Don't hate the playa
I write about a lot of controversial stocks, and some of my fan mail is, shall we say, "spirited?"
For instance, "You are a complete moron!" would be about the third-nicest missive to hit my inbox, despite the fact that my record on calling underperforming stocks is actually quite good.
I know, because I keep track.
Hate the game
XM Satellite Radio (Nasdaq: XMSR ) , HokuScientific (Nasdaq: HOKU ) , TASER International (Nasdaq: TASR ) , WorldSpace (Nasdaq: WRSP ) , GlobeTel, Ipix, Capstone Turbine, Overstock.com ... these are just a few of the stocks that are down more than 50% since I warned investors to stay away and watch their wallets. (Ipix, for the record, handed its poor bagholders a 99.5% loss.)
Despite my decent record at sniffing out the market's finest garbage, I'm perfectly willing to admit that I am often wrong. True Religion (Nasdaq: TRLG ) is a company that aroused deep suspicion in me, but, to its credit, it stuck to the biz and even cleaned up its management. And it's done just fine. Eastman Kodak (NYSE: EK ) hasn't folded yet, though it hasn't helped investors much, either. And I never figured Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) would turn that MP3 fad into an entirely new business model, nor that investors would continue to pay a nosebleed price for the stock even in the face of a future where growth can't possibly come as quickly.
But sure as I can find an AMEX micro-cap burning cash and breaking promises, the angry email still comes.
Love the game
Now, however, I've got a new way of answering: BITC! (Bring It To CAPS!)
That's right. Bring it to CAPS, baby.
What's "CAPS," you ask? It's our new stock-ranking service that lets investors rate stocks against the market. It's fun and simple -- like a game -- but it's much more than that. CAPS keeps track of your picks, and it keeps track of the calls made on the stock. When you've got seven picks in, you get a ranking. When enough players have rated a stock, it gets a ranking (1 to 5 stars).
Earn your CAPS cred
This is not just a popularity contest. CAPS is a lot more clever than that. It knows the smart money from the dull, and it weighs opinions accordingly. Simply put, the more accurate you are, the more your opinion matters. On the other hand, if your CAPS scorecard proves you to be a rancid stock-picker, your opinion is regarded as such when it comes to computing the stock's ranking.
Want to bump up your favorite stock's ranking? It's not enough to simply give it a thumbs up. You've got to prove yourself a good enough stock-picker for your thumb to matter.
Fool's final word
We've got 8,000 rated players so far, and more than 1,300 ranked stocks. (There are thousands more stocks available for ranking.) That's enough to give budding stock-pickers a place to prove themselves worthy.
Think I'm full of it? Think I'm dead wrong on your favorite stock? BITC and check my score. (As I write this, I'm No. 5 out of 8,000). Think you can outwit experts like Cramer? We track his calls, too. (Not looking so hot.) Think all of Wall Street is full of it? We track analyst recommendations as well.
Think you've got what it takes to beat the Street and be a top stock picker? Put your mouse finger where your mouth is, and BITC. The signup's free.
XM Satellite Radio and TASER International are Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendations. A one-month guest pass to this premium growth service is also free.