Stock Gumshoe Contest — Win $100 For Your Idea

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, October 11, 2008

Welcome to the weekend after the worst week I can ever remember seeing in the stock market. I can’t do much to make you feel better about that, but I can give you a chance at $50 or $100 if you’ve got time to share an idea with the rest of us.

Famous investors of yore have shared lots of thought about what to do in these times, and most of them revolve around buying when everyone else is selling. Rothschild suggested that we buy when there’s blood in the streets, Buffett tells us to be greedy when others are fearful.

Well, today I wouldn’t be surprised to see at least a pinkish tinge to the sidewalks … and judging from my correspondence, people are as fearful now as they were after September 11, 2001 (for different reasons, of course). Who knows if it’s the bottom, but there certainly aren’t many enthusiastic buyers.

This market crash could hardly have come at a worse time — millions of Baby Boomers are hoping to retire over the next 10 years, and for those who were trying to goose their returns with a bit too much stock exposure those dreams of life on the road in a Winnebago may be pushed back a bit.

But if you’re like me, you can’t help but feel that in all this pain there may lie a bit of opportunity. And we know that in the short term, the market makes lots of mistakes as it rides emotional waves of fear and greed … so where does the opportunity lie?

Heck, maybe all our fear is misplaced and the fact that the Dow turned around late on Friday to move up 1,000 points or so (from intraday lows to intraday highs, at least) means we’re all fine, the last seller has left the building, and we’ll all be rich. No?

Now’s your chance to be the next Rockefeller or Buffett, though your rewards will be quite a bit more limited than theirs. I’m asking you to suggest a stock or other investment that you are tempted to buy right now, whether or not you can bring yourself to actually do so.

And I’ll award $50 each to two submissions — one whose idea sounds most interesting to me or is best presented, and the other to the person who suggests the stock that does best between now and election day. That’s only three weeks, so it’s a crazy time frame, but if I wait much longer I’ll forget to keep track. You can still come back and take some bragging rights if you make a good longer-term call.

And yes, the same person can win both if that’s how it works out. So you might just win a hundred bucks if you’ve got the magic October touch.

One catch: I’ll only reward the money if at least 20 people submit ideas.

The rules:

  1. You can submit only one idea, unless you fool me by using two different email addresses or accounts. Enter your idea in the comment form below.
  2. Submission deadline is Monday morning, before the stock market opens in NY. If you believe you’ll get great insight from the Asian markets on Sunday night, or the premarket Monday morning, feel free to wait until the last minute — 9:30 EST is the deadline Monday morning.
  3. If two of you have the same idea, the first one submitted gets credit.
  4. The Stock Gumshoe short ban is in effect — these have to be long positions in either exchange-traded debt or equity. You can choose an ETF or closed end fund if you like, but not a short or ultrashort ETF, or a short position in anything. And no, there’s no ticker for “coffee can in the backyard,” though I suppose you could pick the GLD ETF if you like.
  5. You can submit just a stock ticker if you want, but if you’d like to explain yourself please keep it fairly brief — no more than a couple paragraphs. You’ll have to explain yourself for a chance at the first $50.

I know that many of you wouldn’t part with your money right now no matter what, even if it was Mother Theresa at the door trying to sell you a bar of gold for a dollar, but I know most of you have at least a little temptation — who thought that GE would be in the teens? Or that Microsoft would trade at a single digit PE and have a dividend yield that’s actually worth looking at? And who knows, is something going to happen this weekend that changes everything?

So … what’s your stock market temptation?

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