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:
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.