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CAPS Suggestions



April 02, 2009 – Comments (36)

In over 2 years of playing, I've never written a "here are some suggestions" blog post but here are my ideas:

1. We need to have a thumb up/down system on blog posts.  A lot of blog posts that make it to the top 5 are trash, and some that are truly great get lost in the wind.

2. The same is needed for comments within a blog post (ratings for up and down).  Many messageboards have these features, there is usually a +/- sign, or youc an do a thumb up/down like urbandictionary does.

3. Blog post and comment editor.  Sometimes you just find some bad typos and want to correct them.

4. +/- rec for stock pitches while we are at it, too.  And if you want to keep it kosher in terms of popularity, I again would reference urban dictionary for how they rate definitions.

5. Some measure of control or at least better organization of comments, at the very least threads of comments would be nice, being able to quote also would be nice.  (I guess I'm asking for a more similar approach to the message boards, but keeping the blog look and flavor.)  In terms of control, it would be nice that if a comment had a very negative rating that it would not be seen, but could be clicked to be seen, whereas comments with neutral or positive ratings would be seen as you are reading the page.  This would mean that any jacka$$ that posts "I am da haxx0rz" would not be seen by the majority of people.

6. I would like an option to see my score (and the score of other players) on a longer-term graph more than just 6 months.  Ideally an option to see it in whatever time frame I like in an interactive form, but I'll just take a "make it longer term" approach for now.

7. An option to see "raw score" that is, your total score based on the calls you have made without comparing it to the S&P 500.  I understand the rational behind making calls v. SP500 (that you can just buy or sell the SPY with that same money), but it would be nice to see the total nominal value of what you would have lost or made.

8. I would like to be able to search for all players by rank, score, average pick score, accuracy, and not just the top 1000 players in these categories.  Reason: I want to see what the median is.  Wouldn't you all like to know what the stats are of the guy who is ranked 50.00?  Here are 2 close to 50 that I found through the AAPL pitch page, check it out for yourself: csbosox 50.02, and Loeweherz  49.99.  C'mon CAPS, if you can do a list of almost 5000 pitches for one stock, surely you can allow the database retrieval for all players based on the metrics I mentioned above.

9. This is not a suggestion for the CAPS programmers and designers.  It's a suggestion for the players.  Stop whining.  It's a game, a simulation.  In any game you play within the rules of the game, and any player who wants to win or at least do well will look for advantages, so that means if you want to red thumb every "ultra" etf or red thumb every .ob or .pk stock out there, and re-up on those stocks 20 times a year, that is within the rules of the game.  For those of you that don't like those rules, tough, grow a pair, and either play the game as it is, or don't play the game and just use it as a watch list.  Or just don't play at all.  Nothing is more annoying than people who whine about the way things are - either accept it and deal with it, or quit.  BTW none of my suggestions are regarding the rules of the game, more just ways to enhance our viewing and interaction with it.

One final note off-topic:  People who truly quit usually just leave.  They never write a blog post and say "okay, that's it, I'm leaving, bon voyage."  Anyone who writes a post like that is seeking attention, and they will come back for that attention at a later date.  So please, next time someone writes a "farewell" post, don't give in to their emotional codependence by saying how much you'll miss them, or wishing them good luck, or send them flowers, or whatever showers of affection they are seeking.  They will be back, so no need to say any of those things, no matter how well deserved.  If you do not understand that basic psychology, it is likely you should not be investing in individual stocks, because it shows you lack the basic understanding of human behavior you need to invest in the stock market.

36 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On April 02, 2009 at 8:43 PM, TMFJake (88.51) wrote:

DemonDoug, thanks for the thoughtful suggestions!  Based on some of the feedback we're hearing, I agree we may need some better filters and/or thumbs down feedback on blogs...

I can report that we're on #7.  Based on some of the feedback, we are kicking of the work to support the following CAPS player lists:

1. Highest Score On Outperform Picks

2.  Highest Score On Underperform Picks.

3. Highest Average Stock Gain:  Measure average % stock gain on outperform/underperform picks.  With this list we’ll not use the relative performance measurement (Score) but will simply use the absolute stock gain. 

4. Highest Average Stock Gain on Outperforms.

5. Hightest Average Stock Gain on Underperforms

We should have this work live on CAPS within a few weeks.  Let's say sometime in May to be safe.

Regarding #8, CAPS is a monster database, and I'd propose you send a list of data points that you're interested in and we might publish them to the blogs on a periodic basis.

Thanks for your post!


p.s. I want to preview one other feature coming soon.  Something that we're finally getting around to picking back up on...  On the Payer Pages, under the sector tab, we're finally going to expose the tickers that a player holds under each of their top sectors.  Way over due and a pet peeve of mine!!!

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#2) On April 02, 2009 at 8:57 PM, rd80 (95.49) wrote:

Adding to DemonDoug's #6 - export score history to a spreadsheet.

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#3) On April 02, 2009 at 9:15 PM, SuperPicks (28.47) wrote:

Thanks Demon.

Strongly agree with suggestions #1, #2, #4, #5, #6.


Thanks TMFJake, those options you say may be live by May sound AWESOME!!

AND strongly agree with suggestion from rd80, exporting to spreadsheet

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#4) On April 02, 2009 at 10:08 PM, FleaBagger (27.55) wrote:

That last jab at some of the most helpful players (EDI and FB) and one of the most enjoyable (HD) was accurate, but I don't see how anyone is helped by a cessation of gullible well-wishing. I'm not advocating gullible well-wishing per se, but I don't see how it makes a difference either way.

I couldn't have articulated the reason the way you did, but I didn't feel like wishing EDI well when I read his farewell earlier. I think people like to blame others because they feel guilty when they get bored of doing something they're expected to do.

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#5) On April 02, 2009 at 10:09 PM, Tastylunch (28.66) wrote:

very very Nice list

I agree with 1-4

I think 1-4 can largely deal with 5, but comment hide might not be bad. converesely sometimes a stupid comment is sometimes useful if the comment reveals malevolent intent.

Oh yeah on 6

Number 7 is the best We need an absolute metric not just a relative one.  Beating the S&P by 10 points means jack when it's down 60% and underperforming the S&P by 5 points means jack when it's up 35%. What we should care about is whthere the call was right. I think Ideally CAPS should include both relative and aboslute scores.

Number 8 would be nice but I won't lose sleep if we don't get it.

Number 9 is a pet peeve of mine too. Mainly I don't think a lot of guys get the object of the CAPS game. It isn't to find the best Individual investors it's to create the best ratings for stocks. That's why weighting, etc isn't in the game.That's the Fool's intention behind it and I don't think they should change it as it make sthis game pretty unique...

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#6) On April 02, 2009 at 10:17 PM, Donnernv (< 20) wrote:

Agree 100% with DD.

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#7) On April 02, 2009 at 10:31 PM, AnomaLee (28.84) wrote:

1. -- [I'd probably be forced out after they tally all the red thumbs]
2. --
3. I agree. I post crap all the time, and there's nothing worse than posting a blog early in the morning or late at night when I'm tired only to realize later that it's fully of typos. The only issue with this is that this needs to be limited to an extent where editing posts are only available once and available only for a certain timeframe[possibly 24 hours]. There'd be nothing worse than people editing past posts in attempts to gain credibility. That can become damage (Yahoo boards)

4. --
5. --
6. A static chart with the option of 1-Mo, 3-Mo, 6-Mo, 1 Yr, YTD, and All-Time is fine. Requesting an interactive applet is rather demanding for the staff. You don't need to do Tech. Analysis on your CAPs score.

7. That would affect the outlook on most players. I would actually want to restart from scratch, but I would love to see it and be able to sort players both ways.

However, I've always had this question: What is the point of rating the SPY

It's the most actively traded ETF, but is absolutely meaningless as a tool to gauge the sentiment of the CAPs community. The rating of every index fund should be scored in absolute returns. A player who green thumbed SDS and shorted SSO and the returns gained by this are not feasible, but more importantly they would not be double rewarded for the same contribution.

Also, stock picks should only affect ratings for a maximum of one year. There are very few active portfolios from Year Zero of CAPs.

8. --
9. --

I agree with pretty much everything. I always wished the Blog section had more functionality like many message boards.

Also: The content on the CAPs Home Page should be more determined by the users. Top blogs should be expanded to display the titles of all blogs over a certain amount of recs. I also added a post before [long ago] that every post should be able to be tagged to basic sections much in the way stock picks are tagged to sectors. This way you could sort posts by certain themes according to date [general/macroeconomic, technical analysis, financials, energy, etc] and not deal with the clutter of people posting conversations to themselves. This could be interlinked with stock pitchs as well.

Also, there's no point to have a 'Screener' section and a 'Top Ten' section when you could simply add a 'Member' tab to the Screener section and provide more usability. This is where people should be able to screen members for criteria that suits them.

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#8) On April 02, 2009 at 10:36 PM, FleaBagger (27.55) wrote:

My Dad, armed with Fowler's, informs me that people get "bored with" or "bored by," but not "bored of" anything. I hit the publish button without waiting for a conclusive ruling. My usage, to borrow the term of disapprobation in Fowler's, was regrettable.

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#9) On April 02, 2009 at 10:52 PM, nuf2bdangrus (< 20) wrote:

The most important thing I want to see is NOT relative out/underperformance.   I want to identify players who pick stocks that go UP, and stocks that go DOWN.  With thousands of actrive players on CAPS, that would be the best way to identify the true stockpickers on the long and short side.   Relative performance is bull.  True stockpicking is about identifying companies that have real growth potential on the udpside, and underrecognised  red flags on the downside.  "nuff said.

Moreover, with the wild swings in the market, CAPS has become a game of swing trading leveraged ETF's.  I use these as small hedges now and then, but you truly can't go to bed with these things.  Furtehrmore, they will all eventually eat your capital.


One of the reasons my score stinks is I forget to close my leveraged ETF's, and a couple of days later they toast you.


CAPS is supposed to be about investing, even in these volatile times.  I gave up on any MF services because they were long only picks in a bear market, a recipe for losses, of which I incurred plenty on their behalf.


Again, show me players who can truly pick winner/losers, with good solid analyses (TMFELderhead comes to mind) and I'll show you a game I'd love to learn and get better at.

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#10) On April 03, 2009 at 6:15 AM, portefeuille (98.90) wrote:

This discussion has a history: the topic of improving "caps" became rather constructive towards the bottom of this post. #34 led to this post, followed by this. #7 above has its predecessor in this, leading to my favourite quote:

Is this metric based on the assumption that all monies not invested in equities are placed in an S&P index fund? Why make this assumption? Why not cash? Or an S&P short fund? Or grade A Colombian white? If the market is going to tank, I want to be short or I want to be out. I don't want to be long in equities that don't suck quite as much as the others. And if you devalue the scores of the market callers, how will I know who to listen to?

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#11) On April 03, 2009 at 7:06 AM, portefeuille (98.90) wrote:

Please disable the "cancel picks during 20 minute delay" feature.

You can read about it here (#10,#31). zzlangerhans commented here:

#11. Holy shyte! You can write scripts in CAPS to power bot zombies? This is by far the most eye-opening comment and explains a lot of what I have seen. Any response, TMF?

tmfcharris commented here (bottom of #3), but that did not really invalidate the point I am trying to make.

There are several solutions:

i) The obvious: DISABLE it. It does not have any legitimate use but a far-reaching illegitimate use.

ii) Wait for someone to write a little perl script in the spirit of the script I suggested here (#10).

I have no doubt the feature will be disabled once that player rises steadily to the top.

(to the one who does it: please add a blog to your dirty-trick-player and document every pick you make:

something like: "rated XYZ outperform at 12:51 and started the pick with a score of +5% because XYZ outperformed the S&P 500 in the 20-minute-delay period". Thus we do not have to wait the 10 weeks it should take the trick-player to rise to the #1 spot.)

iii) If you do not believe it is possible and easy and NOT very time consuming just do it once. If successful write a blog post to protest.

iv) If for some inconceivable reason "the staff" does not want to do away with this wide open backdoor in the "caps" game (again: giving every player the opportunity do gain another 2% per pick (!) easily and some 5-10%/pick if that is his only intention) then please at least give every player the opportunity to disable this feature for himself, thus giving him the ability to prove he is "clean"!

That's it. I am done with my little crusade ...


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#12) On April 03, 2009 at 8:54 AM, CBombay (27.80) wrote:


I like the improvements, but am very, VERY disappointed that the new stats will be categorized based on Outperforms and Underperforms.

There are just too many players using negative beta picks for this to have any meaning.  I mean so what if my Outperform performance is the best in Caps if all of my Outperforms are Triple short ETFs.

 If you want to separate Bullish vs Bearish performance, why not categorize into "Bullish" and "Bearish" calls, not "Green" or "Red" thumbs.  Bullish calls are Green thumbs on positive beta stocks or Red thumbs on negative beta stocks.  Bearish calls are Green thumbs on negative beta stocks or Red thumbs on positive beta stocks. 

Just an idea.

ps, loved the April Fools post.  Best post this year.

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#13) On April 03, 2009 at 9:19 AM, killeru (< 20) wrote:

I figure in the number of recs for certain bloggers as buy sell indicators in the real world. Herd mentality, whether right or wrong, is a powerful indicator for short term timing.

So in that respect I like the rec idea, but the followers of some of these blogger "gurus" must surely be getting crushed in the real market.

If the goal of the Fools is to help people make real money then the rec thing should be completely revamped.

I hate the fact that even in the SA they have recs for posts by the head guys themselves. I don't care how well someone punctuates and kisses butt in their writing, but I do care about content. I want to see the "leaders" as being above having to play the silly game.

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#14) On April 03, 2009 at 9:36 AM, portefeuille (98.90) wrote:

I agree with #12. Not implementing it that way would be highly unintelligent.

I made that point here (towards the bottom of #27, but since the rest of #27 is not that worthwhile reading I assume no one got that far ...):

"underperform" ratings on "inverse" ("short","bear", whatever they are called) ETFs should yield "green" scores, NOT "red" ones (for obvious reasons)

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#15) On April 03, 2009 at 9:50 AM, HooDaHeckNose (71.18) wrote:

Well done Doug. I agree with all your points, especially the ability to rate blogs and comments negatively. It drives me nuts when I see some really stupid blog post as the highest ranked.

PS: All hail the hypnotoad!

PPS: !!!!!YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED...HOODAHECKNOSEnomics IS REAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!  !!!!!!!!!

Oh yeah: I AM tEH H4xx0rz !!!!!!!!!!!.....



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#16) On April 03, 2009 at 9:59 AM, camistocks (57.81) wrote:

I am against suggestions 1 and 2 because they are against the spirit of free speech. 

Just because you disagree with an opinion you want to negative rec. It's seems so low class.

Very popular players will always receive many recommendations, regardless if the blog or comment was interesting or not. Less popular players who receive maybe five recommendations for an interesting blog might receive below zero. This might discourage them from posting again.

If you don't like a blog post or comment, just skip it. If you don't like a blogger, don't read his posts. Or at least write in a comment why his post was bad.

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#17) On April 03, 2009 at 10:12 AM, TMFJake (88.51) wrote:

portefeuille: I'm not sure I see the 20 minute delay gaming opportunity as you do. In fact, the pending pick cannot be cancelled as soon as the calc cycle picks up on the Pending Queue.  Would be dicey for your script.  Also, the 7-day holding period requirement also dilutes any perceived advantage with open price arbitrage.  I know my reference to the 7-day holding requirement is likely to trigger all the haters of this aspect of CAPS.  It's a rainy day people, don't depress me any further. 

CharlieBombayI realize my proposed solution isn't perfect.  I've heard the suggestions to provide a filter to remove ETFs (or certain ETFs) or OTC stocks from the calculation.  Once we implement what we propose, we'll take a look at the opportunity to add these filters.  They increase the complexity a bit--but, if we only calculated this once a day, it's still a simple matter of programming. I'm not sure that the way I propose will be terminally polluted by those using ETFs to short, or Ultras to juice performance.  But we'll see, and if it's a problem, we'll look at implementing the filters.


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#18) On April 03, 2009 at 10:36 AM, IIcx (< 20) wrote:

Great ideas - It would be great if we could also trade options and currency. lol, holding currency for 5 days would be a mess - probably not a good idea but options would be a kick.

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#19) On April 03, 2009 at 10:56 AM, portefeuille (98.90) wrote:

in response to #17:

Please show my arguments (especially the one given here (#27)) to any nerd at "motley fool" (the one behind the pile of empty pizza boxes - there must be at least one, have a look!) and have him explain it.

It can be done, has been done and will be done unless you remove that feature (which, AGAIN, is good for nothing).

One last try on my part to explain it. I make it really easy to follow, anyone can use this explanation to steal some extra points.

Consider the following:

You want to start an "outperform" pick on stock XYZ at 12:51 pm.

You have a look at the real-time quote on yahoo.

It says: XYZ is @ $10.00 and the S&P is @ 800.

Now wait for 19 minutes (that was easy, was it not?).

It is 11:10 and the extra time invested so far is some 5 seconds.

Now have another look at the real-time quotes for XYZ and the S&P.

Say it shows $9.50 and 792. Now you do the following. You cancel your pick (you ARE within the 20 minute delay period so that IS possible).

Why should you cancel?

Because your pick lost 5 % whereas the benchmark S&P lost 1%.

If you don't cancel, you start your pick with a score of around -4 points (depending on what happens in the last seconds left over from the 20 minutes), not THAT desirable!

Now it is 1:11 p.m. and you have "invested" say 15 seconds (getting 2 real-time quotes and pressing the "cancel button" once) to avoid the -4 points. Now you start over.

Enter your pick again (real time quotes show still something like $9.50 and 792, only some seconds have passed since you last checked).

Now suppose the stock and the S&P reverse course and at 1:20 p.m. are at $10.00 and 800 again (this exact reversal is not necessary, I am just tired of thinking of new random numbers ...).

Now you COULD cancel your pick again, but this time you would certainly be ill advised to do so. Why?

Well, the stock advanced by some 5.26% while the benchmark appreciated by just some 1.01% so your pick starts with a score in the area of +4.15 points (again depending on what happens in the last seconds left over from the 20 minutes).

So all you have to do is look at real-times quotes at places like yahoo-finance and cancel when you don't like what you see happened in the first 19 minutes).

With the obvious changes this applies to "closing" of picks and to starting/ending "underperform" picks.

And yes, I know, I have chosen a "volatile" stock but so could anyone who wants to steal more points that way. The more volatile the stock, the better.

But even for the average stock you can squeeze out 1% on starting/closing your picks easily.

Trust me, trust someone you ask about it or JUST DO IT!


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#20) On April 03, 2009 at 11:07 AM, portefeuille (98.90) wrote:

... make that "... especially the one given here (#10) ..." not #27.


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#21) On April 03, 2009 at 11:19 AM, portefeuille (98.90) wrote:

I have not responded to the two specific arguments of tmfjake:

A) "In fact, the pending pick cannot be cancelled as soon as the calc cycle picks up on the Pending Queue.  Would be dicey for your script."

Well, i mentioned (again here (bottom of #10) that the script (including the parameters) could be optimised (change 19 minutes to 18 minutes or whatever is necessary).

B) "Also, the 7-day holding period requirement also dilutes any perceived advantage with open price arbitrage.".

Again, please have a look here (bottom of #10):

I wrote: "The new player should rise to the #1 spot in the "caps" game within 5-10 weeks depending on the market volatility (the higher the better).
Creating more than one new player and some optimisation of the "script" would certainly speed things up.

This estimate of mine is based on the "7-day holding period". Without that requirement the script would generate a new #1 player within a few days - I guess it might take 3 days of high volatility or 5 days of "regular" volatility.


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#22) On April 03, 2009 at 11:26 AM, edwjm (99.89) wrote:

Of all the things discussed, the removal of the relative comparison to the S & P is my favorite.  I invest in the real market with real dollars and all that matters is my absolute gain or loss, not some relative comparison to the S & P or any other market average!

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#23) On April 03, 2009 at 11:39 AM, portefeuille (98.90) wrote:

One LAST (hopefully) comment on that ridiculous "cancel feature".

Have the abovementioned nerd take a look at all cancellations.

If the following holds true in a statistically meaningful way then there you have your proof that the feature is misused:

In the interval between "start outperform/underperform pick" and "cancel start outperform/underperform pick" (that would be the 19-minute-period in my example above) the pick has underperformed/outperformed the benchmark (that would mean the player profited from the cancellation).

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#24) On April 03, 2009 at 12:50 PM, APJ4RealHoldings (40.61) wrote:

Yeah, Im agreeing with a comments.  Not so much a 3-5 minute delay, but a 20 minute delay for opportunity to cancel a pick is definitely begging for arbitrage.

I DO like teh 7 day holding period.  That is one of the greatest ideas of the CAPs system & keeps out most the daytrading junk that plagues all competitor websites.

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#25) On April 03, 2009 at 12:50 PM, TMFCHarris (98.57) wrote:

Here is the page that lets you sort, filter and search all players in CAPS. 

You'll probably want to limit it to rated members only.

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#26) On April 03, 2009 at 12:55 PM, TMFJake (88.51) wrote:

portefeuille: I'm not arguing it can't be done.  Not knowing when Cancel is removed would mean that you'd have to continually ping the pick during the 20 minute cycle.  That sort of thing is highly visible to us and mechanisms outside of game logic are in place to deal with that.  I would also argue that removing cancel doesn't eliminate the problem either... 

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#27) On April 03, 2009 at 1:19 PM, portefeuille (98.90) wrote:

I think you are still missing my point.

I have explained how every player can misuse the "cancel-during-20-minute-delay" feature.

How can you then respond by : "I would also argue that removing cancel doesn't eliminate the problem either... "

This does not make sense, does it?

Now to your other point: 

"Not knowing when Cancel is removed would mean that you'd have to continually ping the pick during the 20 minute cycle."

The "Cancel (button) is removed" after 20 minutes. It is as easy as that. No need to "ping the pick during the 20 minute cycle".

You get your real-time quote after 19 minutes and cancel if you don't like how your pick has developed in that 19 minute interval.

Please have a look at the script or the really easy to understand how-to-betray under #21.

And please have someone check the database (see #23).

There is no flaw in my argumentation. If there is, could you please specify it?

There is nothing "highly visible to" you so there can be no "mechanisms outside of game logic" "in place to deal with that".

The player cancels the pick - that is all he does. Hardly something "highly visible".

And why do you defend this feature. I don't get that either.

I have explained to everyone how it can be misused and no one has given a reason for keeping it.

This is getting ridiculous!



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#28) On April 03, 2009 at 1:25 PM, portefeuille (98.90) wrote:

... and it might be raining where you are, tmfjake, but the sun is shining here (Europe) and it is friday afternoon. I am done arguing for today. cheers

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#29) On April 03, 2009 at 1:48 PM, TMFJake (88.51) wrote:

portefeuille: This will be my last post on this issue, since I don't want to clutter DemonDoug's blog.  You can email me if you want to continue:  (  The "Cancel" button isn't necessarily usable during the entire 20 minute window.  It entirely depends on when the calc cycle picks up on the pending pick.  The pending pick doesn't go live until 20 minutes, but the Cancel feature may be disabled at 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes, etc. Therefore, you would need to continuously monitor your pick, and therefore we can and do monitor that type of activity.  I"m not trying to defend the Cancel feature really. 

Enjoy the sunshine.  The sun just came out here too.

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#30) On April 03, 2009 at 4:20 PM, DemonDoug (30.94) wrote:

TMFJake :

"Regarding #8, CAPS is a monster database, and I'd propose you send a list of data points that you're interested in and we might publish them to the blogs on a periodic basis."

What I am requesting is that when you click this link: View More that you be able to view all 60,000 people playing, not just the top 1000.  Right now the AAPL pitch page has almost 5000, which is way more than the 1000 you have on that page.  Basically would like to be able to search based on the metrics on that page, or if not those metrics, then at least the member rating and score metrics.  What I want to do is see what the people ranked 40.0, 50.0, and 60.0 have on their individual pages.


"However, I've always had this question: What is the point of rating the SPY"

Answer is simple: the largest mutual fund in the world is the VFINX, the Vanguard S&P 500 mutual fund.  SP500 funds are by far the largest funds out there, and they are the "invest in the market" funds - basically the idea being that you would be putting money in the S&P500 if you had no clue or wouldn't be putting money into other stocks.  Since these are the largest funds, I think it is a fair basis for a benchmark.  This argument has been brought up many times on different services, like why isn't Hidden Gems compared to the Small Cap 600 or the Russel 2000 or something.  I tend to agree with the fool's approach - your default stock investment should be in VFINX or Fidelity's spartan 500 index (of which, by the way, I own over 100 shares).


"6. A static chart with the option of 1-Mo, 3-Mo, 6-Mo, 1 Yr, YTD, and All-Time is fine. Requesting an interactive applet is rather demanding for the staff. You don't need to do Tech. Analysis on your CAPs score."

This would be more inline with what I was thinking.  The point being I want to see where my score was one year and 2 years ago, not just in the past 6 months, and the same with other players.


"CAPS is supposed to be about investing, even in these volatile times.  I gave up on any MF services because they were long only picks in a bear market, a recipe for losses, of which I incurred plenty on their behalf."

If the management should learn any lesson, it is certainly this one.  Anyone can pick a winner in a 20 year secular bull market.  Trying to pick one in a bear market can be a bad idea, and ignoring "market timing" or macroeconomics is a disaster as we have seen.  I have received and been part of a lot of those services, and it is astounding the absolute lack of flexibility the newsletter authors have, in that they just are not allowed to say "you know what, don't buy anything, everything sucks right now."  Even Seth Jayson, who I respect a lot, one of his recent picks was something that I would consider shorting well before going long.

camistocks (73.64) wrote:

"I am against suggestions 1 and 2 because they are against the spirit of free speech. "

have you ever been on a message board or blog with a rating system?  I actually think they more in the spirit of free speech.  Why is that?  Because for every one person who reads this blog and puts a comment, there are probably at least 5 people who read and do not respond.  For example, as of this comment, there are 38 recs.  And 29 comments.  And some comments from the same people.  This gives "lurkers" as we call them a voice.  Also, there are so many times that I want to respond to a post by saying "this is a bunch of BS" but I don't, sometimes because I don't have the time, sometimes because I don't think it's worth it, but oftentimes because I feel like my effort would be wasted.  If you have read some of my previous comments on others' blogs, I actually write "-1 rec for xyz reason" and then state I wish I could put a thumb down.  Also, most people do not rate down posts because of disagreeing opinons.  Maybe in your country they do, but on every board I have been on, the rating system weeds out the idiots and numbskulls who post crap, and keeps the quality posts that are salient to the topic.  This would also go along with CAPS' idea of "community intelligence."  Finally, I think this would give some people critical feedback that they probably need, and the quality of their writing would be more likely to increase.

Regarding the cancel/start issue:  see suggestion 9.

"9. This is not a suggestion for the CAPS programmers and designers.  It's a suggestion for the players.  Stop whining."

If someone writes a perl program to game the system - I say more power to them!!  That is within the rules of the game.  Make a suggestion and then move along.  My one and only suggestion to rectify this is for CAPS to show and record stock prices in real time, and then picks would have to be instantaneous (the 20 minute delay is due to the ticker feed delay).  I would imagine instant feeds in general are expensive, and instant feeds for a simulation like this would be very very expensive, and I would have to guess that does not have the capital to make an upgrade like that.  Because that, my friends is the only way I can see that issue ever being rectified.

And you know what?  I've actually done that, not a lot, but on a few picks, I've hit the outperform, watched the stocks drop, canceled, and re-picked.  I feel no shame in it, and anyone that takes the time and effort to do that, I say more power to them.

Because again, the overall suggestions I wanted to put out there are more regarding the User Interface and community interactions, and not the rules of the game.  Part of playing any game is exploiting and trying to gain any edge you can that is within the rules.  Taking a time out to ice the kicker right before the ball is snapped.  Faking a throw to third base to pick a base runner off of first base.  Fouling Shaquille O'Neal in the 4th quarter cuz he can't hit a free throw to save his life.  The "trap" the New Jersey Devils played in the 1990s and early 2000s.  All of these things can be considered perversions of the game, but they were all within the rules of their respected games.

Of course, some believe that you should even try to go outside the boundaries of the rules to gain an advantage. "If you ain't cheatin', you ain't trying" is an old axiom that is mostly attributed to NASCAR motorsports, but it can be applied to almost any game.  I would imagine the only way to "cheat" at CAPS would be to actually hack the system, which I think we all can agree would be a very bad thing on all levels.  But yes, quit yer bitchin, play the game, and btw, I'd be willing to be the top scorers of this "game" have probably done a lot better than the median players in their real life portfolios, so even tho it is a "game," I prefer to think of it as a simulation that is at least reflective of each player's investment outlook, and therefore does show actual investing acumen, instead of just dumb luck or gaming the system.  Because I wonder how many times a lower ranked player may have put a red thumb on an .ob stock or an airline stock, and closed that pick in the red, and a few months or a year later that stock is at zero?  Most of the top players have had stocks go red well into the hundreds, for example I believe Eldrehad had DRYS at -1000 points at one point.  How many people would continue to hold through something like that?  That is why Russ is a top player, because he isn't just right, he has the intelligence and smarts to know he is right when the market is being waaaaaaaaaay too stupid.

In conclusion: better interface with voting recs up/down flexibility in the player score graph, absolute instead of relative performance, and STFU about gaming the system until caps gets a real-time feed.

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#31) On April 04, 2009 at 7:12 AM, portefeuille (98.90) wrote:

Thanks for the best wishes tmfjake, sunshine was great.

"the Cancel feature may be disabled at 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes"

Well, it never was disabled earlier than 20 minutes after I made a pick (checked quite a few times when I noticed this "flaw" in the system, just to make sure this was not some strange one time event - maybe I am a privileged user ...).

Glad you got some sunshine yourself.

And to everyone who thinks that maybe there is no way to advance in this game without dirty tricks - I think I did ...

Sorry for disrupting this blog post. See you.

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#32) On April 04, 2009 at 9:41 AM, TMFJake (88.51) wrote:

DemonDoug:  Did the link that Chris provided in #25 above provide you with what you're looking for in your request #8?

Portefeuille:  More sunshine here today.  Spring is here! 

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#33) On April 04, 2009 at 10:55 AM, portefeuille (98.90) wrote:

great, same here!

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#34) On April 06, 2009 at 6:25 PM, DemonDoug (30.94) wrote:

jake: the link chris provided is what I was looking for.  Maybe make that link a little more easy to find?

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#35) On April 08, 2009 at 9:00 AM, AnomaLee (28.84) wrote:


I'm sure you misinterpreted what I was saying.

I don't mind having benchmarks, but what's the point of rating a security that IS the benchmark?

So, again I ask why is the SPY rateable on CAPs? If you think about it there aren't many ways to gauge market sentiment through CAPs. Seperating the SPY scoring from it's relative performance to the S&P500 makes sense to me

Red Thumb = overall bearish sentiment and score is determined by how much the security increases or decreases price

Green Thumb = overall bullish sentiment and score is determined by how much the security increases or decreases price

What's the point of rating other benchmark securities that have little to no divergence as well? I wish we could do that for all of them

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#36) On April 08, 2009 at 3:18 PM, TMFCHarris (98.57) wrote:


We use the SPY instead of ^GSPC because the SPDR is dividend adjusted, while the index isn't. We made the change in 2006, when CAPS started adjusting for dividends.

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