Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Mulligan Investment

The CNBC Half Million Dollar Challenge

The sponsors like to call it a million dollar challenge but it is an annuity and present value minus taxes in California it is more like $400,000. No matter. I'm doing it for the practice. No way am I gonna come close to winning. I'm really investing. The wildest ride in the theme park I'm building is Apple, pretty staid for trying to triple in 11 weeks which is what I think it will take to win. After Day 1 I'm in the 28th percentile. Seeing as I only invested half and the remainder doesn't earn interest, that's pretty good/lucky. Mostly luck as one day with the likes of Berkshire Hathaway and AAPL and Lucent isn't investing. If I don't recognize a one day gain of $9,000 as luck I've no business pretending I'm an investor. We'll see after a few days.

Now, I'm surely not the only person here playing. How are you all doing and any tips?


JimBobJoeBobJim said...

Are you allowed to trade energy, or is it stocks only?

Anonymous said...

I am currently 30,120 which is top 14%. Like you though, I'm more of a novice and doing it for kicks. I have tips, but I'd have to kill you if you found out my secret! Best of luck.

Anonymous said...

P.S. I'm in the financial industry so I stick with what I know. I avoid the Apple, Microsoft, Google crap.

Rob Dawg said...


Limit orders, open orders, short selling, margin buying, and the trading of derivatives, options, bonds, mutual funds, exchange traded funds or other securities is not permitted.

Rob Dawg said...

anon, pls pick a handle there's gonna be eleventeen anons on this thread. Thx.

Yah, I'd be right with you if I had push the entire $1m into the market. Actually I got busy and just never finished investing.

Like you I stick with what I know. Thus I did buy some Apple even at these stratospheric prices and didn't touch Mr. Softee even though "cheap for a reason." The financials are having a great day but the voltility is murder. Same for the HBs. I've got to get into the mindset of trading for tomorrow's market not today's.

Rick said...

This is a bit off topic, but this ad was on Nigel's blog this morning:

Buy Gay-Friendly Autos
Don't know what that means? Find out at

LOL...I guess AdSense is pretty smart stuff after all.

Mozatta said...

I have 3 financials that I bought and the only one that's been somewhat suspect I only have a few shares of, as I had like $100 left over after everything.

I'm with you though as the first 2 days I was looking at the "right now" satisfaction, whereas now I'm focusing more on tomorrow's and beyond.

Fun game, if I stay in the top 15% I'll call it a success.

Anonymous said...

please send those pics & post unmoderated comments for casey's wifey to see

Anonymous said...

These investment competitions are too short-term, and are usually won by somebody who puts 100% into some biotech startup that announces a killer drug and sees their price zoom 300%. In short, the investment contest does probably the exact opposite of what they're trying to do: tell people that the best way to make money is stake it all on one extremely risky venture.

If they wanted a REAL investment contest, they'd have people invest over a ten-year or twenty-year time frame, including dividends and transaction fees, and then you'd see who the real investors are.

Rob Dawg said...

I'd like to see:

- a $20/transaction fee applied
- 5% on any balance
- ETFs

Mozatta said...

Why you guys gotta make rules to steal my winnings?

Eth Real said...

I'd look to the subprime lenders, not to short them, but to get a bounce from the ones that won't collapse completely. If the collaspe of the market has made it to mainstream media and your mother knows what "subprime" means, it's time to buy. :-)

Beige book is out today and I'm still a general bear about the US, so perhaps yuan futures???

Mozatta said...

I'd stay clear of subprime. NEW is up a bit, but nothing to make you money on. FMT I believe is down and I don't see them making a move anytime. Countrywide (i don't recall their ticker) has a 19% deliquency on their portfolio, I don't think they would make a significant run either. You look to the GE (1B in potential defaults they have to fork out) What are you left with? I could see Wells doing a little, but not because of their subprime side. Hell, Lehman's been done for a good part of the day. It's tough to make money on subprime right now, I'd stay away.

But it's my opinion and I may be an idiot.

Rob Dawg said...

For the record, everyone here is smart enough to know "not investment advice." Assume it is there unless otherwise foolished noted. ;-)

The subprimes are all over the place. One trade a day after hours is not going to catch any favorable bouncing.

FYI, the 19% delinquency rate is for the 20% of CFCs retained portfolio rated below A- and not their entire portfolio.

Anonymous said...



Mozatta said...

Minor details Rob, minor details.

My point was that, like you said, you could pick up a little change here and there with subprime, but I don't think it's worth a lot of time and effort since you ultimtately won't be gaining a decent amount. Your time and effort could be spent elsewhere where you'd stand a better chance of making a decent return.

On the subprime side, insiders at Countrywide have sold 7.8M shares in the past six months. I'd tend to be in favor of their plan rather than buying right now.

Anonymous said...

Load the boat with junior golds, uraniums, and oils from the canadian vancouver exchange (if you can find any that are also traded in the us - OTC pink sheets most likely) and if Iran gets attacked, you'll make a triple easy. Just my 2 cents.

Arwen said...

The rules state that the stock has to have a market cap of over 500 million.

That leaves out NEW and probably pink sheets stuff.

It makes for a more interesting/fair contest, though.

sk said...

With no shorting, no ETFs, no options, no currency, they really limited my options. Also, my reading of trade execution was that they get executed sometime around midnight which sounded as if we'd always get closing prices.. So, morning/midday/last hour trade timing was out too !

I thought it would be kinda funny to just leave it in cash and if we do get one of those hellish market dumps - everybody investing, that is going long would lose big and the original sum would win !

I might do that, at that.


RandomDude said...

sk - if you're really going to leave it all in cash, at least do the bonus questions each day to get more cash. The guy here:
posts the answers everyday so you don't have to look them up or guess if you don't want to... sweet deal!

CNBC said about 220k people signed up, so just by probability alone, at least a few of the people that do the "all in" long shots each day will get it right almost all the time in a given week (to qualify as a finalist for the $1M) ... so there's almost no chance a 100% cash player would get into the finals in my opinion because some of the "all in" players will hit 15-20% gains in a single day a couple of times in a row and then go into cash - there's no way even the worst market in history would hurt the returns of a player like that.

As many have said, this contest has nothing to do with "investing" - it's all about taking long shots. I actually regret not going "all in" on a stock I picked. It (SYKE) was reporting earnings and I only put 50% on it. I was lucky enough that it shot up about 23% in one day. That put my rank at 351 (Top 1%) but I know a bunch of people went 100% "in" on that one because they actually showed the dollar amounts of the leaders on TV and they already have gained over $200k.

Last year's Squawk box contest and a Mad Money contest a while ago all ended with the top players doubling and tripling their money. There's no reason this contest should be any different. It's all kind of absurd. For CNBC, it's a way to get people to go to their new website.

Rob Dawg said...

256,000 people flip a coin.
Day 1; 128,000 heads
Day 2; 64,000 heads
Day 3; 32,000 heads
Day 4; 16,000 heads
Day 5; 8,000
Day 6; 4,000
Day 7; 2000
8; 1000
9; 500
10; 250
11; 125
12; 62
13; 31
14; 16
15, 8

Wow, 8 people out of a quarter million can successfully flip all heads.

I'd like to find out what the entire $256,000,000,000 is worth at the end.

Mozatta said...

I moved up 1% after yesterday. I am now in the top 13%!!

Rob Dawg said...

Moved down 1% to 29th %tile. AAPL but today looks good. I'm gonna have to drop a few on flyers just to goose the performance, it's not like it's real money.

Mozatta said...

Yeah today is looking pretty good for me too. I'm dropping my 1 share of NEW. I'll make a sweet profit of .32

Mozatta said...

I've reached my goal. Top 10%. 24K and some odd cents.