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.

Stock Picking Contest Update: Feast or Famine

Stock Picking Contest Update: Feast or Famine

It’s time for the latest update of the stock picking contest, where a dozen or so of your favorite personal finance and investing bloggers (along with Financial Uproar!) pick their four favorite stocks for the year.

When we last left the contest, blog reader Doug was giving us a whipping worse than was administered to the protagonists in Leather Bound Hotties 6, a movie I assure you guys I only watched out of intellectual curiosity. His portfolio was up more than 76%. Janine from My Pennies My Thoughts was in second place, with her four stocks increasing a mere 52.7%. Or, as I call it, THE WORST YEAR EVER.

YOUR BOY Financial Uproar was comfortably in 5th place, showing that, somehow, 5th place is the new winner. Whatever kids, it takes real skill to not win and embarrass the whole lot of ya.

Without further adieu, let’s take a closer look at the current results, as of Friday. We’ll then take a look at how well we did collectively against the index.

Contestant Result
1. Blog Reader Doug +116.2%
2. My Pennies My Thoughts +72.3%
3. My Own Advisor +24.1%
4. Blog reader Tyler +21.0%
5. Avrex Money +17.8%
6. Holy Potato +14.6%
7. Freedom 35 Blog +11.9%
8. Vanessa’s Money +8.5%
9. Financial Uproar +7.3%
10. Blog reader Jeff +0.6%
11. Blog reader Ben -4.7%
12. Don’t Quit Your Day Job -9.0%
13. Kapitalust -10.4%
14. Boomer and Echo -26.0%

Some notes

First of all, you can see everyone’s picks here. The next few sentences will make more sense if you check out the original choices.

  • Blog reader Doug had three(!) stocks that went up more than 100%–Aurora Cannabis, Painted Pony Petroleum, and Nemaska Lithium. The other, Knight Therapeutics, was up a terrible 22.8% in comparison.
  • I’ve decided to let Doug invest my portfolio from now on. I will pay him $20 per quarter for this privilege.
  • My Own Advisor, who I mock for having boring picks every time, continues to post solid results that beat most of us. Well played, Mark.
  • Don’t Quit Your Day Job sucks and I couldn’t be happier.
  • I am being beaten by my wife, which I’m sure I will hear about relentlessly over the next weeks/months. Or only once and then she’ll forget about it until next quarter.
  • Boomer and Echo continues to suck. There’s also at least a 42% chance he intentionally tanked the competition like Joe from Timeless Finance did a few years ago. I mean who intentionally picks both GoPro and FitBit? It’s like his uncool cheap friend was over when he made his picks, and just choose what that friend was wearing.
  • No, I was not over at Boomer and Echo’s house. He has a restraining order against me. 🙁
  • Kapitalust picked Chipotle, Sam Adams Beer, and Sprouts Farmers Market, showing once and for all douchey food stocks will never be the answer to any investing question. His other pick was Lululemon, which I will always approve of. Even when I see dudes wearing their sweat pants. In public.
  • When was the last time you saw somebody wearing Lulus in public? It’s been a while for me, I think.
  • The rest of y’all are so boring I have nothing left to say to you. You’re all dead to me.

How’d we do against the index?

Glad you asked. Here’s a summary of us versus the main indexes.

  • Finance bloggers: 17.5%
  • TSX Composite Index (dividends included): 15.4%
  • S&P 500 (dividends included): 7.6%

Congratulations, y’all. We have beaten the index thus far this year. Will this be enough to silence all the indexers forever? Yes. I am 100% confident of this.

2016 Stock Market Competition Update: We’re Not Terrible!

2016 Stock Market Competition Update: We’re Not Terrible!

When we last left the 2016 edition of the stock picking contest, Janine from My Pennies My Thoughts was giving the 13 other contestants a through ass kicking, posting a return of 23.2% over only three months. Annualized, I’m pretty sure that works out to about a BILLION PERCENT annually.

I’m good at math.

She was almost six percentage points above blog reader Doug who posted a 17.4% return. Doug was closely followed by Tyler, who was up 16.3%. And My Own Advisor was comfortably in 4th, posting a total return of 13.8%.

The rest of us, apparently, sucked. You can check out the full results if you want here.

A whole quarter has passed since, and plenty has changed. Donald Trump went from being a legitimate presidential contender to being a slightly less legitimate presidential candidate. And the Toronto Maple Leafs went from a gong show to a gong show with the first overall draft pick.

Okay, so it turns out not much has changed. Except for some stock prices, I guess.

So without further adieu, let’s look at the latest results.

1. Blog reader Doug (+76.5%)

No, that’s not a typo. That’s truly a performance for the ages.

Doug had one stock that went up more than 200% (Nemaska Lithium) and one that went up more than 100% (Painted Pony Petroleum). His other two selections didn’t do much at all. The scary part is if the end of the quarter would have come on May 31st, Nemaska would have been up more than 300%.

Hey Doug, if you’re reading this, leave a comment about what attracted you to Nemaska. Or Painted Pony. ALLOW US TO LEARN FROM YOU, OH GLORIOUS MASTER.

2. My Pennies My Thoughts (+52.7%)

Janine improved considerably over her first quarter performance, increasing her imaginary mini portfolio by more than 50%. And all she gets is my all-caps scorn. SECOND PLACE IS THE FIRST LOSER, LOOOOOOOOSER.

Most of Janine’s success came from Barrick Gold, a company no legitimate investor would have touched at the beginning of this competition. It just goes to show you “legitimate” investors often do get stuff wrong. Go ahead and laugh at them, all they’ve got going for them are consistent appearances on CNBC, great high-paying jobs, attractive spouses, and billions under management. JOKE’S ON YOU, SUCKERS.

3. Blog reader Tyler (+23.2%)

Tyler picked the first preferred share of the history of the competition, choosing the Dundee Corp Series 3 Preferred shares, a very boring name for an interesting stock. The pick proved to be a great one, increasing more than 56% including dividends. Who said preferred shares had to be boring?

Tyler also picked CRH Medical Corp, which increased more than 22%. But more importantly, here’s what CRH Medical does:

“The company specializes in the treatment of hemorrhoids utilizing its treatment protocol and technology.” Finally, medicine is starting to tackle the issues that really matter.

4. My Own Advisor (+21.8%)

Mark from My Own Advisor continues to finish somewhere in the middle of the pack using his dividend/value approach, a fine strategy for real life. All four of his picks of Bank of Nova Scotia, TransCanada, Crescent Point, and Emerson Electric finished up double digits.

5. Financial Uproar (+12.0%)


My best stock was Corus, which ended the six month period up 28.6%. I also got solid performances from Hammond Manufacturing and Directcash, which were up 18.5% and 10.1% respectively. My only dud was dividend aristocrat Franklin Resources, the owner of Franklin Templeton investments. It turns out that betting against ETFs wasn’t such a smart move. At least I talked myself out of buying it with real money.

Disclosure: I own Corus, Hammond, and Directcash.

6. Freedom 35 Blog (+10.9%)

The owner of this particular blog likes to refer to himself as “Liquid Independence”, which is kinda gross. What kind of liquids are we talking here? I hope it’s not pee.

Anyhoo, his relatively standard picks of Starbucks, Waste Management, Equifax, and Royal Bank finished a relatively standard middle of the pack. It’s a very beige result and My Own Advisor is a little jealous.

7. Holy Potato (+10.6%)

As mentioned last quarter, Holy Potato chose a different Dundee preferred share than Tyler. Turns out it was the wrong one, since the company decided to just redeem the stupid thing, locking him into a 14.7% gain. That’s not terrible, but it’s nothing compared to the 56% Tyler made.

Holy Potato’s other picks included a Fannie Mae (or Freddie Mac, like I can tell the difference) preferred share, Canexus Corp, and American Hotel Income Properties. Y’know, the blue chip household names we’ve all grown to love.

8. Vanessa’s Money (+5.4%)

If it wasn’t for Vanessa’s smart ass pick of ISIS Pharmaceuticals (which is since changed its name and fallen more than 60%), she would be near the top. Other picks of Wal-Mart (+20%), iShares MSCI Canada Index (16.4%), and Bombardier (+44.8%) performed pretty well. I thought the iShares pick was particularly clever, which was both a bet on Canada and a bet on the U.S. Dollar.

Still, I feel like I must alert the authorities of Vanessa’s obvious LOVE OF ISIS. HEY, AMERICAN GOVERNMENT. DO NOT LET THIS WOMAN INTO YOUR COUNTRY.

9. Avrex Money (+3.1%)

Andrew chose eBay as one of his stocks, that website you might remember from 2006. Well, it turns out it’s still around and losing him imaginary money, falling 13.5%. Richie Bros Auctioneering did much better, rising some 30%.

10. Blog Reader Ben (-1.4%)

Even Ben’s excellent pick of Dream Office REIT (up 11.6% and a personal holding of mine) wasn’t enough to offset his loss in Bank of America, which declined more than 20%. I haven’t been this mad at the U.S. banks since they almost caused the collapse of the financial system as we know it, a comparable offense to not increasing to help out a Financial Uproar blog reader.

11. Kapitalust (-2.3%)

After posting double-digit negative returns from three of his four picks (Chipotle, Sprouts Farmer’s Market and Boston Beer), I think it’s obvious Mr. Lust should spend more time ogling stacks of $100s or jerking it to balance sheets or whatever his perverted mind thinks is normal.

And in case you needed further proof he’s a DEPRIVED SICKO, his only positive pick was Lululemon. Disgusting.

12. Blog reader Jeff (-7.8%)

Jeff lost money on Bank of America, ATS Automation, and ProMetic Life Sciences. At least two of those companies are 100% fabricated.

13. Don’t Quit Your Day Job (-11.7%)

After winning last year’s contest, PK’s picks are almost in the basement, showing the fickle nature of the contest. One year you’re on top of the world, winning the coveted golden plunger award I physically mail to each winner’s work so they get embarrassed by it. The next you’re in the gutter, getting beaten by said plunger by some local youths.

This contest is surprisingly violent.

14. Boomer and Echo (-38.7%)

Here’s an actual conversation I had with Robb’s wife, who asked I keep our conversation anonymous. I AM NOT TO BE TRUSTED.

“How does it feel to be married to such a terrible stock picker?”

(Signs divorce papers, moves to North Korea)

How’d we do versus the index?

Overall, our 56 total stock picks were up 10.99%, handily beating the year to date returns of the TSX Composite (+8.1%) and the S&P 500, which increased 2.9%. Look for our ETF in the next few weeks, further proof they’ll give an ETF to anyone. It’s pretty much the stock picking equivalent of the NBA free agency market.

2016 Stock Picking Contest Q1 Results

2016 Stock Picking Contest Q1 Results

Oh boy, boys and girls (and whatever else you FREAKS identify as)! It’s time to reveal the results of the first quarter of the 2016 stock picking contest. If you want a recap of what everyone picked, point yo mouse towards the 2016 picks.

In case you need a reminder, let me go over the rules. Each contestant picks four stocks that trade on any North American exchange. I tabulate the results including dividends but excluding any changes in currencies. ETFs are allowed, but not anything weird that I haven’t heard of (this is known as the DQYDJ rule). The average of the four picks is the result. As a new wrinkle in this year’s contest, I gave the contestants the option of picking cash as a position, something that would return a guaranteed 1% per year. Not surprisingly, nobody took me up on the offer.

ENOUGH PREAMBLE. It’s time for the results, yo, followed by my ever so witty commentary. Better dial 91 on your phone to call the fire department because the burns are going to get pretty hot and heavy up in here.

The results

Contestant Result
1. My Pennies My Thoughts +23.2%
2. Blog reader Doug +17.4%
3. Blog reader Tyler +16.3%
4. My Own Advisor +13.8%
5. Financial Uproar +8.5%
6. Kapitalust +7.0%
7. Freedom 35 Blog +4.0%
8. Avrex Money +2.0%
9. Blog reader Ben -1.35%
10. Holy Potato -1.38%
11. Vanessa’s Money -3.3%
12. Don’t Quit Your Day Job -4.2%
13. Blog reader Jeff -8.8%
14. Boomer and Echo -20.0%

Now, onto the chuckles and random observations.

Chuckles and crap

  • The best pick for the first quarter was Barrick Gold (a company I’ve taken to calling Barrick GoLOLd) by My Pennies My Thoughts. Barrick went up 72.6% in the quarter because gold had its best quarter in the last 30 years. It just shows how a truly depressed asset can really deliver stellar returns when something happens to snap it out of its funk.
  • After Barrick the best performing stocks were Nemaska Lithium (chosen by Doug, up 54.6%), Lululemon (chosen by Kapitalust, up 29.1%), the Dundee preferred shares (chosen by Tyler, up 38.8%), and DuPont Fabros Technology (again chosen by My Pennies My Thoughts, up 29%). Good luck predicting those results. Who would have thought a preferred share would have done so well?
  • Mark from My Own Advisor had all four of his stocks go up double digits. His best performer was Emerson Electric, up 14.7%. His worst performer was Crescent Point, which went up 13%.
  • Don’t Quit Your Day Job won the 2015 edition of the contest. PK is now in 12th out of 14th. Finally, justice prevails. Good triumphs over evil and whatnot.
  • Robbbbbbb (actual spelling, check his birth certificate) from Boomer and Echo told me “I’m terrible at this” when he submitted his picks. That foreshadowing was eerily accurate. His terrible picks included Fitbit (down 48.8%) and GoPro (down 33.6%).
  • Holy Potato picked the Dundee series C preferred shares. They traded at $14.25 at the end of last year. They’ve been taken private by Dundee for $16.34 each, locking in a 14.7% gain. The rules state he’s locked into that return, which isn’t the worst result out there.
  • YOUR BOY Nelson joined Mark by having all of his picks in positive territory. My worst performer was Directcash, which was up a measly 1.7%.
  • Vanessa claimed she was a better investor than me in a recent blog post. She was wrong.

So, did we beat the market?

In the first quarter, the TSX Composite returned 5.1% and the S&P 500 returned 3.06%, at least according to their respective ETFs. We’ll use those as our benchmarks.

As a group, we generated returns of 3.79%, which beat the S&P 500 and lost to the TSX Composite. The TSX Composite is probably the more accurate index to use to gauge our results since the majority of the picks were from the Canadian markets.

Six out of 14 contestants beat the TSX Composite while seven out of 14 beat the S&P 500. If we take away Robb’s terrible last place result — remember, he finished a full 12% behind the second-worst competitor — we collectively do pretty well against the market. But we can’t really do that, because it’s not like the market can retroactively remove its worst performers too.

Besides, I fully encourage competitors to swing for the fences for this contest. Big gains are fun; so are big losses. I don’t ask the competitors for disclosure because it’s just a dumb contest, but I’d bet most don’t even own the stocks they chose. Nobody is building a portfolio using these picks. They lack the kind of diversity needed in a good portfolio.