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Why I completely ignore player ratings



February 13, 2007 – Comments (5)

If CAPS ratings worked then those players at the top of the ratings would be the luckiest and best, and I should pay attention to their picks and thinking. Instead, I utterly disdain them, as a rule. Sometimes I find a particular player's picks, winners or losers, to indicate skill, but my assessment of same is almost never congruent with what CAPS thinks.

CAPS "accuracy" [ed: gag, gag, gag] I have done to death. Click on some histograms in previous blog posts for why I am utterly unimpressed by the leaders there. "Score" design is slightly less insane, but since it sums for every picks, each time I look at a good score I have to check how many picks it took to get it. (My 200 picks indicate that my "99th percentile" score is crappy, not good, for example.)

This combination makes for a highly volatile mix. There is a player I checked out today who in a single day dropped from 99th to below 95th percentile, and this is someone with 100+ picks who had been a stable 99+ for weeks. My own rating has been below 75 and above 95 within short periods of time. When the metric in use is that unstable, I can't be bothered to care about it.

CAPS score-per-pick would be interesting if there were some control for risk (other than requiring seven picks). Since there isn't, you have to scroll through, ignoring the seven-lucky-picks winners and the CAPS-screwed-up-again (15 picks with a fictitious +300 in it, c'mon, admins) set to pick out the few who appear to have real skill.

As a result, I find there is only one useful way to determine whether another CAPS player's opinion is worth considering: look at all his picks given what I know about the market and make a judgment call.

I begin to think we shouldn't score things at all.

Of course, then CAPS would be Stockpickr.

At least Stockpickr tracks Renaissance.

5 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On February 13, 2007 at 10:12 AM, EPS100Momentum (72.47) wrote:

Your correct the caps rankings is screwy, If you cut losses quickly on a stock you get your rankings driven down quicker than a rock in water. Thats what has happened to me. But I rather cut losers quick tahn hold on for eternity for them to rebound,

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#2) On February 13, 2007 at 10:34 AM, BroadwayDan (98.26) wrote:

Hey Whiner - as noted, I speak only for myself, so take this with a grain of salt. But if you don't like CAPS, you're more than happy to leave. I personally am holding the door open for you to go. To say that you have "utter disdain" for top players and to question their skill really does show your true colors.

Russell Carpenter, Seth Jayson, Bill Mann, Charly Travers, David "Pencils2" Kretzmann, PennysPlants, DatabaseBob, Paul "Selzhanik" Hooper, to name a few, are all terrific stock pickers and have all been in the 99 ball park for the majority of their runs in CAPS. To say they're not great stock pickers is laughable.

I find their pages to be treasure troves of great picks - in there you can find picks like CMRX, EXEL, and Denny's. I dodged a huge loss by selling WFMI off a Charly Travers red thumb. That's just naming a few picks.

You really just don't get Fooldom - a place that values respectful non-Yahoo!-like discourse and tries to refrain from whining, from repeatedly writing things like "Gag, gag, gag" and having utter disdain for people who are much better stock pickers than you are.

I see no evidence whatsoever that you have made a good faith effort to search for great stocks in our 5-star rated section, or through the pages of top players.

If you are so repulsed by CAPS, find it so ridiculously broken, and have expressed your opinions to management - who have all responded... then c'mon, hoss, maybe it's time to take your business elsewhere. You say you're all ready a talented stock picker, so you really don't even need CAPS. I for one really don't enjoy seeing your name at the top of the "most frequent bloggers" section. No human beings that I know of even remotely enjoy whining. I mean, for Pete's sake, your posts are not even humorous.

Lastly, to end on a positive note, many great American business stories have begun with a disgruntled worker or customer leaving a company only to start a better one. I think that you obviously have a vision, know what you want from a stockpicking service, and should think seriously about building your own better mousetrap. If you could do that, you could potentially make loads of money, put in any metrics you want and contribute something positive - a better service, instead of something intensely negative - endless repetitive posts.

Best of luck to you.

Yours Truly,

The Ultimate Investing Man,

TMF El Capitan

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#3) On February 13, 2007 at 11:09 AM, wcwhiner (28.89) wrote:

EPS100m, thanks for the support.

TMFE, "disdain" applies to "picks and thinking" that CAPS rates highly that I do not. Take EPS100m as object lesson (I hope he doesn't mind). He has a nice, solid average pick score, but because he cuts losers ruthlessly, a perfectly valid trading style, CAPS rates his "accuracy" at under 30%. When the system rates a successful player that low, I react with a bit of visceral revulsion.

This is not about you, or me, or about our respective oversensitivity when we feel personally attacked. It is about the quality of the database. Did you have something to say to defend the current system as a way to create a best-in-class stock-ratings database from community input in a fun game?

If this were just about me I might have been gone a long time ago, though I admit I entertain myself by whining. Mainly I stay and whine because I actually care that the current incentive structure fails the 20,000 players here. Thus failing the sincere efforts of twenty thousand individuals strikes me as somewhat worse than my careless overuse of invective in attacking the system that does so.

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#4) On February 14, 2007 at 5:02 PM, sportscliche (< 20) wrote:

Wonderful illustrative examples in a post today:

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#5) On February 14, 2007 at 5:23 PM, wcwhiner (28.89) wrote:

Thanks for the link. That is an absolutely fabulous post.

I especially like this:


Since both points and accuracy are working like quantitatives, a good strategy is to always have 200 picks open and accumulate both accuracy and points over time. As more people realize this, it'll become even more common, and player and stocks ranking even less meaningful. I've tried to answer all the counter arguments to my case, even "why don't you prove it?". Seems the only counter argument left is "let's wait a few years and see what happens". Well, the good lord gave us mathematics so we wouldn't have to, and the longer you wait the harder it will be to change without overly penalizing those that "played by the (broken) rules".


Whew -- punk rock.

I hope management is listening.

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