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CNBC Contest - Day 1



September 19, 2011 – Comments (3)

I'm sure there are many of us here playing in CNBC's Million Dollar Portfolio Challenge.  I wanted to capture a few observations from the first day and plan on using the blog as a journal.

This is my first foray into RL or simulated FX trading and was a little surprised by how much the portfolio value moved.  The currency port is 10% of the total, but it can be leveraged 10:1 in the contest and the value swings are on the same order as the value swings from the stock side.  Whoever wins this is going to need to do well in both parts of the game.  I know FX trading can be done with very high leverage, but still intersting seeing how much and how fast the values can move.

I eased in and put about $300k to work in the stock side.  Going all-in off the bat is probably a better strategy to go for the win, but my investing style isn't well suited to a 10-week contest, so I'm not going to stray too far from how I would approach this in real life.

I opened nine stock positions; six of them are above my entry price and the stock gain for the day was $2k.  Biggest gainer for me was RIG, biggest loser was MKSI.  Only one of the nine stocks, MCD, had a gain compared to Friday's close. I also entered orders for two stocks on the Australian exchange - no real research there, I'd just heard Fortesque Metals and QR National railway mentioned favorably based on commodity demand. Since I don't see travel to Australia in my near future, this seemed like a way to take a virtual trip.

I opened four currency positions, had one stopped out, then reopened it.  The four are a EUR/AUD sell and buys on NZD/JPY, NZD/USD and AUD/USD.  I was up $900 on the day in currency, but am down about $400 as I type this.  I've got about half my available margin tied up in those positions. 

If they had bonus buck questions today, I missed them.  Did pick up the bonus bucks for early registration.

I'm only playing one of the five allowable portfolios.  I don't plan on opening any more unless this one crashes and burns.

My goal is to get some portfolio management practice without the pressure of real money on the line.  Games usually result in getting smarter about something, in this case the currency side is something new that I want to learn more about - even if I don't ever trade an FX account. 

Only 56,106 players to pass to win the Maserati, 56,107 for the big cash. I'm at 87.1 percentile, I'll be happy if I can finish near that.  The math works out to about two million players.

Disclosure: Long RIG and MCD.  No postion in any other security mentioned.

Fool on!


3 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On September 19, 2011 at 8:59 PM, TigerPack1 (33.52) wrote:

Good luck rd80, I think you will do just fine.

I haver never played CNBC game.  There are not many bullish individual charts right now, outside some mega-blue chips like MCD, KO, JNJ, KMB, WMT and a few others.

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#2) On September 19, 2011 at 9:37 PM, rd80 (94.67) wrote:

Thanks Q.

I had planned on going light on the mega caps for the game since they don't tend to move as much as the smaller stuff.  Maybe adding some more of 'em would be a good idea.

Obvious I didn't research Fortescue very well since I didn't even know how to spell it.

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#3) On September 19, 2011 at 10:44 PM, Starfirenv (< 20) wrote:

Here's another contest you may enjoy and a great place to frequent.  Jeff usually nails it. Make sure to  to visit the "Vault".  Best

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