CNBC Million Dollar Portfolio Challenge - Monday, Finals Week 1
Welcome to post-season trading!
We've dropped from a couple hundred thousand players to just 20, at least one of whom (Bradford Pine) hails from our esteemed collection of readers. Trading begins today and runs through next Friday, February 6. There are no Bonus Bucks and each trader has a single portfolio, which has been reset to $1 million ($900,000 in equities and $100,000 in currencies).
A couple of noteworthy oddities from the contest site:
- There are only 10 finalists listed on the finalists page. I don't know whether these are just the top 10 overall finishers or whether it represents the thus-far validated finalists hailing from both the overall and the weekly ranks.
- There are exactly zero members of the inumerable Lewis family (about whom much debate over possibly squirrely enrollment procedures swirled) on the list. Lewis family members finished with one weekly bid and two slots in the overall top 10. Any top 10 finishers who also won individual weeks get to the finals via their weekly bids (and the 11th-Nth place overall finishers move up accordingly), so it's possible that Lewis family members will indeed be in the finals and that we're seeing either the weekly winner-less list of "adjusted top 10" finalists or a partial list that will be updated later today.
While we didn't focus too much on currency trading here, it may prove to be a larger factor in the finals. During the initial phase of the contest, the rules strongly encouraged moon-shooting, since 1) rewards are only granted to a tiny fraction of the top percentile of performers, 2) each week was judged in isolation, 3) each trader could play with 5 independent portfolios, and 4) Bonus Bucks are more valuable to devastated portfolios.
Accordingly, the opportunity for currency gains (even to talented currency traders) was comparatively small, despite the ability to trade currencies throughout the day and the 10:1 leverage available to currency balances. The risk-seeking perversion was exacerbated this year with the introduction of ETFs (and leveraged ETFs), which enabled peak weekly gains approaching 100%. With gains of that size setting the pace, grinding out currency gains just wasn't a terribly productive use of one's time.
In the finals, none of the four above conditions hold. 1) A significant number (15%) of the finalists will win a share in the cash prize pool. 2) Standings in the finals are based on a single measurement of performance over the two-week period. 3) All finalists have just one portfolio. 4) There are no Bonus Bucks.
I don't know if there are any currency experts among the finalists, but I suspect it just became a prized area of expertise. (Note to finalists: the currency education section of the site is still live.)
If you didn't make the finals, you can (in theory*) continue pretend-trading with CNBC by logging into the contest portfolio manager and exporting your portfolios to the CNBC Investor Portfolio Tool.
* I just tried this and it's not working.
Update: The finalist roster now has a full 20 members, including 3 members of the Lewis family.
Update: Just spoke to Brad, who attempted to access the site this afternoon and make a couple changes to his allocation (well before the close) and couldn't get in. As of 4:06 pm, the site is still down. Unimpressive. And certain to result in justified complaints from the finalists.
Update: CNBC's mea culpa:
FINALS UPDATE 1/27 - 2/9
Due to technical issues on CNBC.com today, some of you were not able to place trades. As a matter of fairness, we will restart the finals tomorrow (Tuesday, 1/27) morning at 9:30am ET. Trading will continue through Monday, 2/9 until 4:00pm ET.
Before the opening bell Tuesday, 1/27, all portfolios will be reset by CNBC to 1,000,000 CNBC Bucks (900,000 for Equity and 100,000 for Currency trading).
We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your participation.
See all related posts in the CNBC Portfolio Challenge archive.
Finals - Week 1: Monday
Week 10: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Week 9: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Week 8: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Week 7: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Week 6: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Week 5: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Week 4: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Week 3: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Week 2: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Week 1: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
Pre-game: CNBC Million Dollar Portfolio Challenge Is Back, Strategy Primer
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Handcrafted by Flip on January 26, 2009 |
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