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I was recently going through some old magazines which are ready for the bin and came accross an interesting issue of Shares magazine (Dec 1997). It has an article where a number of brokers name what their pick would be if they were allowed to choose only one stock to buy for 1998. Their picks and the prices they were trading at at that time were as follows:

Alan Cobb - D&D Tolhurst: China Construction Holdings $0.85
Andrew Greenup - Henderson Charlton Jones: ICI (Orica) $12.71
Ron Cameron - Dicksons: Normandy Mining $1.76
Don Barnett - Todd Partners: MIM $1.61
Mike Stewart - DJ Carmichael: Caliope Metals $1.64
Peter Chapman - William Noall: Crown $1.63
David Franklin - Hartley Poynton: Davids Holdings $0.81
Gerry Lynch - Merrill Lynch: QBE $8.50
Michael Heffernan - Shaw: North $4.75
Andrew McGuckin - Porter Western: Tat Hong Holdings $$1.18

Without having a look at the current price of any of these I suspect that a large proportion would have been very poor investments.

Not trying to prove any point in particular, but it interesting to note. When the Wise are asked to publish portfolios or choose stocks that will outperform the market, they seem to make very bad choices. I remember a while back the Sunday Age ran a competition which was supposed to run for a year where Shares Magazine, 3 stockbrokers and a punter were given a theoretic ($100,000) to invest. One broker withdrew after 2-3 months in which time he had destroyed more than half the value of his portfolio (a pretty good effort in a rising market I thought). One broker was slightly above his starting point (but only thanks to the first Telstra Float). The punter was the only one to make any money.

I would be interested to hear if anyone has seen a similar competition where the contestants performed credibly.

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