It’s time for the update
none all of you have been waiting for. Can some of the best personal finance and investing blogs out there (and Financial Uproar) continue their streak of mostly beating the stock market with their top 4 stock picks? Or will they fail more miserably than a guy trying to pick up Kate Upton on Twitter?
To recap of the rules, each contestant is allowed 4 picks, each getting a equal weighting in the imaginary portfolio. Dividends count towards the total return, but any currency fluctuations do not, mostly because like hell I’m figuring all that out. Stocks can only be held on major stock exchanges, and if a stock gets taken over then the contestant is locked into that gain for the rest of the year.
It’s a pretty simple contest. At the end of the last quarter, Don’t Quit Your Day Job had burst into the lead, thanks to picking all sorts of screwy structured products that did things like go up during times of volatility and junk. Essentially, the contest leader was winning on a technicality. So I put a BIG OL ASTERISK beside it, making it the most tainted of victories since Barry Bonds confused hitting a baseball with a beach ball.
But a whole quarter has passed since then. Is DQYDJ still in the lead? Looks like you’ll soon find out…
1. Save. Spend. Splurge. (+24.4%)
Buoyed by BlackBerry (OF COURSE) and little known semiconductor company NXP, uh, Semiconductor, the lover of macrons and all things French is giving the rest of the contestants an ass kicking not seen since the last time Germany decided to go visit their southwesterly neighbors. This is the first time in a while the French have been on the winning side since tiny Napoleon, and I bet they’re thrilled. She trounced the rest of us so badly that her worst performing stock was Starbucks, which is down just 2.74% for the year. Solid performance.
2. My Own Advisor (+15.5%)
As much as I make fun of Mark for having the most boring picks around, he’s showing us that perhaps slow and steady is the best way to go, especially in markets that have sold off close to 5% of their highs. Each of his four selections ended up in positive territory, with the worst performer being Dream Office REIT, up a little less than 3% including the dividend. His best selection was Pembina Pipeline, up nearly 30%.
And yet, I’m still bored when typing out his summary. The joke’s on me though, since he’s obviously beating me.
3. Don’t Quit Your Day Job (+13.7%)
OH LOOKS LIKE SOMEBODY HAS BEEN SHOVED OFF THE TOP OF THE PODIUM PROBABLY BY KARMA OR FATE OR MAYBE BECAUSE BABY JESUS CRIED WHENEVER HE LOOKED AT YOUR PICKS.
Honestly, one of PK’s picks was so obscure that, as far as I can tell, it hasn’t traded a share since about the 8th of September. Another one tracked the inverse of the volatility index. Very strange picks.
4. Avrex Money (+11.7%)
Andrew’s picks show just how well swinging for the fences works in a contest like this. He has three picks that are down, by an average of about 12% each. And yet, his winning pick, Myriad Genetics, is up more than 80% for the year, easily making up for the other three anchors.
Now if only Myriad Genetics could genetically modify Andrew some hair, he’d be laughing. Well, more so than usual, anyway.
5. Financial Uproar (+9.5%)
OH HI SEXYPANTS.
Like Andrew, I was bailed out by one of my selections, Alcoa. The rest — Reitmans, Automodular, and Career Education Corp — have all taken hits, falling 0.7%, 2.4%, and 10.8%, respectively. Alcoa, meanwhile, has surged, adding more than 50% to the stock price. Not bad for a company that I picked at the last minute.
6. My Pennies My Thoughts (+6.7%)
We have our first (and only) takeover!
Janine picked Annie’s Naturals, because apparently she is TOO GOOD for regular Kraft Dinner like the rest of us. Or maybe because she took one look at my less than stellar physique and realized there was a huge market for food that isn’t crap. Who knows.
Last month, Annie’s announced it was being taken over my General Mills. And Janine is up a whole… wait for it… 6.64%. Uh, yay?
7. Vanessa’s Money (+2.5%)
Vanessa picked her stocks based on initials of people she likes. AND I WILL FIGHT EVERY LAST ONE OF THEM I SWEAR TO GOD.
She unintentionally put herself in some pretty cyclical names, which is why she went from being up nearly 16% at the end of last quarter to barely positive today. She sure does know how to pick things, huh?
HEY WAIT A MINUTE.
8. Boomer and Echo (-2.0%)
Mostly thanks to the craptacular fall of beleaguered Canadian coal producer Teck Resources, the handsomest PF blogger stunk up the joint, falling to a negative return. He also chose Power Corporation, with an imaginary purchase price of $31.95. After falling to $31.08, and the $0.87 dividend, he exactly broke even. To the penny.
Pro tip: don’t pick stocks that break even.
9. My University Money/Young and Thrifty (-2.2%)
Geez, these guys own two sites and they still can’t pick stocks? Maybe they should stick to buying websites. Financial Uproar can be yours for the low price of $19.95. Yes, we accept low monthly payments of $0.34 per month for the rest of time.
Anyhoo, Kyle picked stamps.com because, I dunno, he thought investing in old fashioned mail was a good idea. Yeah, that might make a comeback. Suuuuuuuuuuuuuure. (nods with mock enthusiasm)
But hey, at least they’re not last. And that is…
10. Holy Potato (-2.8%)
Can you guys believe I let him guest post on my blog?
Actually, if you take out Canexus (which was down 31%) and Atlantic Power, which cut its dividend last week, the saintly spud’s picks weren’t too terrible. And if you recall, he took home the top prize from last year’s contest, so I suppose he could be getting a little unlucky here.
Or maybe he got drunk off power — and beer — and now is so overconfident that only I, SNARKY BLOG JOKE MAKING MAN can save you from years of Holy Potato dominating the contest.
Okay, maybe not.
What will the next quarter bring? If I may make a prediction, I think My Own Advisor is going to be looking pretty good if we continue to see the markets sell off. And if not? Perhaps Save. Spend. Splurge. can make it a first ever victory for a lady in this contest. Take that, patriarchy.