How did I get here? How could I have let myself sink this low?
Of the 43,777 ranked participants in the Motley Fool CAPS community, my picks rank me at 43,537. In other words, 99.45% of my fellow players are smoking me when it comes to making timely bullish and bearish market calls.
I'm not proud of where I am. The view stinks, and not just because I'm staring up at most of your rumps above me.
Bring me the head of Amy Winehouse
To be honest, I know exactly how I got myself into this predicament. I neglected the process. I took gambles and forgot to circle around to check back on them. I abandoned the CAPS community for months at a time, only to realize that nothing grows in the shade.
I compounded my mistakes by jumping back in too aggressively last month. Sensing value in some of last year's busted IPOs, I went sprinkling outperform ratings on fallen market debutantes such as Chinese online educator Noah Education (NYSE: NED ) and tech-job-listing site Dice (NYSE: DHX ) .
Silly me. I thought I was making shrewd calls by snapping up forgotten IPOs in the single digits. My timing couldn't have been worse: The market soured quickly on weak growth stocks.
From penthouse to pavement
I'm humbled. I'm embarrassed, quite frankly. I'm not used to making such a spectacle of myself. I didn't even want to write this article. My initial instinct was to distract my fellow Fools, hoping no one would notice me hugging an anchor in quicksand.
I have a reputation to uphold. I've been slicing and dicing stocks around here since 1995. As a member of the Rule Breakers team of analysts, I have recommended great growth stocks to subscribers such as leading Chinese search engine Baidu.com (Nasdaq: BIDU ) and master burrito-roller Chipotle (NYSE: CMG ) . Both of those stocks have more than doubled over the past year.
I've seen better days. I'm the one who nailed the bottom on Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX ) more than five years ago and called the top on condo-flipper magnet WCI (NYSE: WCI ) last year. This downtrodden CAPS player you see isn't the real me. I'm going to prove it to you.
Rocky road meets Rocky Balboa
I'm too proud to throw in the towel on CAPS. I got myself into this mess. I'm going to claw my way out. Over the next few weeks, I'm going to update you on my progress. I'll let you in on what worked and what sank me deeper into the cesspool.
I am going to pitch a tent in front of CAPS until I get it right. Whether it will be personally therapeutic or universally enlightening, I've got to give it a shot. It's in my DNA not to quit.
This doesn't have to be a passive reality show. Feel free to chime in on my picks and pans. I'm committed to pulling myself out of this mess on my own, but leaning on you can only help at this point.
Smack me around when I make a mistake. I may have been wrong to tap Warner Music Group (NYSE: WMG ) as a market-thumper when it was peaking in the mid-$20s, but my bigger mistake was watching it slide down to the single digits unchecked.
So check back for my Friday diary entries. And if you haven't joined the CAPS community yet, you can join now and be just one more player I will have to get past to find my way back on top. I welcome the challenge.
Let's do this!