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Subject:  Re: CAPS is not meant to be a mirror of performa Date:  2/14/2007  12:11 PM
Author:  TMFEldrehad Number:  4899 of 8104

Perhaps - but the median rating of players with more than 100 picks is more than 83, so it's easy to see why people might think that. Players with lots of picks are ranked very highly.

First, I think the cause of this is somewhat self-reinforcing. If one is good at CAPS, it pays to be prolific. With that in mind, it shouldn't be a huge shock that the good players opt for big pick lists (in general), and that those with big pick lists perform well.

I know I've written about this before, but one criticism I hear often is, "There's no way anybody can follow 200 stocks!"

A good point - I know I sure can't, and my pick list sure isn't a small one.

The real question here is, in my view, is CAPS better served by people weighing in with regard to stocks they don't or can't follow closely? I sure think so.

I'll point to myself just for purposes of an example.

While I closed the pick a little while back, for a time I was thumbs-down on Whole Foods (WFMI).

Did I do a lot of due dilligence? Nope.

Did I analyze the financial statements? Nope.

Did I pour through the SEC filings? Nope.

How'd I decide to make that pick then? Well, I noticed a trailing P/E in the 50's or 60's and said to myself, "That's just way too high for a grocery store chain. Yes, indeed the organic food market had been growing quite briskly. But where were the real, hard, barriers to entry?" That, in all honesty and candor, was pretty much the extent of my analysis.

Now, did I follow Whole Foods particularly closely after making the pick?

I followed the company/stock somewhat. Noticed the disappointing earnings release and the stock tank, noticed the trailing P/E drop down in to the 30's if I recall correctly, and said to myself, "Self? This kind of trailing P/E is much more reasonable given the company has been growing nicely. I think I'll exit this call now."

No hard analysis, no real due dilligence, certainly not the level of detail I try to go into with my real money investments.

In my view the real question here is: did my call, and my exit, add real, useful, meaningful information into the CAPS database?

Well, I'll let each person judge for him or herself, but I like to think so - and if CAPS didn't reward having bigger pick lists, the system would likely have been deprived of that piece of information.

I know there's been a quality vs. quantity debate here on this board related to CAPS - and I think it's a good discussion to have with reasonable points to be made on both sides.

It's my opinion, though, that rewarding big pick lists, assuming the calls are right, is going to make CAPS much smarter than it'd be if CAPS encouraged small pick lists.

Regards,

Russell
a.k.a. TMFEldrehad

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