Happy New Year! Want to Win a Silver Coin? (Really!)

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, December 23, 2011

Entries so far can be seen here.
To enter the contest, click here (must be logged in as an Irregular).

It’s a bit early to be wishing you a Happy New Year, but Stock Gumshoe will be closed until the new year begins, with limited back-office operations going on but no new articles published — we should be getting back to our regular publishing schedule sometime during the first week of 2012.

In the meantime, we don’t want you to get bored, and we think you have some great ideas out there in Gumshoe-land, so we’re running a special contest starring our very own Stock Gumshoe Irregulars. And yes, you do have to be a member of the Irregulars (those are our paid members) to win.

Here’s the deal: As many of you have noticed, we have set up the site so that Irregulars can post their own questions or guest articles or start their own discussions, though we haven’t emphasized that portion of the site yet (we’ll be rolling out some improvements to these member discussions next year) … and as our way of encouraging folks to try it out and share their thoughts and opinions, we’re going to reward the best of these submissions over the next ten days.

Between now and the close of New Year’s Day we will be reviewing the submissions, and will reward at least three winners with the prize of a 2010 Proof Silver American Eagle, complete with presentation case and certificate of authenticity (we bought these directly from the US Mint a while back, they’re special collector’s editions of these one ounce silver coins, they’re quite shiny, and they’re going for about $50-60 on eBay these days).

So … how do you win?

First, come up with something you want to share with the crowd here. It’s OK if it’s something you’ve already published elsewhere if you think it’s worth re-sharing, but make sure it’s your own work — no copy and paste plagiarizing, please.

Then, make sure you’re logged in as an Irregular (you can do that at the very top of the site).

When you’re logged in, click on the “Irregulars” link in the green menu bar and go to “Start a Discussion” (or click here).

Use the box you see there to enter your commentary — choose a category for it if you want to (that’s optional), click “Post” … and there you go!

Your submission can be anything that’s at all relevant: your own writeup of a teaser ad; an analysis of your favorite investing idea; commentary on the markets; predictions for 2012; your opinion on anything financial; your thoughts about any of the newsletters we cover … you get the idea, the kind of stuff we generally talk about in these parts.

Anyone online will be able to read your submission or comment on it, but only Irregulars can make submissions. If you want to see your competition, and what has been published by Irregulars as guest articles, commentary and questions in the past, the list of the most recent ones (or you can keep scrolling down) is right here.

As long as your article or commentary isn’t terribly inflammatory or offensive, we’ll publish it — though it may take a day or so for your posting to be published (we have to check them for naughty words). We won’t edit your posting except to possibly correct any obvious typos.

And the rewards will be given in three categories:

  1. The most interesting investing idea (according to me). Yes, you have to actually provide some rationale or analysis, not just a ticker symbol.
  2. The best submission overall (judged by yours truly). We happen to like humor, wisdom, and research, so winners will probably include at least one of those three.
  3. The commentary that receives the most comments in response, or sparks the best discussion. I’ll leave that up to the rest of you — and non-members can comment on these Irregular submissions, but can’t win our fabulous prizes (sorry! Gotta keep a few perks for the folks who keep our lights on).

We have a few more of these lovely, shiny coins on hand as well, so if there are great responses to any of these submissions, they might also win a prize, as might “second place” winners in any category. And if anyone submits an investing idea that turns out to be spectacular in a few months (or whenever we look back and notice), remind me and we might issue another prize for that.

I’d like to give away five or ten of these coins, and I hope that we see so many wonderful submissions that it’s hard to choose … but I promise that as long as there are at least three decent submissions we’ll give away a minimum of three coins. And no, we won’t charge you for postage or handling or anything like that — we’re simple people, and this is a simple prize.

And of course, you’ll get platters full of bragging rights to go along with your pretty, shiny coin — after all, we’ve only run three or four contests in the long history of Stock Gumshoe, and I’m sure those past winners are still basking in the glow.

Judging will take place early in the new year, we’ll let the winners know by email and send out the coins quick as we can. I’m looking forward to seei