Written by Davina of RebeccaRice.net
Starting in 1988, the Wall Street Journal inaugurated their annual Investment Dartboard Contest, pitting experts (and later, WSJ readers) against WSJ staffers lobbing actual darts at a stock table. The experts squeaked by in the initial battle, but over the years, the darts proved themselves a worthy competitor, winning almost (but not quite) as often.
At this point in the post, Brett Arends comes clean. Although the results are genuine, the secret fund is fictional. What Arends really did was get a list of the world’s top 3,000 stocks and then pick some at random. As he states, “This is, in other words, the proverbial portfolio picked by a blindfolded monkey.”
But primates aren’t the only leading lights in random investments. The Observer, a British newspaper, organized a challenge in 2013 between three teams. One was a group of novice finance students, the second was comprised of a wealth manager, a stockbroker and a fund manager, while the third team was…a ginger tabby named Orlando. By the year’s end, the students lost money, the pros gained 3.5%, while Orlando (who would toss his toy mouse on a grid of choices) showed a return of nearly 11%.