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 A SpecList member recently lamented that his stock picks have lost money over the past 12-18 months. How likely is that?

Since "THE" market low on 3/6/2009, Bloomberg shows only 14 members of the S&P500 produced a net loss excluding dividends. The list includes: BAX, GME, FE, EXC, MON, SAI, PHM, GILD, PCS, WFR, PBCT, HRB, SVU, APO, DF. Most of the losses were trivial. However, "The Biggest Loser" was DF, which as a dairy producer flirting with bankruptcy, gives rise to numerous bad puns.

The biggest winners are: GNW, FITB, WYN, F, CBG, AIG, XL, THC, FFIV, HIG. Since THE low, the S&P has gained about 82%.

But, let's be a little more generous on timing, as I'm the only person who actually called "THE" market low. (not)

Since 12/31/08, 57 companies (roughly 10%) in the S&P have produced a net loss excluding dividends. During this period, the S&P gained about 42% (excluding dividends); the "average" non-market-cap-weighted stock gained about 75% as smaller companies substantially outperformed during this period.

I humbly suggest that any long-only stock investor who achieved the ignominious feat of losing money during the past 12-24 months be anointed with the Holy Water of Lake Wobegon.


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