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TMFContests (< 20)

TARPed Banks Contest



March 12, 2009 – Comments (35)

Pick Requirements
All picks must be stocks held by TARPedBanks.

How Many Picks?
You need 1 pick to be active in the contest, and you can have up to 10. Outperform and underperform picks are allowed. Picks cannot be ended, though, so choose wisely.

Time Frame
This contest will run from March 20, 2009 to April 30, 2009, and the winner will be decided on May 1st.

CAPS contests seem to have what GoodVibe would call an “upper resistance” around 600 players. Because of that we are departing from the prize structure of previous contests and making 600 players the line for this contest to be “in the money.”

In other words, if there are more than 600 players, this contest is in the money and the winner gets $600. If there are less than 600 players, this contest will be out of the money and the winner will get 1 year of Stock Advisor.

Click Here to enter the TARPed Banks contest.

35 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On March 12, 2009 at 12:57 PM, rd80 (94.59) wrote:


I'll have to enter this one under my other profile :)

Fool On!

Russ (aka TARPedBanks)

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#2) On March 12, 2009 at 1:46 PM, EverydayInvestor (< 20) wrote:

BAC all the way, baby!

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#3) On March 12, 2009 at 2:20 PM, ThoughtfulFool (< 20) wrote:

If there are over 600 players, is it a flat $600 prize or $1 per player as before?

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#4) On March 12, 2009 at 2:49 PM, TMFCHarris (98.69) wrote:


It is a flat $600 prize this time.

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#5) On March 12, 2009 at 3:14 PM, TARPedBanks (< 20) wrote:

I'm in!

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#6) On March 12, 2009 at 5:53 PM, AirForceFool (99.86) wrote:

MF Staff,


Thank you for announcing this contest prior to the start... I love entering contests, but entering weeks after the start sucks... I'll be sure to do my part and hype once we get closer the the magic 600 number....


who could use the 600 bucks to buy some shares of MVL, some more ISRG, or some call options on STP....

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#7) On March 15, 2009 at 10:52 PM, ahobbs (< 20) wrote:

I've been having some problems making some of my picks.  Even though the ticker is on the drop-down list, I'm getting this error:

Pick not added: Not pickable ticker. See help for more information.

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#8) On March 16, 2009 at 8:22 AM, rd80 (94.59) wrote:

Some of the picks I made in the TARPed profile have fallen below CAPS' share price or market cap minimums since I picked them.  I suspect that's why you're getting the error. 

I ran into the same situation when I filled out TARPedBanks' contest picks.

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#9) On March 16, 2009 at 11:56 AM, ahobbs (< 20) wrote:

OK, thanks for the reply.  That makes sense.  The following is the minimums for CAPS stock picks from the help page:

Minimum Stock Price: $1.50

Minimum Market Cap: $100 million

Wish that the tickers that don't meet these criteria weren't available in the drop-down list, but I guess they could become pickable before the end of the contest...

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#10) On March 20, 2009 at 8:47 PM, kristm (99.62) wrote:

How exactly is GM a TARP'ed bank? They got TARP but are they a bank?

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#11) On March 20, 2009 at 11:41 PM, TARPedBanks (< 20) wrote:

GMAC reclassified themselves as a bank holding company, even tho' GM doesn't even own a majority interest in GMAC anymore.

I debated for a few minutes whether to add GM to the picks when they took TARP.  Decided if the government thought GM was a bank that happened to make cars on the side, who was I to argue?

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#12) On March 23, 2009 at 12:54 PM, kristm (99.62) wrote:

I thought GM was a welfare program for retired union members that happened to make cars on the side. Live and learn..

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#13) On March 24, 2009 at 10:30 PM, UltraContrarian (30.72) wrote:

According to the WSJ there are currently 511 institutions participating in the TARP preferred share purchase program:

Is there some reason why these aren't part of TarpedBanks portfolio (Other than the limit of 200 stocks)?  Some of the larger ones missing are: PNC, American Express, BB&T, Synovus, First Horizon, Wilmington Trust, East West Bancorp, Valley National, Cathay General, Washington Federal, etc.  Are you distinguishing between different types of TARP money?

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#14) On March 25, 2009 at 8:52 AM, rd80 (94.59) wrote:

Multiple reasons for why all 511 aren't in TARPed's picks.

1. Many of those 511 institutions are either private or don't meet CAPS rating criteria.

2.  I last updated the list in Jan.  There may have been some addtions since then.

3.  I'm not perfect and it appears I missed some of the TARP participants. 

I've just been adding firms that participated in the Capital Purchase Program.

Thanks for bringing the missing banks to my attention.  I'll get the TARPed picks updated as soon as I can.  Once that's done, I'll add a new comment here.  It'll be up to TMF whether they add those picks to the contest.


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#15) On March 27, 2009 at 9:27 PM, TARPedBanks (< 20) wrote:

Based on fellow Fool UltraContrarian’s comment, I bounced my picks off the most recent Treasury Capital Purchase Program Transactions Report over the past few days and have added a number of picks that I either missed earlier or that took TARP money since my last update.  Tickers added are:


Every stock that’s pickable in CAPS and participating in the Capital Purchase Program should be on my all picks list once these go active.

Fool on!

Russ (aka rd80)

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#16) On March 28, 2009 at 9:38 AM, tjd601 (48.32) wrote:

When I type in the ticker symbols and click "Enter Contest Picks" the pop-up box only displays ABCB, which I did not enter.  I figure, what the heck - I'll rate this stock and maybe I can move on from there.  Apparently ABCB does not qualify as ratable.  So, I would like to enter the contest but cannot.  Anybody have a solution to this or am I doing something wrong?

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#17) On March 28, 2009 at 6:22 PM, TSIF (99.98) wrote:

Tjd601, the popup box shows all the 121 stocks on the tarpedbanks list.  You can use the arrow to scroll down on the list to pick the banks you want.  ABCB is the first one alphabetically.  Banks that are below $100 Million in market cap or less than $1.50 in share price are not pickable. They may become pickable if the market cap or share price increase into the pickable range during the contest. For example AIG has dropped below $1.50 twice since the game started and is currently not pickable.

I haven't added any in a few days, (you can have up to 10 and ten is best to have before the contest ends as number chosen, accuracy, and percentage against SPY all add in.  So I can't remember how the box works on picking the other banks, but give it another try and look for a pull down arrow.

Good luck 

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#18) On March 28, 2009 at 10:29 PM, tjd601 (48.32) wrote:

TSIF, I was able to make my picks.  Thanks for the help!

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#19) On March 30, 2009 at 4:47 PM, ThoughtfulFool (< 20) wrote:

Is there an error in the program running this?  I thought the server/system would only allow us to pick a maximum of 10 stocks.  Bullshite, currently in the top 10, has 12 stocks entered in the contest.  Perhaps a innocent mistake on his part, but I would have assumed that the TMF server would have not allowed this to happen?

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#20) On March 31, 2009 at 12:22 AM, TSIF (99.98) wrote:

Hmm, more stocks make more variety, but the additional tarp banks that russ (Rd80) added were NOT available to anyone who maxed their 10 picks before they were added today.  Maybe changing it to 12 stocks would help compensate for that and fix the bullshite issue at the same time?  I see a few of my favorite dogs on the new list.  Nothings perfect, I appreciate the updates, but I smell trouble....

Good ideal though. We beat up on quite a few sectors on the last few contests.  The banking industry may start segmenting with good bank/bad bank.  Most sectors will have some serious winners picking up the creame off the companies that weren't well set up for this recession.


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#21) On March 31, 2009 at 1:24 AM, kristm (99.62) wrote:

I guess I should have picked GM when I asked why it was on the list.

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#22) On March 31, 2009 at 5:08 PM, ThoughtfulFool (< 20) wrote:

TSIF (and TMF in general) -

The bullshite issue can be fixed easily by the TMF without penalty to anyone - TMF simply needs to delete the last two stocks picked to bring it down to 10...the score from the two stocks would no longer be counted in on bullshite's score.  At the same time, they need to fix the computer issue so that it is impossible for anyone else to pick more than 10 stocks.  Now if someone picks 12 stocks all at the same time, I would say that they have disqualified themselves as it will be impossible to determine 2 stocks that were picked last.  The rules clearly state that no more than 10 stocks are to be selected, so TMF has every right to disqualify on this basis.  In fact, I guess they could disqualify ANYONE who picks more than 10, regardless of the situation, if they wanted to do so.

As for the additional stocks added by russ, this is part of the game, IMO, as the list is ever in flux, including stocks that are no longer eligible to be picked because of low price or market cap.  The key is to save room for additional picks if one wants to do so, so that one can add these new picks as they become available.  I think we will be adding more headaches, complication, and confusion to the game by increasing the number of picks now.  We need to stick to the original rules.  Rules that are changed in the middle of a game make the outcome of the game in question.  This is just my opinion.  It's all up to TMF of course.  We'll see how they handle it.


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#23) On March 31, 2009 at 5:28 PM, TMFCHarris (98.69) wrote:

When players have too many picks like that, we remove them in the order in which they opened, so the last pick opened goes first. Because picks are opened sequentially by the same process, there is no way for two picks to open at the exact same time - one will always be a few ms earlier. Bullshiite's contest scorecard has been corrected.

As for the computer issue, I've been trying to replicate it for about a year now and have never succeeded. If anyone can tell me what steps to follow that reliably open picks above the limit, please do, as I would love to get that fixed.

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#24) On March 31, 2009 at 6:21 PM, ThoughtfulFool (< 20) wrote:

Sounds very fair to me.  Thanks, TMFCHarris.

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#25) On March 31, 2009 at 8:32 PM, rd80 (94.59) wrote:

Sorry for any confusion the new picks may have caused. Getting a good, workable list of who took TARP has been challenging.  In the future, keeping tabs on whose paying it back will probably be even more difficult.

To keep the contest a little simpler, I won't make any more changes to the picks in the TARPedBanks profile until after the contest has ended.

Chris - If there's anything TMF needs me to do or not do with the TARPedBanks profile for the remainder of the contest, you can contact me via e-mail through the rd80 profile.




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#26) On April 13, 2009 at 10:55 PM, Mary953 (85.34) wrote:

To TMF - If you are serious about wanting more people to enter your contests, there is an easy way to make it happen.  Just add a "contest entry charm" for those who enter a contest with at least 3/4 of the picks, e.g. if the maximum is 10 picks, you would need to pick at least 8 for the charm (since you couldn't pick 7.5).  Charms are fun to collect.  Make it possible to get another and you will have people that try the contest for the charm.

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#27) On April 22, 2009 at 9:01 AM, socialtool (75.99) wrote:

I find it amazing that more people don't enter these contests. They don't affect your CAPS rating, and you can win free stuff. It seems like everytime they set the minimum contestants for a cash prize lower, fewer people enter.

Mary953 does have a great point, though. You'd probably have better luck getting people to join with a charm.

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#28) On April 22, 2009 at 11:41 AM, kristm (99.62) wrote:

Might get more people to join if more than 500 of the 15,000 CAPS users were active and ever visited the site... Just sayin'.

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#29) On April 22, 2009 at 12:25 PM, golfcoach59 (47.84) wrote:

No complaints here - but I was curious as to why the start prices can be so different for the same bank started on the opening day by different players?

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#30) On April 22, 2009 at 4:32 PM, TSIF (99.98) wrote:

Volitility.  Bank stocks have been all over the map in a given day.  The bank indexes swung about 5% just today from peak to valley.   The price you get is the price it's at when you picked it. (give or take the 20 minute pick nonsense).

Similarly the S&P ranged almost 4% today, so your start can vary on that as well. I don't believe you can find a case for any of the stocks where the persons start price did not fit into the trading window for that day. 

Good luck

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#31) On April 24, 2009 at 9:53 AM, golfcoach59 (47.84) wrote:

I didn't phrase my question correctly. What I meant about start prices was why the difference when people made their picks before the start date and then the contest began - it would seem as if all players with the same bank picked before the start date would have the same starting price. It may just be that portfolios were set up by MF one by one on the start date and that accounts for variance. Really not a big deal - just curious. 

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#32) On April 24, 2009 at 12:35 PM, TSIF (99.98) wrote:

I'm not aware that anyone made any picks before the start date. They may have in their own CAPs profile, but the "game" picks are different and should have been done all at once the day the game opened when the market opened 20 minutes after people keyed them in.    Picks were allowed to be entered on the "start day", but not before.  They could have been made anytime during the start day at that price.  Do you have an example of someone who was allowed to enter picks before the start date..?

For example of the current top two leaders one picked C as their first pick on 3/20, the other picked C as their last pick on 3/20.  One got C for $2.50 and the other for 2.76. I agree this is a large spread, but C on 3/20 had a low of $2.40 and a high of $2.82.  Both picks were in range. It just so happens that 3/20 was a very volitile day for bank stocks.  Picks could have been made any time during that day.

                                              Low  Citi: 20-Mar-092.812.822.402.62607,471,3002.62

Good luck

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#33) On April 24, 2009 at 1:51 PM, golfcoach59 (47.84) wrote:

When I said 'before' the start date, I just meant before market on that day... sorry for being unclear. So, if the order stocks were entered did matter, it then makes sense. I thought it was an all in at opening price (or closing price ). Since that is not the case, the variability is understood.


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#34) On April 24, 2009 at 3:47 PM, TSIF (99.98) wrote:

I don't think any were allowed before the market open on the 20th.  Some people may have had their list and been pretty quick putting them in, some may have waited later in the day or longer between picks, but yes I can see how such a volitile day makes the pick delta stick out!  :)

This volitility is fun once you get use to it, but Caps was designed to be more "steady state"....where longs have a chance of excelling.  Now most of us have turned from Longs to traders!  :)

Good luck.

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#35) On April 24, 2009 at 6:24 PM, golfcoach59 (47.84) wrote:

Volatile is definitely the word ... on the four picks I share with another player (all begun on the first day), the delta between our scores on those four banks is 63 points!

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