The Sun-Herald runs a four week competition that they call 'The Shares Race'. Eight tipsters choose a 10 stock, $100,000 portfolio and sees how that portfolio performs over the four week period of the competition. Aside from the absurdity of a 4 week timeframe for a share investment, the results are interesting to look at - and to see if we can draw any conclusions.
The average portfolio was valued at $101,585 at the end of the four weeks. During the same time the ASX200 total return index had increased in value by 4.1% - meaning that $100,000 invested in the index over this period would now be worth $104,107. The market easily outperformed the far less diversified portfolios.
Another interesting fact is to look at those people who should have had 'skill' in the game - the two last place getters in Richard Pritchard, described in the article as a 'Chartist' and Angus Geddes from Fat Prophets - a share investment reseach company. Richard's portfolio was worth $92,254 by the end of the 4 weeks, and Angus' $98,463. This suggests to me that there is little reward for skill in the market - these guys got hammered by an astrologer ($102,304 and more than $10,000 ahead of the chartist) and the dartboard with $98,636.
While I don't think we should read too much into a 4 week game, it is interesting to see how well the 'market' performed against some of the best and brightest in the financial services industry, and to see how poorly the 'skillful' participants faired.