Revealed: My Picks for The Asset-Based Life Stock Picking Contest

Revealed: My Picks for The Asset-Based Life Stock Picking Contest

Long-term readers probably remember back when I used to do a stock picking contest, a competition that pitted the best personal finance and investing blogs out there (along with Financial Uproar) in a supreme battle to crown the world’s best investor. And then I got lazy and abandoned the whole exercise. This is my life in a nutshell, actually. I’m not sure how I manage to feed and clothe myself.

Paul from Asset-Based Life picked the bad boy up and immediately did more than I ever could have with the contest. He did a fantastic job running it in 2018 before adding a whole new element to the contest this year. Rather than just picking four stocks (my rules) or three (his version), he’d use an online simulator to tabulate the results.

Here’s a link to the 2019 version on Asset-Based Life.

This fancy new tool offered much more than just saving Paul some spreadsheet action. It enabled the contest to add things like portfolios with far more than three stocks in them, active trading, betting against stocks, keeping capital in cash, and an easily accessible leaderboard where I can witness my INEVITABLE VICTORY on a daily basis.

See what I mean? In just over a year of hosting the contest ol’ Pauly made it a million times better than I ever could have.

After my disappointing finish last year (I still beat the dog!), I was excited to reassert my dominance this year. Let’s take a closer look at my picks.

My portfolio

Before we get to the picks themselves, let me explain my strategy.

You can’t buy the kind of dividend stocks that I’ve been mostly buying lately for something like this. These blue-chips just won’t surge enough to win the contest. An 8-10% annual return (that minimizes volatility) is just fine in real life, but it’s not going to win a competition like this one. You need to be Hitler invading Soviet Union bold. You either take over the world or die in a Russian winter trying.


Many people embrace this strategy by buying the sexiest growth stock in some new industry. Two separate people won my contests by choosing pot stocks before they were cool, for instance.

I’m a crummy growth investor, so I try a different approach. I’m looking at deep value stocks. Rather than focusing on companies trading at a big discount to book value like I’ve done before, I decided to buy stocks that trade at low price-to-cash flow yields.

Without further adieu, here’s my portfolio (and weightings) for the contest as it stands as I write this, January 10th:

  • TransAlta (TSX:TA): 5.06%
  • American Hotel Properties (TSX:HOT.UN): 5.19%
  • Polaris Infrastructure (TSX:PIF): 4.36%
  • Corus Entertainment (TSX:CJR.B): 5.14%
  • Molson Coors (TSX:TPX.A)(NYSE:TAP): 6.06%
  • Artis REIT (TSX:AX.UN): 5.82%
  • Altagas (TSX:ALA): 5.20%
  • Brookfield Property Partners (TSX:BPY.UN)(NASDAQ:BPY): 16.82%
  • Dollarama (TSX:DOL): 5.04%

And finally…

  • Cash: 41.67%

(Disclosure: Long TSX:PIF, TSX:CJR.B, TSX:TPX.A, TSX:AX.UN, TSX:ALA, TSX:BPY.UN in real life)

My strategy

Primarily I plan to trash talk all opponents until they cry and drop out of the contest in embarrassment. If that doesn’t work then here’s my Plan B.

All of these stocks (except for Dollarama, which is my vain attempt at GARP investing) have one thing in common. They all trade at ridiculously low price-to-free cash flow metrics. Corus has a $1.1 billion market cap and generated more than $300M in free cash flow last year. TransAlta is similarly cheap. Brookfield isn’t quite as inexpensive, but it trades at 8-9x estimated free cash flow for 2019 (or in the REIT world, adjusted funds from operations), which is a great price to pay for those assets. There’s a reason why I made it a way bigger pick than the rest.

Now let’s move onto the cash balance. I’m hoping there’s another leg down to this bear market so I can put that cash to work in other assets trading at low prices. I have no special insight into this, I just figure having fresh cash will set me apart from my competitors if we see another big downturn.

I may dabble a bit into shorting too if the market keeps heading higher, but I dunno. Shorting is hard and I’m terrible at it.

Let’s wrap this up

I’m currently 5th (out of 16) in the contest so far, which is a pretty solid start. Jordan from Money Maaster is off to a nice lead to start with, his portfolio is up 7.77%. Then we have Paul’s kid, his dog, and then his other kid. I’m not kidding. I’m getting my ass kicked by a couple of wiener kids and a dog.

Finally there’s me; I’m up a cool 3.83% to start. Not bad considering the 42% cash position.

I might update this soon if I put the majority of that cash to work. If not you’ll have to wait until some other random date until I update this.

Stock Picking Contest Q2 Update

Stock Picking Contest Q2 Update

I’m kind of tired of doing these, so this will be short and sweet. If you’d like to see what each competitor picked, go to the 2017 entry page. And here’s everyone’s Q1 results.

If you’d like to view the spreadsheet that tabulates everyone’s results, too damn bad. THAT’S PROPRIETARY, YO.

The results

Contestant Results
1. Boomer and Echo +28.5%
2. Dividend Growth Investor +18.7%
3. Kapitalust +16.7%
4. Roadmap 2 Retirement +15.7%
5. Steveonomics +15.0%
6. Tawcan +12.8%
7. Ian Bezek +11.8%
8. Ezriek +10.9%
9. JT McGee +9.8%
10. Financial Canadian +9.1%
11. Vanessa’s Money +8.8%
12. Jeff +8.0%
13. Canadian Value Investing +6.0%
14. Asset-Based Life +4.4%
15. Ben +2.2%
16. Janine Rogan +1.7%
17. Freedom 35 Blog +0.8%
18. My Own Advisor -0.4%
19. Marty Guthrie -9.1%
20. Holy Potato -10.1%
21. Doug -14.09%
22. Don’t Quit Your Day Job -14.14%
23. Financial Uproar -14.6%

Overall, we averaged a 5.15% return. That beat the S&P/TSX Composite Index (which is up a little less than 1% thus far in 2017, including dividends), while trailing the S&P 500, which is up close to 10%. We’re lagging the Russell 2000 ever so slightly; it returned approximately 5.2% thus far in 2017.

Just think. If it wasn’t for Financial Uproar and his four terrible picks, our group of misfit bloggers operating out of their mothers’ basements would be beating the market.

Congratulations to Boomer and Echo for pulling into the lead. Remember, he stunk up the joint last year with picks so bad I was at least 70% convinced he was trying to lose on purpose. It just goes to show how much of a crapshoot this thing really is.

Stock Picking Contest Q1 Update

Stock Picking Contest Q1 Update

Each year, I ask LITERALLY HUNDREDS of your favorite finance blogs (and Financial Uproar, which we can all agree sucks now) to participate in a stock picking contest. I do this same ol’ preamble even though the contest is almost old enough to drink and y’all clearly know what the deal is.

Anyhoo, for the two of you who don’t know the rules, here’s how it works. Each participant chooses four stocks, ETFs, preferred shares, or whatever else. As long as it’s not too weird, I’m okay with it. The total return of each (including dividends) is then divided by four to get a average return. Any inter-listed stocks automatically default to the Toronto Stock Exchange listing and if your stock gets acquired during the year, you’re locked into that return.

Enough about the rules. Let’s get to the returns. We’ll start with the worst and work our way up.

The returns, yo

22. Financial Uproar

Hammond (TSX:HMM.A) -4.69%
Hudson’s Bay (TSX:HBC) -17.66%
HMG/Courtland Properties (NYSE:HMG) 1.33%
Dundee Corporation (TSX:DC.A) -31.6%
Total -13.15%

I keep telling you guys that Financial Uproar guy sucks. Why won’t anyone listen to me?

21. Doug

Knight Therapeutics (TSX:GUD) -3.26%
Hudson’s Bay (TSX:HBC) -17.66%
Precision Drilling (TSX:PD) -14.07%
Manulife Financial (TSX:MFC) -0.48%
Total -8.87%

Doug was last year’s champion. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. This happens every year, btw, much to my delight.

20. Asset-Based Life

First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) -15.55%
Frontline (NYSE:FRO) -3.09%
Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB) -5.19%
Egypt ETF (NYSE:EGPT) 7.39%
Total -4.11%

These returns aren’t 100% accurate since Deutsche Bank gave investors some rights when it did a big equity raise back in March. But since Paul’s results were pretty crappy I didn’t bother including them.

19. Marty Guthrie

Coffee ETF (NYSE:JO) -0.56%
Fiat (NYSE:FCAU) 19.85%
Natural Gas ETF (NYSE:UNG) -18.95%
Xerox (NYSE:XRX) -15.23%
Total -3.73%

Marty Guthrie isn’t his real name, obviously, but I still enjoyed his coffee and natural gas ETF picks. Too bad they didn’t do better.

18. Don’t Quit Your Day Job

Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY) -2.58%
Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN) -16.57%
Spirit Airlines (NASDAQ:SAVE) -8.28%
Air Lease Corp (NYSE:AL) 13.11%
Total -3.58%

I enjoyed the contrarian retail and airline picks. Remember, Buffett hadn’t yet invested in the sector when these picks were made. Does PK know Warren Buffett? ALL SIGNS POINT TO YES.

17. My Pennies My Thoughts Janine Rogan

Uranium Energy Corp (TSX:UEC) 26.79%
Prairie Sky Royalty (TSX:PSK) -11.58%
Raytheon Corp (NYSE:RTN) 8.17%
Medical Marijuana -35.82%
Total -3.11%

Janine did well going with medical marijuana last year, so it makes sense for her to go back to that well. It did not work out as well as hoped,  but pot stocks are plenty volatile. It could easily come back.

16. Canadian Value Investing

Stella Jones (TSX:SJ) -10.03%
Brookfield Asset Management (TSX:BAM.A) 9.80%
Diversified Royalty Corp (TSX:DIV) 1.36%
Input Capital (TSXV:INP) -3.05%
Total -0.48%

Man, these so-called value investors suck, huh?

15. Ben

Pizza Pizza (TSX:PZA) -1.11%
Alaris Royalty (TSX:AD) -5.16%
Dreyfus High Yield Strategies Fund (NYSE:DHF) 3.27%
American Hotel REIT (TSX:HOT.UN) 4.78%
Total 0.45%


My Own Advisor called and he wants his lame picks back.

14. Freedom 35 Blog

Royal Bank (TSX:RY) 7.54%
Fairfax Financial (TSX:FFH) -4.61%
High Liner Foods (TSX:HLF) -8.82%
Honeywell (NYSE:HON) 8.36%
Total 0.62%

Another lame quarter. I demand better entertainment.

13. My Own Advisor

Algonquin Power (TSX:AQN) 12.82%
Suncor Energy (TSX:SU) -6.26%
General Electric (NYSE:GE) -4.94%
Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) 1.69%
Total 0.83%

It’s fun when punchlines write themselves.

12. Boomer and Echo

First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) -15.55%
Canadian Solar (NASDAQ:CSIQ) 0.74%
Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) 30.24%
Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) -8.31%
Total 1.78%

I’m at least 60% convinced Boomer and Echo throws this contest on purpose by jumping on trends right as investors stop caring. We’ll see if his bet on renewables works out this year or not.

11. Holy Potato

CIBC (TSX:CM) 5.82%
Genworth MI Canada (TSX:MIC) 10.55%
Equitable Bank (TSX:EQB) 15.12%
Home Capital Group (TSX:HCG) -16.44%
Total 3.84%

Holy Potato’s bet on the Canadian housing market isn’t working out so badly.

10. Vanessa’s Money

Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) 5.02%
Russia ETF (NYSE:RSX) -2.59%
Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) 8.07%
Sandridge Mississippian Trust (TSX:SDR) 7.23%
Total 4.43%

My wife is beating me. If y’all need me I’ll be forcing her to make me nine dinners a night.

Time for the top nine

9. Kapitalust 

Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) -4.43%
GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) 10.98%
Norvo Nordisk (NYSE:NVO) -2.54%
Domino’s Pizza (NYSE:DPZ) 16.03%
Total 5.01%

Good for Mr. Lust, improving on his lackluster performance last year.

8. JT McGee

Crossroads Capital (NASDAQ:XRDC) 7.51%
Interactive Brokers (NASDAQ:IBKR) -4.63%
Oaktree Capital (NYSE:OAK) 22.48%
Vanguard Short-Term Bond ETF 0.70%
Total 6.52%

I took a look at Crossroads Capital a few months ago, but didn’t pull the trigger. That’s looking to be a mistake.

7. Dividend Growth Investor

Russia ETF (NYSE:RSX) -2.59%
Turkey ETF (NYSE:TUR) 10.26%
Poland ETF (NYSE:PLND) 18.49%
Italy ETF (NYSE:EWI) 6.32%
Total 8.12%

I love how this contest brings out people’s innovative side. I guarantee DGI doesn’t own any of these in real life.

6. Ian Bezek

Diageo (NYSE:DEO) 12.34%
Brown Foreman (NYSE:BF.B) 3.21%
Vina Concha y Toro (NYSE:VCO) 3.43%
Formento Economico Mexicano SAB (NYSE:FMX) 16.15%
Total 8.78%

Ian’s all booze portfolio is doing pretty well, probably because everyone who didn’t vote Trump are drowning their sorrows as we speak. NO YOU’RE DRUNJ.

5. Blog reader Jeff

Prometic Life Sciences (TSX:PLI) 3.14%
New Residential (NYSE:NRZ) 11.07%
LGI Homes (NYSE:LGIH) 18.03%
Linamar (TSX:LNR) 5.06%
Total 9.32%

All four results were positive. Nice work, Jeff.

4. Financial Canadian

Enbridge (TSX:ENB) -0.37%
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) 24.53%
Disney (NYSE:DIS) 8.80%
Brookfield A.M. (TSX:BAM.A) 9.80%
Total 10.69%

Financial Canadian has seemingly abandoned his blog, which is a shame. I thought he was one of the more promising new voices in the Canadian blog world.

3. Steveonomics

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) 18.23%
Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) -8.31%
Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) 7.10%
The GEO Group (NYSE:GEO) 31.00%
Total 12.01%

I always enjoy it when a documented index investor does well in contests like this one. JOIN THE DARK SIDE MY FRIEND.

2. Tawcan

Canopy Growth (TSX:WEED) 16.52%
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) 23.47%
Honeywell (NYSE:HON) 8.36%
Mastercard (NYSE:MA) 9.14%
Total 14.37%

Another dividend growth investor who has shrugged off an obviously underperforming strategy for something much better. COME AT ME DIVIDEND GUYS I’LL FIGHT EVERY LAST ONE OF YOU.

And finally…

1. Roadmap 2 Retirement

Silver Wheaton (TSX:SLW) 6.82%
Ivanhoe Mining (TSX:IVN) 82.68%
Junior Gold ETF (NYSE:GDXJ) 14.04%
Brazil ETF (NYSE:EWZ) 12.36%
Total 28.97%

And a dividend growth guy leads the contest by picking some no-name commodity stock. This is what makes this contest fun.

It’s The 2017 Stock Picking Contest

It’s The 2017 Stock Picking Contest

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.


  • 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.


  • 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)
  • 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.


  • Under Armor (NYSE:UAA)
  • Lululemon (NASDAQ:LULU)
  • 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

  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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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2016 Stock Picking Contest Final Results

2016 Stock Picking Contest Final Results

Spoiler alert: It turns out we are all awesome. Except for one person. He sucks big time.

Approximately one year ago, I asked hundreds of your favorite personal finance bloggers (and Financial Uproar) to submit their four favorite stocks for 2016. And some even responded!

The rules of the contest were simple. Pick stocks or ETFs that trade on major North American exchanges. The average return of the four stocks (including dividends) would be used. If a stock got acquired during the year the participant would be locked into that gain. And that was about it. It’s a pretty simple contest.

When we last left the stock picking contest, two competitors were running away with things. Blog reader Doug’s mini portfolio was up 116%, while Janine from My Pennies My Thoughts was up more than 72%. My Own Advisor was a distant third, with his picks up more than 24%.

The fourth quarter was a good one for the stock market. For some reason, people are actually excited about a President Donald Trump, something I still can’t believe is a thing. Well played, America. I’m happy to see you guys like jokes.

This bump helped our stock picks. A lot. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

The results

Let’s do things a little differently this time around. We’ll start with the guys who suck and work our way up to the champion.

14. Boomer and Echo 

Under Armor -63.96%
Go Pro -51.64%
Mastercard 6.83%
Fitbit -75.24%
Total  -46.01%

Lol look guys it’s like he tried to find the next Apple over and over again only to fail more badly than that time I tried to pick up crazy Amanda Bynes. How did she not die in 2016?

I have already sent the Golden Toilet award to Robb’s house. I didn’t even need to know the address. It turns out Canada Post was well aware of his suckage too.

13. Kapitalust 

Chipotle -21.37%
Sam Adams -15.88%
Lululemon 23.86
Sprouts Farmers Markets -28.85%
Total -10.56%

Honestly, I should have expected this. He can’t even spell Capitalist right.

12. Don’t Quit Your Day Job

Neustar 39.34%
Cal-Marine Foods -2.11%
Tesoro -15.06%
Honda Motors -8.58%
Total 3.4%

OH HOW THE MIGHTY HAVE FALLEN. Last year’s runaway champion is now almost last, much to my delight. This happened in 2015, too. It’s almost like this is luck or something LALALALALALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU.

11. Blog reader Ben

Starbucks -6.18%
Sierra Wireless -0.25%
Dream Office REIT 21.54%
Bank of America 32.86%
Total 11.99%

You know it’s going to be a good year for everyone when a guy who gains 12% is outside of the top 10.

10. Blog Reader Jeff

Pro-Metic Life Sciences -33.63%
ATS Automation 10.02%
New Residential Investment 44.41%
Bank of America 32.86%
Total 13.41%

New Residential Investment still has a succulent 11.7% dividend if y’all are into such things.

9. Avrex Money

Richie Bros Auctioneering 38.60%
Ebay 8.04%
Expeditors International 19.20%
Molina Healthcare -9.76%
Total 14.02%

I’m going to just go ahead and assume that Molina Healthcare is both owned and operated by Yadier Molina, catcher for the St. Louis Cardinals and highest earning man on the planet with a neck tattoo.

8. Freedom 35 Blog

Starbucks -6.18%
Equifax 7.34%
Waste Management 35.94%
Royal Bank 26.92%
Total 16.01%

Do you guys think if I invested in the garbage company they’d pick up my damn trash more often than once every three weeks? It’s beginning to be a real problem. If they don’t get better I’m going to be forced to take up hoarding.

7. Vanessa’s Money

Walmart 15.20%
iShares Canada ETF 23.49%
Ionis Pharmaceuticals -22.77%
Bombardier 61.19%
Total  19.28%


6. Financial Uproar

Corus 27.22%
Hammond Manufacturing -5.37%
Franklin Resources 9.51%
Directcash 64.15%
Total 23.88%

I would just like to thank Directcash for boosting me up. I owe you guys one. FINE, I’LL GO TAKE SOME CASH OUT ONE DAY GEEZ.

(takes cash out)

“$3 service fee? Go straight to hell.”

Disclosure: I still own Corus and Hammond. Sold Directcash the day the buyout offer came in.

The top five

Pretty impressed at results this year. I returned 24% and didn’t even crack the top five.

5. My Own Advisor

Bank of Nova Scotia 38.57%
Crescent Point 16.32%
TransCanada 38.97%
Emerson Electric 20.57%
Total 28.61%

Mark’s picks are pretty solid. Maybe he should expand into being other people’s advisors. I’ll pay him $9 a year to promptly ignore his advice.

4. Blog reader Tyler

Dundee Preferred shares 62.27%
Imperial Ginseng -30.67%
CRH Medical 74.88%
Diversified Royalty 15.39%
Total 30.47%

Remember when I talked about preferred shares as an income stream? If you identify the right company they can be a massive capital gain opportunity too.

3. Holy Potato

Canexus 22.22%
Freddie Mac Preferred Shares 140.14%
Dundee Preferred Shares 14.67%
American Hotel REIT 4.83%
Total 45.46%

*Potato’s Dundee preferred shares were a different series than Tyler’s. His were swapped out for other ones much earlier in the year. The rules state he’s locked into that return. Not that it would have mattered anyway.

2. My Pennies My Thoughts

Aurora Cannabis 283.33%
Home Depot 2.95%
Dupont Fabros Technology 44.20%
Barrick Gold 110.94%
Total  110.35%

Don’t let Janine’s fantastic returns fool you. Pot stocks are going to end badly. Although I may just want them to fail because of morons like this out there:

“Weed cures cancer, man. They already know it. There’s just too much money to be made treating it!”

(takes bong hit)

(eats handful of Doritos)

And finally….

1. Blog reader Doug

Aurora Cannabis 283.33%
Nemaska Lithium 181.82%
Painted Pony Petroleum 164.94%
Knight Therapeutics 39.12%
Total 167.30%

Hot damn, kids, that has to be some kind of record. Well played, Doug. Considering his fondness of weed stocks maybe we should call him Snoop Doug.

How’d we do versus the index?

We kicked that index’s ass, son!

The TSX Composite Index was up 17.51%. It paid 2.72% in dividends for a total return of 20.23%.

The S&P 500 was up 9.84%. It paid 2.41% in dividends for a total return of 12.25%.

If all our stocks would have been organized in one giant portfolio, we’d be up a collective 30.54%.

That’s the kind of ass kicking Warren Buffett would be proud of. Well done, team. Look for our collective hedge fund to launch in the next couple of months. The working name is Nelson and 13 other morons who are just bringing me down capital management. LLC.

Stay tuned for tomorrow when the much larger 2017 contest will be unveiled, along with my TOP stock pick of 2017. Oh my, what a tease.