Diary of a Stock Market Loser

Fiscal quicksand.

That is where I am, after what is now a 21-week quest to climb out. I'm using Motley Fool CAPS, the community-based stock market simulation, where my bullish and bearish calls are stacked up against those of my fellow Fools for mutual enlightenment.

After a few weeks of gradual gains, my rating has slid down, down in each of the past two weeks. My current rating of 1.53 is not pretty -- only 1.53% of my fellow players are doing worse than I am. Put another way, 98.47% of you are beating me silly with your superior stock picks.

Here's how my ratings have clocked in over the past six weeks:

As I have every week, let's go over some of my recent picks and pans.

Making moves and taking names
I made four new market calls this week. All four companies report earnings next week, and I'm betting on better-than-expected results out of them.

Best Buy (NYSE: BBY  ) has been under pressure lately, but the consumer electronics superstore chain isn't going away. Opportunistically speaking, most of its competitors have fared worse. Circuit City (NYSE: CC  ) is doing the dog paddle in a penny-stock wading pool, while other tech retailers like Tweeter and Sharper Image have filed for bankruptcy. All this will give Best Buy a more attractive position after more of its weaker rivals fold.

Publishing software behemoth Adobe (Nasdaq: ADBE  ) is stepping up for its quarterly close-up. There'll be no need to Photoshop the results. Adobe has a great track record of beating the market, something it has done in all but one quarter in the past six years.

I also pegged Titan Machinery (Nasdaq: TITN  ) to beat the market in the near term. The stock is already one of the hottest IPOs over the past year. A dealer of agricultural equipment is a good place to be when food shortages and higher harvest prices are bringing out the inner farmer in all of us.

My fourth bullish call went to Winnebago (NYSE: WGO  ) . Unlike my picks in other sectors, the RV industry is in a shambles. Higher gas prices and aversion to big-ticket purchases are crimping sales.

But Winnebago is one of the few profitable players here, perfectly positioned for the eventual recovery. If the turnaround doesn't come quickly, smaller competitors are unlikely to make it, giving Winnebago a thicker slice of the market. Next week's report won't be pretty, but the stock has already taken such a beating that even mediocre news will be a big win.

Things can only get better
I did a little pruning too. I ended my bearish call on ParkerVision (Nasdaq: PRKR  ) . It was killing me. No revenue, mounting losses, and questionable technology? How can I go wrong betting against that?

Well, apparently it has gone badly for the shorts. I am still skeptical about the company's prospects, but after seeing the stock climb 53% higher since I singled it out as a dud several months ago, I'm off to lick my wounds. I'll probably be back on the short end, especially since last month's quarterly report wasn't all that inspiring. I just hope I don't get burned twice.

I also ended a bullish call on Gaiam (Nasdaq: GAIA  ) . That one didn't play out well either. The fitness media giant tanked after spinning off its residential solar installation arm to a lukewarm market response. Fiscal quicksand isn't all that tasty, I tell you.

What will I do next? You're welcome to follow me on my CAPS page to see, even before next week's update.

Another thing you may want to do is to give Motley Fool CAPS a shot. The moment you start, you'll be way ahead of me. But I won't stop the struggle just because one more person is ahead of me.  

I won't rest until my rating grows respectable. See you there!

Best Buy is both a Motley Fool Inside Value and Stock Advisor pick. The Fool owns shares of Best Buy. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is always up for a good game. He does not own shares in any stocks in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy, and it's more intimate than my market diary.


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 664539, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/20/2014 9:47:37 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement