Regular readers know that each year we sponsor a “Ten Best Stocks For the Year” contest, pitting stand-up comic Auggie Smith (who admittedly knows absolutely nothing about investments, and assumes that a broker is the guy that buys his weed in volume), against financial experts who have had years of training and experience at managing stock portfolios.
In our first contest two years ago, Auggie threw darts at the Wall Street Journal to build his stock portfolio. Not that Auggie has any Simian attributes – but we were testing the theory “could a dart throwing monkey pick better stocks than the experts?”
And the answer to that question?
We tracked Auggie’s hypothetical $10,000 portfolio against Kiplinger’s Ten Best stocks for the year, and Auggie trounced the experts.
Last year Auggie took on Barron’s ten best stocks for the year, plus a diversified Vanguard fund. Instead of darts he fired a pellet gun at the financial pages while under the influence of a very earthy Pinot Noir – and once again, firmly destroyed the financial experts. It wasn’t even close.
Coincidence? Is Auggie some kind of financial savant? Or is the stock market really just a crap shoot that goes where it wants to go, and really can’t be predicted, and the so-called financial experts just charge a lot as they throw their own darts? Lets continue to try and answer these questions.
We are pleased to present our 2014 competition. This year, for some reason Auggie donned a bizarre and disturbing Mexican wrestling mask purchased in San Jose Del Cabo after downing a couple shots of high grade blanco tequila. He then had his lovely wife Julie blindfold him and spin him around until he was close to heaving, then she pointed him at the financial pages to put ink blots next to stocks. As you can see from the photos, this was a highly innovative and scientific approach to financial management. I like to call it “Auggie’s Parking Lot Picks”. Not the kind of thing they would teach at Harvard Business School – but Auggie is a financial maverick.
So here are Auggie’s Ten Best Stock Picks for 2014:
- American Financial Group
- Allegheny Technologies
- Baltic Trading
- Walt Disney
- Manchester United
- TCF Financial Corporation
- Xueda Education Corporation
- Grupe Aeropuerto
Hmmm, interesting choices. He’s going a bit international this year. I can’t say I am filled with optimism, but a year ago I would have guessed Barron’s had him beat. This year we have a new competitor, InvestorPlace’s ten best picks. They queried experts from around the country, and chose these ten fine companies and funds:
- Proshares Short Emerging Markets
- Emerge Energy Services
- Fortegra Financial
- Financial Spider
- Banco Santander
- Vanguard Dividend Appreciation
- MTN Group
Also interesting choices. Banks and other companies that don’t really make anything but just repackage money, an innovative electric car company that has already had a big run….
It will be an interesting year. Let the games begin!