Sunday, May 18, 2008

Virtual riches

gold coins
gold coins,
originally uploaded by technicolor.
CNBC is running another one of those fantasy investment contests, runnng from now until July, and I've signed myself up. Why not? The prizes are
  1. Five Hundred Thousand Dollars
  2. One Hundred Thousand Dollars
  3. Fifty Thousand Dollars
  4. A Trip for Winner and one Guest to see Game Three of the 2008 World Series.
  5. A Trip for Winner and one Guest to the Sea Island Golf Resort.
  6. About $5000 of Sony stuff.
  7. A Trip to Jamaica for Winner and one Guest.
  8. A pair of TAG Heuer Watches.
  9. A Florida golf clinic with (recently retired) Annika Sorenstam, plus other perks.
  10. A Trip to Turks and Caicos for Winner and one Guest.
  11. A weekend in a Bentley.
  12. A Trip for the Winner to play in the Main Event of the 2009 World Series of Poker.
  13. A Trip for Winner and one Guest to see the 2009 Super Bowl.
You just have to outsmart a few hundred thousand other players, that's all.

I've set up four of the allowed five million dollar portfolios for myself, and so far none of them are in the red. These are themes of the portfolios:

  1. Earnings reports The weekly prizes are based on largest percentage change of a portfolio, and I figured that the best way of catching a lucky coinidence of a number of stocks "popping" was to chose those schedued to have earnings reports that week. Last week, I started with Brocade Communications, Sony, BMC Software, and Nordstrom turn in good performances for me, with Urban Outfitters posting a loss after missing the analysts' expectations. This week it will be instead Hewlett-Packard, AnnTaylor, Campbell Soup, Saks, and Staples.

  2. Tech tech tech The sector that hasn't had to bear too much of the brunt of the slowdown these last few months. I've put together a port with Ansys, IDC, Microsoft, Oracle, and CommVault which is the best-performing of all so far.

  3. Take me The other way a stock can get a big pop is if it suddenly finds itself on the receiving end (or occasionally the issuing end) of takeover activity. So I looked for some solid, defensive stocks with a decent amount of cash and built a port consisting of CSC, Heinz, and NetApp. A shot in the dark, really.

  4. Vice As the words of the hymn say,
    Tempted and tried, we're oft made to wonder
    Why it should be thus all the day long
    While there are others living among us
    Never molested, though in the wrong
    So with this in mind I thought about some industries which flourish by causing other folks dismay and came up with this list: MasterCard, Fortune Brands, CACI International, Halliburton (duh), Altria, British American Tobacco, Baidu, Las Vegas Sands, and Foundation Coal Holdings. Just sayin'.

Any suggestions for a theme for my final million dollar portfolio? Put them in the comments. Or let me know if you are a fellow player and how you're doing. (There's still time to sign up.) If I think of it, I'll post an entry about how these strategies of mine ended up faring.


Chris in Happy Valley said...

Hi there! Thanks for your visit to my site and your kind comments. Good luck with that contest - out of my league! All the best.


RichM said...

You're welcome, Chris.

I'm still hanging in there with the investment contest, and I added a currency trading portfolio too. So far, indications are that I should try to keep my regular day job.