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portefeuille (98.91)




August 18, 2009 – Comments (8)

As I mentioned before the greater than 1000 score point days have become pretty frequent as of late for quite a few "caps" game players. Today has been a pretty average day with the benchmark, the S&P 500 index" currently "up" a little more than 1%. Now have a look at the changes in score points of some of the "top" players. This is one of my favourite "top lists" as it is ordered by total score points. That of course does not correlate perfectly with "stock picking talent" but at least this ridiculous "accuracy" is taken out of the game. Interesting is of course also the "average score point" number, at least if you combine it with the average "holding period" (period that starts with the time the call is made and ends with the time the call was ended or with today for the calls that have not been ended).

How do you get this particular list? I think there is no easy way since there is a "top outperform list" and a "top underperform" list but not a "top score points" list. But the following "trick" does a pretty good job. You choose a "popular member", click on the "heart" symbol and then click "score" to give it the intended order. Okay there is an easier way. Click here and add the linked page it to your bookmarks.



8 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On August 18, 2009 at 3:34 PM, portefeuille (98.91) wrote:

okay, maybe part of the reason I like this list is that is currently features 4 of my players. But then again I might prefer the "top outperform" list, hehe.





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#2) On August 18, 2009 at 3:50 PM, portefeuille (98.91) wrote:

A great post giving "insight" into the strategy that some of the "old top players" applied to get to the "top" of the "caps" game.



I Picked A Bad Day...

April 14, 2009 

I picked a bad day to decide to red-thumb a whole bunch of ultrashort ETFs.


Granted, I knew the strategy wasn't without some sizeable short-term risks -- but I also know that bear market or not, stocks generally go up over time and that in the long-term this strategy should work.  After all, just peruse the pick lists of the current Top Ten and you'll see quite a few people who have employed this strategy successfully for a while now.

But today, the strategy is certainly working against me.

The reason I decided to employ it?  Well, truth be told, I kinda miss being Top Fool... and I knew I had to do something if I wanted to stay it the Top Ten (it's been a bit of a struggle lately, as I've been popping on and off that list).  As I look back, though, I can't be anything but pleased with how well I've done in CAPS... and, more importantly, how well CAPS has done.

In a way I regret, just a little, red-thumbing the ultrashorts (and not just because I picked a bad day to do so!).  It was a bit of a break from how I'd 'played' CAPS to date.  I know some people probably think that the strategy shouldn't even be employable at all -- in the long run it is, in my mind, kinda like shooting fish in a barrel.

But then I thought back on how I got to be Top Fool in the first place, way back when.

One of the things that probably helped my player rating the most was my red-thumbing every alternative energy company I could find.  While I did get burned on a couple of solar plays (burned, solar, get it?), the points I racked-up on ethanol and fuel cells more than made up for it.  One doesn't have to read too many of my alternative energy pitches to know that I thought the technology wasn't mature enough yet to be economically viable, and that the valuations at the time were based more on wishful thinking than they were on economic reality.

I had some pretty good company too, as some of the other top-rated CAPS participants at the time were also quite bearish on alternative energy, especially ethanol.  It didn't take too long for all of these ethanol companies to achieve 1-star status -- and any honest examination of the records of these companies reveals, I think, that the 1-star status is well deserved.

The other big key to my early success in CAPS was red-thumbing a bunch of fly-by-night bulletin board and pink sheet stocks.  That too was a bit like shooting fish in a barrel.  Of course this strategy is still employed by many -- and it's hard to find a ticker with a .pk or .ob extension that sports more than one star (though there are some very legitimate, solid companies that trade this way) -- which is, in my view, as it should be.  After all, there are a lot of shams if not outright scams out there -- so the vast majority of these pink sheet and bulletin board stocks deserve exactly the CAPS rating that they get.

Of course, my stint as Top Fool, though much longer-lived than I'd ever have imagined, ultimately came to an end.

It came to an end for two reasons....  homebuilders and financials.

The CAPS participants that ultimately ended up unseating me from the top spot made a habit of red-thumbing just about any homebuilder or financial stock they could find -- whereas I stayed largely clear of those sectors (and actually green-thumbed about a half dozen homebuilders in 2006).  I sure couldn't fault the strategy -- as it was one I'd employed with alternative energy (though to a much lesser extent... there are a lot more homebuilder and financial stocks out there than there are ethanol and fuel cell stocks).

Once again it didn't take long for most homebuilder and financial stocks to achieve 1-star status... which, looking back, is exactly what they deserved -- and they achieved this status in CAPS well before the mainstream financial press had really caught-on.

And now we have a new slate of up-and-comers in CAPS who have made a habit of red-thumbing ultrashort ETFs.

A bit like shooting fish in a barrel?  Well, while not without their own risks (as my CAPS score today will attest), maybe so.  Unfair?  Again... maybe.

But you know what?  It's darn hard to find a levered ETF in CAPS sporting more than a 1-star ranking...  a status that, again, for a whole lot of reasons that many pitches and blog posts around CAPS can attest to, is in my view very well-deserved.

Early on I sure drew some fire for red-thumbing pink sheet and bulletin board stocks that weren't 'shortable' in real life.  A bit later I remember criticism levelled at Specbear, and others, for the 'unfair' practice of banking accuracy with their sector plays in homebuilders and financials.  And today I'm sure there are those that think playing the levered ETFs isn't entirely 'fair' either.

I'm not saying these criticisms aren't entirely without merit either...

But I can't help but look at it all and think, "Maybe so... but in the end, CAPS, as a whole, got it right.  Pink sheet and bulletin board stocks, as a group, are lousy investments and certainly not worth the risk.  Homebuilders and financials weren't just lousy stocks to be in, but the problems in these industries helped spark a full-blown recession.  And levered ETFs, in my mind, are pretty lousy investments, as a class, too.

Yup, I picked a bad day to red-thumb levered ETFs...  but whether I get it right, or wrong, matters far less than whether or not CAPS gets it right or wrong.  And while CAPS ratings aren't perfect and there are certainly a number of exceptions on both sides, I think the record is fairly clear that CAPS gets it right far more often than not.

Are some of the strategies that players use a bit 'unfair'?  Maybe.  But I think this misses the bigger picture -- namely that whichever side of the 'it's unfair' argument you come down on, CAPS, as a whole, largely gets it right.


Russell (a.k.a. TMFEldrehad)


(from here, emphasis mine)



On May 15, 2009 at 3:26 PM, camistocks (90.64) wrote:

So this is it... We worship the top tens and feel good... Americans love top tens...

Nobody cares about interesting blogs. 

But hey we've got this nice guy called gmx... He continues to separate you from your money since early April... but still everybody loves him... ah well



(from comment #29 here, XXX mine) 


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#3) On August 18, 2009 at 3:51 PM, portefeuille (98.91) wrote:

(I dropped the XXX)

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#4) On August 18, 2009 at 5:09 PM, portefeuille (98.91) wrote:


a guide to my blog posts can be found in the comment section to this post

(should be or should be close to the last comment)                                                                


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#5) On August 18, 2009 at 5:42 PM, portefeuille (98.91) wrote:

I just closed my VW (VOW.DE, VLKAY.PK) underperform call. It fell from slightly above 1000 EUR on October 28, 2008 to today's XETRA close of 169.71 EUR. That should be enough. It is still trading much higher than the preferred shares (VOW3.DE, XETRA close today was 59.50 EUR) but the still tiny "real free float" could lead to another short squeeze, so the "risk/reward is getting unfavourable" I think. So I think you are better of buying the preferred shares or Porsche preferred shares (PAH3.DE, XETRA close today was 52.25 EUR).

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#6) On August 18, 2009 at 5:50 PM, portefeuille (98.91) wrote:






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#7) On August 18, 2009 at 9:43 PM, portefeuille (98.91) wrote:


Ifo World Economic Survey 
WES Q3/2009

Ifo Economic Climate for the Euro Area 
(ifo Wirtschaftsklima für den Euroraum)

12 Aug 2009

Advance results of the Ifo World Economic Survey (WES) of 3rd quarter 2009 
in co-operation with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Paris

Euro Area: Ifo World Economic Climate Indicator Rises Clearly

The Ifo World Economic Climate for the euro area improved in the third quarter of 2009 for the second time in succession. The increase in the Ifo indicator was solely the result of more favourable expectations for the coming six months; the assessments of the current economic situation, in contrast, still remain at an historical low.
The current economic situation is still assessed as definitely unfavourable in almost all countries of the euro area. The expectations for the coming six months, however, have brightened in the euro area. Especially in Germany, Austria, Franceand the Netherlands, the WES experts anticipate a clear improvement, and in Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Belgium, Spainand Finlandthey foresee at least a stabilisation of the economic situation in the coming six months. A continued pessimistic view, albeit somewhat weaker than in the previous quarter, prevails among WES experts in Irelandand Greece.
The inflation expectations for 2009 stand at 0.7% on average for the year, which is clearly below the ECB target. Little change in the inflation rate is expected in the coming six months. The majority of WES experts expect that key lending rates will remain stable in the next half year. In contrast, for capital market interest rates an increase is foreseen. The major world currencies, US dollar, British pound and the Japanese yen, are considered to be slightly undervalued vis-à-vis the euro.
Nevertheless, the WES experts do not expect the US dollar to appreciate over the euro in the coming six months.

Hans-Werner Sinn, President of the Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich




(from here)


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#8) On August 18, 2009 at 9:52 PM, portefeuille (98.91) wrote:


18.08.2009 - ZEW (ssc/mko/kbo)

ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment - Optimism Returns

The ZEW Indicator of Economic Sentiment for Germany increased considerably in August 2009. The indicator rose by 16.6 points and now stands at 56.1 points after 39.5 points in the previous month. This value is well above the indicator's historical average of 26.5 points.

The assessment of the current economic situation in Germany improved significantly in August as well. The corresponding indicator increased by 12.1 points to minus 77.2 points.
Positive growth figures for the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the second quarter 2009 have led to a better assessment of the current economic situation in Germany. A repeated rise of incoming orders and increasing exports have brightened the economic perspectives for Germany in the next months. In line with the increase of the overall economic expectations for Germany the expectations for all surveyed sectors of the German economy and for the export-oriented sectors particularly, have noticeably improved.
"The recent development of the GDP shows that the previous expectations of the financial market experts have come true. There is, however, no reason for euphoria. The German economy develops parallel to the world economy and should, hence, recover only gradually," says ZEW President Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Wolfgang Franz.
The economic expectations for the euro zone rose in August by 15.4 points compared to the previous month. The respective indicator now stands at 54.9 points. The indicator for the current economic situation in the euro zone improved as well. It now stands at minus 82.1 points.
For further information please contact: 
Sandra Schmidt
Phone: +49/621/1235-218, Fax: -223
Matthias Köhler
Phone: +49/621/1235-148, Fax: -223


(from here)


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