Back in 2006-2007, for amusement I participated in the Motley Fool's CAPS stock-picking game. After playing for a while I pointed out some mathematical flaws in their scoring system, and exactly how it could be gamed (which I did for a while because it was easy). They chose not to fix the flaw. Well, I racked up a pretty high percentile score and was one of their top stock-pickers for a time. Then as I started my own blog, I got tired of it and finally just forgot about it. Now again, after 3 years of doing nothing to the position I had abandoned– not even logging into the site, I was informed by email today that I once again have near-genius status as some kind of ace stock-picker at the 97.44th percentile.

Maybe my friend and once stock market mentor in the early days Omar Sheriffe Vernon el-Halawani was onto something when in his last years he would keep telling me– "George, why bother to sell?" (He was a high-school teacher and one who consistently made money in the stock market over the decades. He had a great nose for value, not in the Graham and Dodd sense, but rather in understanding which were the economically important up-and-coming industries, and once he bought something he liked, he would hang on to it like a dog to a bone. He traded a little around the edges, but only for amusement. He also loved selling puts for income.)

Or maybe as a broken clock is right twice a day, so is a fool right once every three years …


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