How to Become Top Fool
Looking to learn the secrets of what it takes to sport that sparkly Top Fool jester cap? Want to taunt your Foolish friends mercilessly with your King of the Hill message? Want that big red star and red ribbon as lucky charms? I know the secret of how to do it, and I'm about to tell you - free of charge.
In the past two days I have been absolutely *clobbered* on the score front, losing, I think, nearly 300 score points between yesterday and today - and today's not over yet.
The primary reason? My underperform call on ESCL - though today my outperform call on NFLD is also making no small contribution to the complete score meltdown over the past two days. I'm sure I'll get no sympathy from those of you trying to catch me, so I won't bother crying in my coffee here (at least not publicly), but herein lies the secret of how to move up in the CAPS rankings as quickly as possible.
I've noticed that a lot of Fools like to copy (okay, steal) ideas from one another, especially from Fools with high player ratings. This is a decent strategy, and one I've certainly employed myself. But there's a better way.
The key to the strategy is to remember this - player rankings are relative.
ESCL is still a one star stock, and while NFLD is down at two stars, I think it was at 5 stars when I rated it to outperform. Anyone who had an outperform call on ESCL or an underperform call on NFLD gained *a lot* of ground on the Top Fool over the past two days. While my score has been getting hammered, those on the other side of these calls have seen their scores soar. And remembering the key to the strategy, that all rankings are relative, these players have gotten the benefit of the double whammy of their score improving while so many others above them (including the Top Fool's) have been sinking.
You'll never catch the people ahead of you by copying them. You may be able to catch them by picking stocks that they have no CAPS call on, but the fastest way to catch them is to bet against them... and be right.
This isn't to say that the next time TMFBent discovers a heaping pile of... well... you know what, that you'd necessarily be ill-advised to follow his lead. Score points are score points and your player rating doesn't much care where they came from. What I am saying, though, is that rather then scouring the scorecards of top rated Fools in an attempt to copy them, you will gain ground on them more quickly by scouring their scorecards and looking for opportunities to bet against them.
Being a contrarian, in CAPS as well as in real-life investing, takes some courage. And of course, it isn't enough to be contrarian, one also needs to be *right*. That said, since the key to moving up in the player ratings standings is that all player ratings are relative, betting against the leaders, or betting against the crowd (calling outperform on 1 star stocks or underperform on 5 star stocks) is the quickest way to claw your way to the top.
For the brave enough, and the good enough, the sparky Top Fool jester cap is yours for the taking. Just know that I'm not just going to give it away - you'll have to earn it.
At least now, though, you know the secret.