2020 Stock Picking Contest


Welcome to the 2020 Stock Picking Contest! Now in its third year, this is officially an annual tradition. Feel free to read the thrilling adventures that were had in the 2018 and 2019 contests.

The rules are fairly straightforward. Everyone starts with US$1,000,000 of play money, and the contest runs from 1-Jan to 31-Dec. No penny stocks (minimum of $3 / share). Cash earns you a fat 0.0% (I copied the rules from last year’s contest, where it earned 3%, but that didn’t come over somehow).  25% limit for any one position. Almost unlimited trades. Can you short stocks? Oh yes. I’ve also included the Toronto exchange to keep my kinder, gentler neighbors to the north happy. 

Entries are now closed, so let’s meet our contestants and see the current ranks. As you can see, many of our entrants are a bit slow getting started:


Player highlights:

Ian Bezek is our returning champ. He crushed the field last year and was our most active trader. Was it luck or skill? Let’s find out.

Super Little Paul is my youngest son and came in second last year. He hasn’t decided on any purchases yet, but we’re going to finalize his list of companies he’s heard of investment strategy this weekend. 

Little Paul is my eldest son, and he claimed third place last year. A nice showing, but he doesn’t really care about the rest of the field – he just wants to beat his brother (like nelsonsmith with Mister_PK).

jaycsmit is our 2018 champ and our 2019 last place super loser. Pick one, Mr. Smith.

For my own entry (Paul-ABL), I’ll continue to explore my wildest fantasies (shorting stocks I think are insanely valued). My current shorts are Tesla (TSLA) and AMD, and those punts are clearly going brilliantly. As Keynes said, “The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent,” which is why I don’t short stocks in real life. Here, only pride is on the line, and after being beat by a 9 y.o. and a 12 y.o. last year, how much of that is left anyway?

Tawcan is sitting on top of the leaderboard because he made the bold move of actually investing in stocks at the start of the contest. Plus he’s picked Tesla, which I think is his gentle and subtle Canadian way of mocking me. 

I won’t go into great detail on the entries today, especially given the slow start for many of our entrants, but I’ll cover interim results and trades at the end of each quarter. 

Thanks to everyone who’s entered, and good luck!

The ABL Stock Picking Contest is run on the How The Market Works site – it’s free and worked great last year. I don’t have any relationship with them and get no benefit from referring them, but if you are thinking of hosting your own contest, you should check them out.

2 thoughts on “2020 Stock Picking Contest”

  1. Hi Paul,

    Thank you for organizing the contest. My stock portfolio for this year is much more volatily and risk than last year. Like you, I use the contest to do things that I would not in real life.

    Good luck to all of us.


    1. Thanks Odysseus – and thanks for returning for another year of the competition.

      Stock picking contests are good to allow us a little more risk and strange bets than we’d do in real life, and the results often serve as great reminders as to why we don’t do so in real life!

      Thanks again and good luck

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