I’m not going to bury the lede. 2015 was not a good year to be a stock picker.

Canadian markets ended the year soundly in the red, falling more than 10%. Toronto was weighed down by practically everything, but energy, gold, and materials really brought down the index. This is of no surprise to the readers from Alberta, AKA the land of SWEET JESUS I NEED A JOB.

American markets were decidedly better, only falling marginally over the year. But even that didn’t tell the whole picture. Stocks like Facebook, Google (nope, not calling it Alphabet), and Netflix soared, while everything else tanked. I read those three stocks collectively added $500 billion to their market caps, while the rest of the market lost $500 billion. Not sure if that’s true, but close enough. The U.S. market would have been almost as bad as Canada’s if it wasn’t for some of the high-flyers.

Even though some of us PF bloggers (okay, just me) might seem all smart and whatnot, we got crushed in 2015. Part of that is the nature of this contest, of course. I actively encourage participants to swing for the fences. Good dividend-paying blue chip stocks are the key to getting rich. They are not the key to winning a contest like this one.

When we last left the contest, Don’t Quit Your Day Job had a seemingly insurmountable lead. Could he hang on, or would YOUR BOY Nelson come back from last place to overtake him? Allow me to present the results in a pretty table form, along with my witty somewhat entertaining commentary underneath.

Contestant Result
1. Don’t Quit Your Day Job +19.5%
2. Jeff +5.5%
3. Vanessa’s Money +2.0%
4. My Pennies My Thoughts -2.0%
5. 101 Centavos -4.6%
6. Ben -5.5%
7. Boomer and Echo -8.4%
8. Avrex Money -14.9%
9. Mochi and Macrons -16.7%
10. Freedom 35 Blog -19.3%
11. Holy Potato -28.9%
12. Money Propeller -31.1%
13. Financial Uproar -38.1%
14. Doug -41.2%
15. My Own Advisor -41.5%

Related: Want some (potentially) better picks for 2016? Here you go.

Some thoughts:

  •  Poor Mark from My Own Advisor. Each year I make fun of his solid dividend-paying picks for being boring. This time around Mark decided to get a little frisky and pick three energy names (Baytex, Kinder Morgan, and Canadian Oil Sands). These picks did not work out, with each falling an average of 50%.
  • The worst pick of the contest was Lightstream Resources (held by Doug and Holy Potato, down 78%), followed by Winnipeg Free Press (held by me, down 76%), followed by Baytex Energy (held by Money Propeller, My Own Advisor, and Doug again, down 72%). Other terrible performers were Penn West (down 50%) and Pengrowth Energy (down 67.5%)
  • Vanessa’s picks were the Russian ETF (up 3.7%), the Russian Small-Cap ETF (down 1.9%), the S&P 500 ETF (up 1.2%) and Suncor (up 5%). She wins the award of the most boring picks, which is not something I would have predicted at this point last year.
  • The best picks of the contest were gun maker Sturm, Ruger and Co. (chosen by 101 Centavos, up 75%), Credit Acceptance Corp (chosen by Don’t Quit Your Day Job, up 57%), and Valero Energy (Don’t Quit Your Day Job again, up 47%).
  • My Own Advisor was the only contestant who ended up with all four picks negative. Several of us almost joined him. Village Farms ended the year unchanged for me. Freedom 35 Blog had BlackBerry (up 0.8%) to go with his three losing picks. And Money Propeller’s all energy portfolio didn’t work out with the exception of Suncor, which had a total return of 5%.

And that’s all I’ve got. Congrats to Don’t Quit Your Day Job, whose prize of me totally not kicking him in the ribcage is in the mail.

Tell everyone, yo!