Friday File: Ackman, FIVE, 5G and Vanadium

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, March 29, 2019

As we close in on the end of the first quarter, it’s time to release some more data — I just posted the 2019 teaser tracking spreadsheet for you, you can find it on the tracking page along with all our previous years and use it both to see what we’ve been covering so far this year in teaser land and how those stocks are doing.

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Since this has been the best quarter for the stock market in a long time, I guess it shouldn’t be all that surprising that the average teased pick actually did pretty well — there are roughly an equal number of winners and losers, and if you have bought all of them on the day they were teased… well, you would have done exactly as well as if you had bought the S&P 500 on each of those days instead.

No, that’s not terribly impressive — the point of picking stocks is to beat the market, after all, not to spend lots of money and time to match the market — but it’s better than we often see. Last year, for example, the average teased pick trailed the market by about 8% if held through today… though the teaser picks from 2017, thanks to some huge gains from marijuana stocks, would have beaten the market by about 8% (if you want to go back further, 2016’s picks to date would have matched the market, 2015’s trailed the market by about 22%). Over time, these numbers get so big (we’ve covered well over 2,000 teaser picks in our decade+ of publishing) that the whole group is almost guaranteed to average out to very close to the average market return… but that generally happens with a few great stock ideas and a whole mess of terrible ones.

This is not a proper comparison, to be clear, because of the different time periods and our lack of selling information — we do not know when a newsletter might sell a stock, we only know what the price was on the day they tease it (usually, of course, hinting at it as the best possible idea ever, with 1,000%+ return potential), so we have to assume that you buy it that day and hold it forever. Over the past five years, we’ve seen a few teased picks that have risen more than 500% ...

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