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.
My original idea was just for me to do this mad experiment on my own.
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.
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:
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!
Huw suggested that we could ask a couple of “Investing Blogging Experts” to take a punt.
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:
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!]