Weenie’s Monkey Stocks League Challenge!

For some reason, this post has taken me a while to write up, even though I’ve had all the ideas in my head for a while, so time to talk about those Monkey Stocks again.

Around the time when I first started this blog, I spent many an hour reading all I could about saving, investing in funds, shares, the stock market etc.

I came across some amusing articles and stories that really piqued my interest – I have no idea what I was Googling but somehow, I came across articles about ‘monkeys picking stocks‘, ultimately leading me to Burton Malkiel’s book ‘A Random Walk Down Wall Street‘, which I read recently.

As mentioned at the end of my book review, an idea formed, one which I shared with some of the attendees at the UK Gathering in March and which I mentioned in a post in May, so without further ado….

My Monkey Portfolio Idea

1. I will randomly/blindly select 5 shares from the FTSE 350.

2. I will buy £100 of each share (as regular payments, so only incurring £1.50 dealing charge per purchase). Yes, I am doing this for real!

3.  I will track the trials and tribulations of this portfolio.

4.  Any dividends received (if any) will be used to ultimately buy another randomly/blindly selected share when financially viable to do so.

5. My intention is to buy and hold but if I end up selling, funds received from sales of monkey shares will be used to buy more monkey shares.

League Table

My original idea was just for me to do this mad experiment on my own.

However, there are a few people who wish to join me in this experiment (thanks Huw and M, my first guinea pigs fellow stockpickers!), hence the idea of:

Weenie’s Monkey Stocks League!

A bit like a 5-a-side football league only with shares instead of players!

Your Choice

M suggested that people who joined may not necessarily want to select their stocks the ‘blindfolded monkey’ way but rather, use their own preference to choose their 5 stocks.

Her own preference was similar to the Dogs of the Dow (or Dogs of the FTSE) method – Dogs vs Monkeys already sounds like an interesting battle!

Or people may wish to use their usual stock picking criteria to choose – this might be the sensible way…

Or maybe your pet cat might be just as good as any monkey at picking winning shares? Dogs vs Monkeys vs Cats – a 3 way epic battle*!

Mr Z has expressed an interest – oh my, I can’t contain my excitement – Dogs v Monkeys vs Cats vs Zombies – I’ll have to sell the movie rights!

Whichever method you choose, anything goes  – a bit like Wacky Races!

Your Money – Real or Not

Huw mentioned that some people could be put off by investing £500 of real money. Personally, I was always intending to invest for real but I appreciate that other people may not want to risk real cash, so why not enter the league with virtual shares/portfolios!?

So, Weenie’s Monkey Stocks League Rules:

1. Pick your 5 shares from the FTSE 350 using the Monkey / Dog / Cat / Compound Income Score / / Roll of the dice / Dividend ChampsDeep value method / Mystic Meg or whatever method of your choice.

2. Buy £100 of each share using real cash or virtual cash. If buying for real, you probably need one of those platforms that allow you to purchase for around £1.50 or less.

3. Let me know what shares you have purchased (and whether you’ve purchased for real or just virtually), cost (including trading fee and stamp duty), number of shares, your method of choosing the shares, any cash left over from the £500 etc. For virtual stocks, I will use the £1.50 trading fee as default and also include the standard stamp duty of 0.5%.

4. Name your portfolio – yes, we get to pick daft/witty names – it’s a league table so it would be rude not to!

5. Anyone who doing this with real cash is of course free to dispose of their shares at any time and remove themselves from the experiment/league  – it’s their money after all!

6. No limits on participants selling and buying, although of course with such a small amount of capital invested, frequent trading might not be a great idea. I’ll need to be notified of sales/purchases as per point 3 so I can update the table.

7. The league will last for 12 months and the ‘winner’ will be the person with the highest return of dividends and capital gains from an original investment of £500.

8. No prize for the winner sorry, just bragging rights (although perhaps I’ll think of something later…)

9. Fun fact – did you know that a ‘Monkey’ is cockney rhyme for £500, which is the capital invested for this league?!

How Will I Select My Monkey Shares?

I will be attending the next UK gathering in August, which will be in York and I’m thinking of doing a live draw in front of a few gathered witnesses! This does mean I have to print and cut up lots of little bits of paper but this is so I can say I did choose my shares totally randomly in a blindfolded monkey style! (Yes, Mr Z, I did think of using a random number thing which would be a lot easier but this is a sociable way of doing it, I think!)

When Will the League Start?

The next regular payment date after the York gathering will be in September, so I was thinking that the competition could start 1st September 2015 and end on 31st August 2016, although I think my purchases will likely take place in the second week of September. [Edit 10/09/15 – Competition will now end 30th September 2016, as the start date was 30th September 2015]

So this seems like a long while to go but time for people to muse on the idea or if wanting to take part for real, gather some funds!

Investing Experts?

Huw suggested that we could ask a couple of “Investing Blogging Experts” to take a punt.

Monevator (The Investor) vs John Kingham could be a tasty battle between heavy hitters, but I’m not sure they’d be interested in something like this, ie ‘little league’.

Any other investing (blogging) experts who could be interested?

I may just choose 5 stocks which ‘experts’ from popular financial media have recommended (in August) and put those together virtually to see how they do.


Why am I doing this? Curiosity mainly, a bit of a fun experiment, introduce a bit more randomness which may (or may not) boost my investments. Plus it’s not like I’m blowing the money on shopping – I’m investing it and it still counts towards my savings rate and overall Future Fund!

Are you With Me?

So far, the following have indicated their interest – thank guys/gals, although it’s been a while since I first mentioned this so I understand if you’ve lost interest or no longer wish to take part:

1.  Me!
2.  Huw (Financially Free by Forty) – although he may be too busy with his Kindle stuff!
3.  M (There’s Value)
4.  DL (Dividend Legion)
5.  Cerridwen (Keeper of the Cauldron)
6.  Mr Zombie (The Finance Zombie)
7. TheFireStarter (TheFireStarter)
8. Laura (FTSE Market and UK Investments)
9. Stephen Iles

Post in comments or send me a message if you’re interested (or not, if your name is already above!) in being added to the list.

There is a distinct possibility that it could end up just me doing this on my own!

I’m ok with that thought, since that was my original plan but also, because you could say I don’t really give a monkey’s… 🙂

[*NB – no animals will be harmed in this league / experiment!]

35 thoughts on “Weenie’s Monkey Stocks League Challenge!

  1. Sounds like a interesting idea, weenie. I may well join in–virtually–as well! Sounds like a fascinating experiment. Letting lady luck come back into investing again!

    Looking forward to see how this develops!

  2. Hi weenie as it happens I have just over £500 cash sitting in my ISA doing nothing at the moment and commission credit I'm not using either, so count me in for real buys.

    I might as well stick with your original "monkey" formula and do this blind so any chance I can pick mine out of the bag with you at York?

  3. Hi Cerridwen
    Thanks for joining me in putting your money where your mouth is, haha!

    Yes, it would be great to pull our stocks out of the bag in York together – we'll toss a coin to see who goes first! 🙂

  4. Hi Weenie,

    I'm most certainly in! I'm going to join you and Cerridwen in York and select 5 from the bag. It will also ensure we have different ownership, which will make it more interesting.

    I had previously agreed on using 'Real' money, but with my current circumstances – £500 but be worth keeping onto to see me through the first month of my transition away from employment. Can I get back to you on this?! I'll also need to give some consideration to the portfolio name.

    I really want to compete with myself on a more serious level – Ie. Do the blindfolded 'monkey' selection in York, and then do a more serious selection of 5 stocks I feel will do well over the same period. Can I beat my blind folded self? Or will I completely embarrass myself?

    How do you feel about me putting 2 portfolios in for this purpose?

    Either way, I'm in and I think it should be fun watching how all of our random and selective picks get on over 2 months. Good on you for coming up with the idea and running with it.

    I've called out John Kingham out on Twitter, WWE style, to see if he's up for the Challenge as well!

    Keep us posted

  5. Weenie – excellent idea. Count me in.
    I don't have a £1.50/trade portfolio but am up for doing this with a bit more money – is that OK? Probably £5k.
    I am planning to pick mine alphabetically….

  6. Hi Huw

    I would have understood if you'd told me that you'd changed your mind about taking part as I know how insanely busy you are but that you want to enter two portfolios is awesome! 🙂

    Indeed, which will win – the 'random' or the 'expert' portfolio??

    Up to you if you want to enter for real or virtually – I wasn't ever going to hold anyone to their word on this aspect!

    Haha, thanks for tweeting John Kingham!

  7. Hi FvL
    Thanks for your interest. I don't see why you can't take part with £5k! It's the portfolio with the biggest % increase from starting capital (£500 or £5k).
    Interesting yet simple selecting method!

  8. I'm probably going to do the following:

    *pick the top 5 yielders from the FTSE 100;
    *eliminate any that I own already;
    *don't pick more than 1 from the same sector.

    At present, this would give me:


    Not too bad a selection methinks… GO DOGS!

  9. Hi Weenie/Huw

    Count me in as well. I'll be investing in a virtual portfolio built with my usual approach (i.e. non-random!).

    Just poke me again nearer September and I'll give you my stock selection and prices etc.

    Good luck with the competition, although I can hear a thousand statisticians complaining about small sample sets and short time horizons!


  10. Hi John
    Thanks very much for your interest and yes, I'll drop a note to all just before September.

    Haha, I know what you mean about the small sample sets and short time horizons! A year is nowhere near long enough – 3 probably would have been best but for blog purposes, seemed like too long a time for a competition! Perhaps I'll just carry on after a year (and the announcement of the winner!) I had originally thought about using £1k but as I could only spare £500 (for real!), that's what I went for. I guess if I'd run it as a completely virtual league, we could have used much larger values for capital.

    Am quite excited about running this!

  11. I. Can't. Wait. Count me in! Will need to decide on a method of selection. Will invest money to make it more interesting.

    Superb idea.

    Mr Z

  12. Hey Weenie,

    Love the idea, and you've put me at ease in the knowledge that no monkeys will be hurt in this experiment – that was the make or break point for me, of course!

    I will be doing this virtually, but I'll decide my method a little later – slightly more inclined to let Lady Luck make my choices though.


  13. Weenie,

    What an awesome and crazy idea, although I could never do this with real money – I guess you have bigger balls than I have! 😉

    I'll see if I find the time to join (probably with the Dogs method), maybe with a selection of Belgian stocks to make things interesting?

    Good luck with your first draw!

  14. Hey NMW, glad you like the idea and err, thanks for the 'balls' compliment lol! 😉

    Feel free to join but with shares from the UK FTSE 350 only so everyone gets to pick from the same 'pool' of stocks!

    Yes, with real money at stake here, I'm hoping there will be a lot of luck here haha!

  15. Did you mean "Put your monkey where your mouth is" there? :OD

    I'm in weenie. I shall be attending York so will participate in the live draw.

    I may stump up the real cash but might see what comes out of the bag/box first before fully commiting on that haha.

    Cheers and see you soon! 🙂

  16. Hey TFS, great to have you on board!

    That's four of us picking out of the bag – exciting times!

    See you soon!

  17. As I'll be on holiday – here are my stock picks – CARCLO ( CAR ). Chariot Oil & Gas Ltd ( Char ), Heath ( Samuel) & Sons, (HSM), Steppe Cement Ltd ( STCM ) Al Noor Hospitals Group ( ANH)
    My selection method was to use the first few letters from family names and search in Digital Look

  18. Hi Stephen
    Thanks and duly noted for your "LovelyLovelyGorgeous portfolio"! Hope you have a great holiday and good luck!

  19. Not sure if you will see this Stephen, although I have tried to contact you. Only one of your picks is in the FTSE 350 (ANH) so I'll need you to pick 4 others so that your portfolio can be included – thanks.

  20. Weenie
    As promised, I'm committed! I've just bought my five stocks (alphabetical, FTSE-350, starting with BA.), as follows (apologies for the copy/paste from my broker, interactivebrokers):

    Acct ID Symbol Trade Date Settle Date Exchange Type Quantity Price Proceeds Comm Tax Code
    XXXX BABSl 2015-09-01, 03:00:08 2015-09-03 – BUY 520 1.9090 -992.68 -6.00 0.00
    Total BABSl (Bought) 520 1.9090 -992.68 -6.00 0.00
    XXXX BABl 2015-09-01, 03:00:09 2015-09-03 – BUY 100 9.5700 -957.00 -6.00 -4.78
    Total BABl (Bought) 100 9.5700 -957.00 -6.00 -4.78
    XXXX BAGl 2015-09-01, 03:10:00 2015-09-03 – BUY 170 5.6500 -960.50 -6.00 -4.80 P
    Total BAGl (Bought) 170 5.6500 -960.50 -6.00 -4.80
    XXXX BARCl 2015-09-01, 03:00:36 2015-09-03 – BUY 370 2.6500 -980.50 -6.00 -4.90 P
    Total BARCl (Bought) 370 2.6500 -980.50 -6.00 -4.90
    XXXX BAl 2015-09-01, 03:00:17 2015-09-03 – BUY 220 4.4280 -974.16 -6.00 -4.87
    Total BAl (Bought) 220 4.4280 -974.16 -6.00 -4.87
    Total -4,864.84 -30.00 -19.36

    Go, the B Team!

  21. Oh my word – cheers for this, FvL – I'll insert your info into my worksheet. Might drop you a note to make sure I've understood it all correctly.

    10th Sept is when I'll be buying mine, as will all the other virtuals!

    Good luck to the B Team, although you may not need it haha!

  22. Can I enter the following please – Clarkson, Hellermanntyon Group, Antofagasta, Renishaw, Poundland Group – into the LovelyLovelyGorgeous monkey portfolio

  23. Ok here we go:

    I've chosen these at random, but will not be buying the for real…not quite that brave haha!

    Name: Lanky Legionnaire Fund

    1 – BBA Aviation PLC (LON:BBA): £2.83 * 35 = £98.9
    2 – Dunelm Group plc (LON:DNLM): £8.94 *11 = £98.3
    3 – Associated British Foods plc (LON:ABF): £32.40 * 3 = £97.2
    4 – Pearson plc (LON:PSON): £11.27 * 8 = £90.2
    5 – Aviva (LON:AV): £4.52 * 22 = £99.4

    TOTAL: £483.96, so £16.04 left over.

  24. Thanks DL – duly noted. I will make adjustments for stamp duty and trading fee (of £1.50), the same as I did for everyone else's virtual portfolios.

  25. Pingback: Monkey Stocks League Update #3 | Quietly Saving

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