I’ve always been mesmerized by stock tickers and all those crazy numbers that somehow seem to indicate whether a company is swimming in money or drowning in bankruptcy. There’s just something about seeing those red and green numbers go up and down for no apparent reason that makes me rather giddy. And now that my retirement fund is largely at the mercy of index funds, I’m more interested than ever in figuring out how these crazy stock markets of ours work.
Since I started this site, several personal finance writers have conducted stock market simulations of their own with mixed results. Some put a lot of thought and investigation into their picks, while others relied purely on luck to guide their pseudo-portfolios. After seeing folks earn fake fortunes with seemingly random stocks and others lose it all on otherwise brilliant investment strategies, I’m certainly a fan of the stock school of thought where a monkey with a pencil and a copy of the Wall Street Journal can make just as good of picks as the most seasoned veteran analyst.
So it is my pleasure to announce the Punny Money Super Stock Pick Tournament. Starting next week and continuing through July 28th, I’ll be pitting 32 teams of five publicly traded stocks in a single-elimination tournament (just like those NCAA brackets we all go crazy for every March). Each week, the member of each competing pair which performs the poorest in the stock market that week will be out of the tournament.
Here are the 32 stock “teams” that will be competing for the title of Punny Money Super Stock Pick Champion:
1. Completely Random Selection from NYSE
Five totally random picks from the New York Stock Exchange.
2. Completely Random Selection from NASDAQ
Five totally random picks from the NASDAQ.
3. Completely random picks from AMEX
Five totally random picks from the American Stock Exchange.
4. Cool-Looking Stock Symbols
If there’s a stock with a ticker symbol like BOOBS or GROOVY, it’s going on this team.
5. Spam E-mail Picks
This team will be made up of picks “recommended” by unsolicited e-mails that have found their way to my inbox.
6. Alphabetically First on NYSE
The first five companies listed in the “A” section of the NYSE.
7. Alphabetically Last on NYSE
The last five companies listed in the “Z” section of the NYSE.
8. Number Companies on NYSE
Some picks from the companies with names starting with a 0-9 digit.
9. Attack of the Vowels
I’ll be looking for lots of vowels in ticker symbols for this team. Maybe “Y” can join, too.
10. Highest Single-Day Price Percent Gainers on NYSE
The five stocks with the biggest percentage gain tomorrow, Friday, June 23rd.
11. Highest Single-Day Price Percent Losers on NYSE
The five stocks with the biggest percentage loss tomorrow, Friday, June 23rd.
12. Highest Single-Day Volume Leaders on NYSE
The five stocks with the biggest trade volume tomorrow, Friday, June 23rd.
13. Single-Day Upgrades From Briefing.com
Five stocks upgraded tomorrow, Friday, June 23rd.
14. Single-Day Downgrades From Briefing.com
Five stocks downgraded tomorrow, Friday, June 23rd.
15. Past Employers
Stocks of companies I or my wife have worked for in the past.
16. Local Stocks
Stocks of companies based in Montgomery County, Maryland or Washington, D.C.
17. The Axis of Evil
Some corporations have earned the label of “evil” over the years. You’ll find the five evilest of them all on this team.
18. “Good” Companies
They might not be true angels of the business world, but if they have “good” in their names, they’ll make this team.
19. Internet Slang Team
WTF? A team full of internet slang ticker symbols? LMAO!
20. Products In Our Home
Stocks of companies whose products are in our home right now.
21. First Products I See Advertised on TV
Sometime tomorrow, June 23rd, I’m going to turn on the TV and pick stocks based on the companies for which I see commercials.
22. Beer Stocks
Like the name says, stocks of beer makers.
23. Internet Giants
A team made up of the big boys of the World Wide Web. (Sorry, but Punny Money isn’t a publicly traded stock… yet.)
24. Car Wars
Rivals of the automotive world team up to vie for the stock tournament championship title.
25. The Take Charge Team
A team made up of companies in the credit business.
26. Vanguard VIPERs
Not quite stocks, these exchange-traded funds from Vanguard are traded on AMEX, so they’re subject to the same trade rules as regular stocks. I’ll pick five from the couple dozen or so VIPERs available.
27. Super Secret Category!
I’m particularly proud of the idea for this category, so I’m going to hold off revealing it until I announce the team members this weekend.
28. Tegan’s Picks
Stock picks straight from my wife.
29. My Semi-Intelligent Picks
Nick plays stock market analyst with amusing results! I’ll be shocked if this team makes it to Round Two.
30. Professional Stock Picks
I’m going to attempt to solicit the advice of a professional stock person or persons. If I can’t find one willing to cough up some picks for free in the next day or two, I might replace this category.
31. Reader-Defined Category
Reader participation needed here! I’ll make a separate post after this one asking for suggestions for the 31st category. Once someone gives me a good idea for a category, I’ll fill it with my own relevant picks.
32. Reader Recommendations
Reader participation needed here, too! I’ll also make a post requesting individual stock recommendations from readers like you. Good picks, bad picks, random picks, picks made by your cat–get them ready and I’ll choose five at random for this team.
For the teams that need subjective picks, I’ll be putting them together over the next couple of days, and I’ll announce the final line-up and the random tournament seeding this weekend. Look for another post in a little bit for the teams needing the suggestions of readers like you, and please jump in with your best picks!
So which team do you think will win the Punny Money Super Stock Pick Tournament? Make your guesses now or wait until the members are revealed in the next couple of days. And if there’s enough interest in this tournament, I’ll set up another one with a lot more reader involvement down the road.