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Take the HAIFinance Challenge

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With the economy in the crapper and a lot of people watching their 401(k)s turn into vapor, it's time to see which HAIFers are the best at investing, and if any of them can beat the market.

Announcing: The HAIFinance Challenge.

The rules are simple: Each HAIF member has $1,000 in pretend money to spend on whatever stocks they want. You don't get to trade in your HAIF portfolio until the end of the challenge. We'll see how well those stocks do by December 31, 2008.

The winner wins a prize to be determined later, but probably a $20-$50 Starbucks/Amazon/whatever gift card.

Everyone has one week to pick their stocks. To do it, simply reply to this message listing the stocks you want to play with. For example:

I want...

AAPL - 10 shares

XOM - 30 shares

JNJ - 15 shares

PTR - 40 shares

On Sunday, October 19th, your HAIFinance account will be credited with those stocks at their closing price on Friday, October 17.

If the prices have gone up a lot since you posted, I'll knock shares off the ticker symbol at the bottom of your list to get it as close to $1,000 as possible, so list the stocks in the order you like them.

If the prices have gone down since you posted, the extra pretend cash will remain in your account and be counted toward your total score at the end of the challenge.

The person with the most pretend money in their account by the end of the year wins.

OK, you've got one week to pick your stocks... GO!

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$1,000 in Ultra Financials (UYG). Also, I'll need to open a HAIFinance margin account and will borrow $500.

If I had the time and inclination, though, I'd be looking for specific stocks (rather than a diversified ETF) that are highly-leveraged and on the cusp of bankruptcy, that have a pending lawsuit with the decision to be made before year-end, or a small-cap pharmaceutical with an upcoming FDA decision. RRI crossed my mind.

A word to the wise: this is a discrete sequential zero-sum game with perfect information and relatively few players. The objective is to be top-ranked. The consequences of a continuous infinitely-long non-zero-sum game with imperfect information and essentially an infinite number of players (i.e. real life) vary tremendously. Individual players also have varying utility functions in real life (for instance two individuals can each be more satisfied with their own payoff than they would be were those payoffs to be swapped), whereas all players in the HAIFinance Challenge would prefer a gift card to the alternative of no gift card.

If we are to assume that all players in the HAIFinance Challenge are rational and that they will conduct adequate research (they aren't and won't), the returns over a discrete period of time will probably be a probability distribution with two modes, a minimum result of -$1,000 (with one of the mode bins and probably the median bin being within or very near that) and a maximum (the winner) at some extreme level, reflecting an outlying datapoint. This is in contrast to real-life returns, which are more of a normal distribution with a much, much, much, much...much tighter standard deviation, to the point that Std. Dev. loses all meaning as a comparative descriptor against this game.

EDIT: 20thStDad gets it (mostly)!

Edited by TheNiche

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Just for the heck of it, I'd like 1000 worth of gold stock. Just wanna see what happens to it over the next few months.

Edited by UrbaNerd

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I think you should diversify. Therefore, I will buy 8 shares of Chevron at $57.83, and 8.62 shares of Exxon-Mobil at $62.36. :D

EDIT: Oops, just saw you don't credit me until Friday. In that case, buy 8 shares of Chevron (1st choice), with the remainder purchasing XOM.

Edited by RedScare

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500 in MCD, 500 in AAPL.

If the prices have gone up a lot since you posted, I'll knock shares off the ticker symbol at the bottom of your list to get it as close to $1,000 as possible, so list the stocks in the order you like them.

If the prices have gone down since you posted, the extra pretend cash will remain in your account and be counted toward your total score at the end of the challenge.

The person with the most pretend money in their account by the end of the year wins.

OK, you've got one week to pick your stocks... GO!

Instead of this why don't we just invest whatever amount and you calculate percentage profit or loss at the end.

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Instead of this why don't we just invest whatever amount and you calculate percentage profit or loss at the end.

Because this makes it more of a challenge for you.

Shares are ultimately based on Fridays closing price?

Right. The closing price on October 17, 2008.

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Because this makes it more of a challenge for you.

Right. The closing price on October 17, 2008.

So my share amount that I pick today won't be exact.

So we submit them over the weekend then?

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The people buying in apple.. I'm sure they rather have todays or last fridays price, before tomorrows new line of laptops are unveiled - More room to go up.

What if something important happens this week that greatly effects either positively or negatively someone's choice?

It would have been nice to add a "Know when to buy" component if just for a week..... let us lock in a price at any time during this week, instead of setting us all at friday's close.

Edited by Highway6

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On Sunday, October 19th, your HAIFinance account will be credited with those stocks at their closing price on Friday, October 17.

Is this a new fantasy account, or have people had access to something like this for their real portfolio the whole time.

Where is this?

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I'll take 62 shares of Morgan Stanley please. I am in a little late but I still like it.

Edited by TJones

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Why, all in AIG, of course.

Since they suspended our ESOP, I guess I could pretend I'm getting my 15% discount.

Here's hoping they announce details of a pending asset sale this week.

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So my share amount that I pick today won't be exact.

So we submit them over the weekend then?

If the prices have gone up a lot since you posted, I'll knock shares off the ticker symbol at the bottom of your list to get it as close to $1,000 as possible, so list the stocks in the order you like them.

If the prices have gone down since you posted, the extra pretend cash will remain in your account and be counted toward your total score at the end of the challenge.

Is this a new fantasy account, or have people had access to something like this for their real portfolio the whole time.

Where is this?

It's in a little spreadsheet on my computer, and I will post periodic updates with pretty charts in this thread for those who don't want to set up their own tracker in Google Finance or wherever.

I looked into doing a whole streaming stock results thing and adding it to people's profiles, but it was going to be more time and/or money than it was worth.

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It's in a little spreadsheet on my computer, and I will post periodic updates with pretty charts in this thread for those who don't want to set up their own tracker in Google Finance or wherever.

I looked into doing a whole streaming stock results thing and adding it to people's profiles, but it was going to be more time and/or money than it was worth.

Okay easily done and clear now, so this weekend will be okay still? So I know my share situation?

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I'm all in on DUG

yowzer, down 36% today. hope your luck changes by Sunday (but not really) :ph34r:

I wish the dagum thing started today. My stocks are up 7%, 10%,10%,23%

flipper

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All in AAPL

Did you realize that your probability of beating me is 1/2? If someone else stuff their 1000 in MickeyD's then I can never win. It doesn't mean you'll win though, just that either of you will make more profit than me, assuming the stocks do well.

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Well, to win this I'm going to guess that you will need something that will be volitile and trade in high quantities. I'm going to guess with $1000 worth of SIRI (XM Sirius Radio). I know I'm personally hooked and will forever keep my subscription.

All or nothing, right?

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Let's blow $1,000 going the OTC route:

$500 worth of OOIL ($0.37 this a.m) and $500 worth of ZIPI ($0.08 this a.m.)

The little money I have left after the last couple of weeks, will remain under the mattress.

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I'm all in DOG. 100%. Down with the Dow! - It's over valued.

Edited by BryanS

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Such interesting choices from everyone.

Only a few more hours to get your picks in!

Midnight tonight central time?

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I thought we had until markets open on Monday.

But on the off-chance that that is not the case, I would like $1000 of icelandic kr

Edited by N Judah

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Entries are now closed. The master spreadsheet has been created. I've attached a PDF of it to this message for those of you curious about what it looks like. You can print it out if your printer supports Super B/A3 paper.

I'll post numeric comparisons and charts here at least once a week. I won't post anything right now because it's a tie between all players.

Since I forgot to get my picks in on time, I'll be the control with $1,000 cash the whole way through.

Good luck, everyone!

2008_HAIFinance_Challenge___Start.pdf

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Entries are now closed. The master spreadsheet has been created. I've attached a PDF of it to this message for those of you curious about what it looks like. You can print it out if your printer supports Super B/A3 paper.

I'll post numeric comparisons and charts here at least once a week. I won't post anything right now because it's a tie between all players.

Since I forgot to get my picks in on time, I'll be the control with $1,000 cash the whole way through.

Good luck, everyone!

2008_HAIFinance_Challenge___Start.pdf

Should be interesting to see what happens. Why did you decide to be the control cash $1000 entry. It could always been implied as a blanked entry and you could have joined in too?

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winner gets amazon gift cards worth the value of his winning portfolio, right ??

--------------------------

dammit... i cant make a 100% automatic contest tracker in google docs.

ISK is throwing me off because it's also a stock and i cant figure out how to make the goog finance lookup equation find the currency price instead.

Same with gold..

Edited by Highway6

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Live Contest Snapshot

I got bored yesterday evening. Except for the currency conversion of ISK, these current prices update automatically every 3-5 minutes or so.

The page gets republished every 5 minutes as well.

If anyone sees any mistakes, let me know.

If anyone can think of a more accurate way to get the ISK price automatically, please let me know.

EDIT:

This is an unofficial contest tracker and does not indicate official totals or rankings...duh

Edited by Highway6

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Live Contest Snapshot

I got bored yesterday evening.

Hey, I got some paper work at my place that needs attention if you are still bored.

Smooth moved with the equations. Google is either the smartest company to have all these free web based programs or the greatest evil of evils.

Nice work Highway6. :D

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Google is either the smartest company to have all these free web based programs or the greatest evil of evils.

Either way, Google is fantastic. An inside source tells me this stock is going to explode soon. Honest, but keep it under your hat.

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They already released their earnings report...I doubt a new web app that does the same thing as a desktop app will make the stock "explode" but hey if everyone decides it will "explode" an acts on that assumption then by definition it will "explode"...

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It would have been funny, had more people joined the challenge and if the coding was not a nightmare, to have each members stock value in our profile space.

Then I could say, "Hey, I am more worthy than you!".

But with the rankings, avatars, locations, star ratings, I can't see much more room for that. But Highway6's sheet is just neat, I should not even been on now, but I am going to refresh all day! :lol:

Productivity

Edited by Pumapayam

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Judah, you really have taken it so far.

But of course, if a .004 currency rate change can make you lose half your investment.. then you have an amazing amount of growth potential as well.

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They already released their earnings report...I doubt a new web app that does the same thing as a desktop app will make the stock "explode" but hey if everyone decides it will "explode" an acts on that assumption then by definition it will "explode"...

No, seriously, it's about to explode. Get in for the win!

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Either way, Google is fantastic. An inside source tells me this stock is going to explode soon. Honest, but keep it under your hat.

Bah. Whatever.

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Hrm...I'm seeing it at 0.00888 .

No, seriously, it's about to explode. Get in for the win!

Actually, the icelandic kr

Edited by N Judah

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Hrm...I'm seeing it at 0.00888 .

Where from ?

Google is showing me .005 and yahoo is showing me .004.

If you can give me a better source to draw from, I'll try to use it.

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