are doing:


I no longer see an entry for PK or Dividend Growth Investor. Did their entries get lost somehow? Or did they get ‘fraidy scared and run away? I may be bloodied and beat, but at least I’m still The Man in the Arena.

And we’ve still got a quarter left to run. Is there a chance that I deliver a quarter for the ages and win this thing? There’s always a chance!

Image courtesy of Alan Levine

4 thoughts on “2020 Stock Picking Contest: 3Q Results”

  1. As an update: Dividend Growth Investor didn’t delete his entry – the How the Market Works site somehow ate it. But in a stunning display of recordkeeping, DGI actually knows his picks. We’ll get the accounting staff here at ABL working on recreating his entry stat.

    PK’s entry was also eaten, but since he was just cash who cares.

    Let’s hope there’s no more chicanery. It would be a real shame if Tawcan’s entry disappeared…

    1. It only takes one superstar pick and you’re on a rocket ship to the top! TSLA has been amazing this year (much to my regret…). Hope Elon can keep his pixie dust going strong for 4Q and you’ll crush the field!

  2. Hi Paul,

    Stopping by before jump to the final year result. Up to Q3 I was in the middle. Let’s check the final result.

    And a very funny video cut from the movie. Sometimes this is what matters in life, to always see a change where looks (almost) impossible.


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