In case you missed it yesterday, congrats to Doug for winning the 2016 edition of the contest with a stunning 167% total return. I haven’t seen anything that impressive since those leaked Kate Upton pics.

But that was last year. It’s time for the much expanded 2017 edition of the contest. We have 22 entrants this year, with a surprising 95%+ sign-up rate for people I asked. These people must truly be starved for something to do. I should mail them all rubix cubes or something.

The rules are simple. Each person picks four different stocks. Both U.S. and Canadian stocks were fine, and ETFs were even a valid choice — as long as they weren’t weird. Yes, I realize that’s a very vague rule, but it’s a stock picking contest, darg bloomit. Not a weird-ass-ETF-picking contest.

All four picks are averaged out (including dividends) into a total return. Currency fluctuations don’t count and any stocks listed in both Canada and the United States would default to the Canadian listing. There was also an option to choose cash (and a guaranteed 1% return), but, unsurprisingly, nobody took that offer. Although a couple people did make choices that indicated they were pretty bearish on the stock market overall.

That’s enough preamble. Let’s get to it.

The picks, yo 

This year’s contest was basically open to whoever wanted in. If a blogger made picks I’ve linked to their blog. These are in no particular order.

Asset Based Life

  • First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR)
  • Frontline (NYSE:FRO)
  • Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB)
  • Egypt ETF (NYSE:EGPT)

The Egypt ETF is my favorite selection, but you gotta love Frontline, a company trading at a P/E of 0.78 and a dividend yield of 48%. Pretty sure those numbers are wrong, but like hell I’m going to research them.

Ian Bezek

  • Diageo (NYSE:DEO)
  • Brown-Forman Corp (NYSE:BF.B)
  • Vina Concha y Toro SA (NYSE:VCO)
  • Formento Economico Mexicano SAD (NYSE:FMX)

I’ll save y’all the trouble of looking these up. They’re all alcohol providers. NO, YOUR PICKS ARE DRUNJ. Ian also lives in Mexico, which explains the foreign flavor of his picks.

Kapitalust

  • Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD)
  • GlaskoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK)
  • Novo Nordisk (NYSE:NVO)
  • Domino’s Pizza (NYSE:DPZ)

Will Mr. Lust recover from his embarrassing showing in last year’s contest? I certainly like his chances better this year with a bunch of cheap biotech stocks. And if he loses he can drown his sorrows in pizza.

Steveonomics

  • Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)
  • Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM)
  • Bank of America (NYSE:BAC)
  • The GEO Group (NYSE:GEO)

Steve is normally an index investor, so I want his picks to do well. Then he’ll be tempted to join us over in the dark side (plays Darth Vader music).

Roadmap to Retirement

  • Silver Wheaton (TSX:SLW)
  • Ivanhoe Mines (TSX:IVN)
  • Junior Gold Miners ETF (NYSE:GDXJ)
  • Brazil ETF (NYSE:EWZ)

Three precious metals stocks? OOH BABY SOMEBODY IS BEARISH AND I LIKE IT.

JT McGee

  • Crossroads Capital (NASDAQ:XRDC)
  • Interactive Brokers (NASDAQ:IBKR)
  • Oaktree Capital (NYSE:OAK)
  • Vanguard Short-Term Bond ETF (NYSE:BSV)

I used to make fun of JT for looking like he’s 12, but after meeting him in Omaha this year I realize I may have been a little harsh. He totally looks 17. His stock picking cred is top-notch though. I’d pay attention.

Financial Canadian

  • Enbridge (TSX:ENB)
  • Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL)
  • Disney (NYSE:DIS)
  • Brookfield Asset Management (TSX:BAM.A)

I see FC is trying to knock off My Own Advisor as the king of boring picks this year. Expect the two of them to FIGHT TO THE DEATH FOR THIS CROWN.

(flicks lights on and off) FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT.

Blog reader Jeff

  • Pro-Metic Life Sciences (TSX:PLI)
  • New Residential Investment Corp (NYSE:NRZ)
  • LGI Homes (NASDAQ:LGIH)
  • Linamar (TSX:LNR)

Two of the same picks as last year? Lame. Come on Jeff, SWING FOR THE FENCES. TRIPLE LEVERAGE THAT SHIT, YO.

Don’t Quit Your Day Job

  • Bed Bath and Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY)
  • Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN)
  • Spirit Airlines (NASDAQ:SAVE)
  • Air Lease Corp (NYSE:AL)

PK went with two contrarian sectors this year, much to the delight of the contrarian investor organizing the contest. Sucking up is encouraged.

Ezriek

  • Under Armor (NYSE:UAA)
  • Lululemon (NASDAQ:LULU)
  • Baidu.com (NASDAQ:BIDU)
  • Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA)

These four stocks are apparently Ezriek’s four largest real-life holdings. Oh, buddy. We gotta talk.

The rest of the entires

My Own Advisor

  • Algonquin Power and Utilities (TSX:AQN)
  • Suncor (TSX:SU)
  • General Electric (NYSE:GE)
  • Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC)

I’m not sure what’s more predictable — Mark’s slow and steady picks or my jokes making fun of him for being boring. He did beat me last year and was surprisingly nice about not rubbing it in my face.

My Pennies My Thoughts 

  • Uranium Energy Corp (NYSE:UEC)
  • Prairie Sky Royalties (TSX:PSK)
  • Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTN)
  • Medical Marijuana (OTC:MJNA)

Pot did work out pretty well for Janine last year, so I can see why she went back to the well. And that uranium stock has good potential too. Good swinging for the fences picks.

Boomer and Echo

  • First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR)
  • Canadian Solar (NASDAQ:CSIQ)
  • Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA)
  • Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM)

I enjoyed the Exxon Mobil hedge there at the end. Also, I’m at least 42% convinced Robb is trying to lose on purpose, guys.

Vanessa’s Money

  • Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT)
  • Russia ETF (NYSE:RSX)
  • Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV)
  • Sandridge Mississippian Trust II (NYSE:SDR)

That last pick has a 28% yield, at least according to Google Finance. If y’all need me I’ll be using my wife’s outsized dividends to, I dunno, harass you all at work. I’ll totally hire Italics man to phone you.

Freedom 35 Blog

  • Royal Bank (TSX:RY)
  • Fairfax Financial (TSX:FFH)
  • High-Liner Foods (TSX:HLF)
  • Honeywell (NYSE:HON)

I own two of these stocks (Fairfax and High-Liner), so naturally I approve of these picks. Also, everyone who buys stocks after I do is plagiarizing me.

Blog reader Ben

  • Pizza Pizza (TSX:PZA)
  • Alaris Royalty (TSX:AD)
  • Dreyfuss High-Yield Strategies Fund (NYSE:DHF)
  • American Hotel Income Properties (TSX:HOT.UN)

Ben also chose two stocks I own (Pizza Pizza and the Dreyfuss Fund). Tsk tsk. SO MUCH PLAGIARIZING GOING ON UP IN HERE.

Blog reader Doug

  • Hudson’s Bay (TSX:HBC)
  • Knight Therapeutics (TSX:GUD)
  • Precision Drilling (TSX:PD)
  • Manulife Financial (TSX:MFC)

Recent history shows that last year’s champion has sucked in the following year, so enjoy your 18th place finish, loooooooooser. Yeah, that’s right. He got to rest on his laurels for all of a day.

Holy Potato

  • CIBC (TSX:CM)
  • Genworth MI Canada Inc (TSX:MIC)
  • Equitable Bank (TSX:EQB)
  • Home Capital Group (TSX:HCG)

It’s “the Canadian housing market is never going to crash portfolio.” Direct quote.

Dividend Growth Investor

  • Russia ETF (NYSE:RSX)
  • Turkey ETF (NYSE:TUR)
  • Poland ETF (NYSE:PLND)
  • Italy ETF (NYSE:EWI)

Considering DGI’s whole life consists of 96% dividend growth investing (3% breathing and 1% eating), these picks are a big change. LOVE IT. I like to hope he’s been a penny stock guy all along and his whole blog was the ultimate long con.

Tawcan

  • Canopy Growth Corp (TSX:CGC)
  • Facebook (NASDAQ:FB)
  • Honeywell (NYSE:HON)
  • Mastercard (NYSE:MA)

Another dividend-growth investor going off the rails a little bit. I love what this contest does to people. Still don’t know what a Tawcan is, though.

Marty 

  • Coffee ETF (NYSE:JO)
  • Fiat (NYSE:FCAU)
  • U.S. Natural Gas Fund (NYSE:UNG)
  • Xerox (NYSE:XRX)

I’m 21 people deep here. I’m out of witty commentary.

You were out of witty commentary 18 people ago. 

Nelson’s picks

This is getting pretty long so I’ll just spend a couple lines for each of my picks.

Hudson’s Bay (TSX:HBC)

This one is simple. Shares trade hands at $13 and change today. Management thinks the real estate alone is worth $36 per share. The retailer itself is probably worth another $10 per share. It looks like it’ll finally spin out a lot of the real estate into a REIT in 2017, thereby unlocking value.

Hammond Manufacturing (TSX:HMM.A)

Picking Hammond for the second year in a row because it’s still super cheap. Book value is above $4 per share, which is more than double the current price. Shares were doing well last year until they stumbled on earnings, but the company has moved operations to a new factory which should help the bottom line.

HMG/Courtland Properties (NYSE:HMG)

These guys are real estate developers with tons of value on the balance sheet. Current price: $10.51 per share. Book value: $21.29. And they’re working on a new development with a partner that could start producing some major value in 2017.

Dundee Corp (TSX:DC.A)

Dundee is a conglomerate with a real mis-mash of assets. They own big parts of a gold producer, an oil company, a real estate developer, and about a dozen other things. Trades at a huge discount to the sum of its parts and it has enough gold exposure to serve as a decent hedge against a falling market.

Back to your regular programming tomorrow. Good luck to everyone who entered. Except that Financial Uproar guy. He can go straight to hell.

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