EL CERRITO, CA (Nov. 11, 1999) -- Anyone who has ever ventured onto the Mechanical Investing message board has noticed that it is a Workshop on steroids. Participants on that board have developed not only half of the strategies we cover here in the Workshop, but literally dozens of other stock screening methods that are extremely exciting.
As we approach this brave new millennium (sorry, couldn't help it) we need to take stock of what we have learned during this last year and incorporate into our lists of "officially" followed strategies the best techniques developed in that yeast vat called the Mechanical Investing board.
A few weeks ago I asked readers of both the Foolish Workshop and Mechanical Investing message boards to "vote" on which screens you would like us to report on in our official Workshop Rankings next year. The results are in. A total of 100 people responded, split almost equally between the two boards, with a few responding to me directly by e-mail.
I tabulated the results like a screen of screens, assigning 10 points to each person's top pick, 9 points to the second pick, and so on. Up to 10 picks were taken from each list. If you recommended more screens, the bottom of your list was truncated. If you recommended fewer, your top pick still got 10 points.
The full list of screens is shown below, ranked from highest to lowest vote count. Most of the incumbent screens in our Current Rankings were voted in for another year. Four of the current screens received less than 100 points and will be removed.
I also tabulated the results separately for the MI and Workshop boards. Assuming that mostly veterans voted on the MI board and relative newcomers voted on the Workshop board, I was curious whether there were any differences. And there are. Not surprisingly, the Workshop voters stuck more closely to the incumbent screens. This is most notable with the UG and IFG screens, which got almost no votes on the MI board but got quite a few on the Workshop board. Also, the MI voters favored Keystone100 and PEG13 much more than the Workshop voters did. I expect that this is mostly because the Workshop voters have not seen these newer strategies discussed as much.
Since we'd like to keep as many people happy as possible, we're going to consider expanding the list for next year, perhaps from 10 screens to 12.
New strategies receiving more than 100 points are: Keystone100, Plowback, PEG(RS13), KeystoneEPS, RS13, and Plowback(RSW). We will be examining each of these strategies in depth over the next few weeks.
The screens that are definitely being removed are: Unemotional Growth (UG), Investing for Growth (IFG), Beta, and Low Price to Sales (LPS). Please note, we decided to drop IFG and UG not because the "veterans" didn't support them but because we have developed other screens with better returns and lower volatility. They were pretty much doomed even before the vote, although if there had been overwhelming support for them, we would have reconsidered. They won't disappear, however; they will be "retired" to a special Unemotional Investor page that discusses changes in the Workshop since Robert Sheard's seminal book.
Here is the full tally of votes.
Points PEG26 675 RS-IBD 495 Spark 464 RS-26 441 Keystone 304 Formula90 258 Key100 181 Plowback 174 PEG13 164 Key-EPS 145 RS-13 136 Plow-RSW 133 UG 99 PEG-RSW 93 AD-IBD 48 LPS 35 IFG Classic 32 BSP 31 EG 27 Blitz 25 RSO 24 PLD 28 WER-TD 18 WER-ADRS 17 Beta 17 RS4 16 RS52 15 Uniq3 15 ROIC 14 SOS 12 RSW 10 EGRSW 9 KEPS30 5 BI 4 LEAPS 1 PEGOL 1Fool on!