Monkey Stocks League Winner 2016!

Twelve months have flown by since I started the Monkey Stocks League Challenge and I can now announce that the winner is…..

M’s Underdogs Fund

Runners-up Craig and his Interesting Initials Fund just couldn’t get anywhere near the winner.

Below is the final snapshot of the league as at the close of trading on 30th September 2016:final16league

And here’s M’s winning portfolio (other portfolios can be found here):


The Underdogs Fund showed a gain of over 60%, or rather £300 profit on M’s original investment of £500. M’s shares were chosen based on the Dogs of the FTSE strategy, all shares with high yields. The portfolio’s only ‘blip’ were the shares in Standard Chartered, one of the many banks which suffered big losses this year, cutting their dividend completely. Can’t win ’em all, eh M?

Real Portfolios

I must say that I am well chuffed that I not only finished in the top 3 but that my stocks showed a gain of nearly 26%.  Mr Z can’t be too unhappy that his Undead Monkey Fund came 4th, with a gain of nearly 23%. FireVLondon’s B Team Fund ended up pretty much just breaking even, with Cerridwen’s Eye of Toad Fund down by around 10%.

Many thanks to all of you who bought your stocks for real to join me in my mad experiment!

Expertly Picked Funds

I’ve been waiting to say this so… “Yay, the experts got beaten by the monkeys/dogs!

Ok, so both expertly chosen funds finished in the top 10 but still, both were miles from the winning portfolios.

In the duel between the experts, Huw came out on top, with his portfolio Kunniga Apa finishing in 8th place, with a gain of 10%. Incidentally, his Monkey Stocks fund, Blinda Apa, finished one place above!

John Kingham’s Pigmamig Fund finished in 10th place, with a gain of nearly 8%.

However, it was interesting to note that John’s portfolio scored the highest total dividend paid – over time, reinvesting dividend income plays a huge part in investment success, so John had obviously picked his stocks for the long-term.

Steady Eddy

diy’s Mutley’s Magic Formula fund continued to maintain its steady process and finished 5th. This fund was based on Vanguard’s 60% LifeStrategy Fund and steadliy made gains (18% in the end) with relatively little volatility.

Best vs Worst

The best 5 performing shares since the start of the league were Centamin plc, Evraz plc, Glencore plc, NMC Health plc and ARM Holdings plc (I include the latter, as although the shares were bought out last month, funds would have been received for that buyout):


If someone had happened to pick all these shares for their portfolio, they would have nearly doubled their initial investment of £500!

The worst 5 performing shares were Royal Bank of Scotland, Nostrum Oil & Gas plc, Restaurant Group, Interserve plc and Barclays plc.


If you’d had the misfortune to pick this lot, you would have seen your portfolio value drop  by over 40% – ouch!

Notes and Conclusion

Whilst blindly/randomly selecting shares to buy is definitely NOT a recommended strategy for people to try at home, this experiment of mine has perhaps shown how luck and randomness can play a big part in investments.

Around half of the monkey portfolios either broke even or made gains. 50/50… a toss of a coin, picking your investments out of the hat…. but you wouldn’t want to risk large amounts of money on this kind of strategy, would you?

Would I randomly choose a stock to buy again? The answer is ‘yes’, but as before, I wouldn’t risk a large part of my portfolio, it would more likely be what I consider to be ‘fun’ money.

The winning portfolio also showed some viability in the ‘Dogs of the FTSE’ strategy, an interesting strategy which I might just investigate further myself at some point!

12 months however really isn’t a long enough period to measure investment success, so what I will do is revisit the portfolios in another 12 months’ time to see how they have fared. I won’t do regular updates but I think it’ll be interesting to see if the expertly chosen stocks will win out in the longer term, if the Dogs have any staying power.

Even the portfolios at the bottom of the league table which are showing losses – they would only make those losses if they sold those stocks now – who’s to say that in the future, those shares won’t go up?

What Next for my Funky Monkey Fund?

I had planned to just leave my Monkey Stocks as part of my overall portfolio as it would have been uneconomical to sell such small quantities.

However, AJ Bell YouInvest came to my rescue with the timely offer to sell any investment of less than £500 for FREE, ie no dealing fees!

Not knowing if this opportunity would ever be offered again, I decided to sell up:

SOLD – Sainsbury (SBRY) – 6% gain

SOLD – Shaftesbury (SHB) – 7% gain

SOLD – Tate & Lyle (TATE) – 37% gain

If I include the share buy out of ARM Holdings, I made a total gain of around 32%. (Note: had dealing fees applied, I would have made a loss on the SBRY and SHB sales).

Not bad for randomly plucked shares! Luck obviously played a huge part in this – I could have ended up with a few of those that are in the Worst Five portfolio!

The only Monkey Stock that I am keeping in my portfolio is Temple Bar Investment Trust as this was a share that I had planned for my portfolio. Proceeds from the sale of the above have all gone towards purchasing more TMPL to build up my investment trust portfolio.

Another Monkey Stocks League Challenge?

Although I enjoyed running this challenge, I’m not planning on setting up a brand new competition just yet.  Perhaps I’ll see if there’s any appetite for another similar challenge sometime next year.

Or maybe I’ll come up with some other harebrained idea! I have a few bubbling in my head which may or may not see the light of day! 🙂

Anyway, M’s engraved trophy is in the post as of this morning:



12 thoughts on “Monkey Stocks League Winner 2016!

    • Hey OR
      Yeah, the trophy was a great little find! It’s been interesting running this as I had no idea how things would pan out. I’ll definitely let you know when/if I plan something similar in the future!

  1. Hi Weenie

    Thanks for putting all of this together and tracking it through the year. If anything, and as you point out, it shows that 1yr returns are largely random and not a suitable horizon over which to view returns from shares.

    Still interesting though, especially me being P1 for income. Didn’t expect that as I wasn’t especially selecting stocks for income over growth. Anyway, it’s good to be P1 at something!

    Also, thanks in advance for following these stocks over the next year. Will be interesting to see how much mean reversion we get in year two!

    • Hi John
      You’re welcome and thank you very much for taking part as one of the experts! It will be interesting to see how things turn out after another year!

  2. weenie,

    Thanks for organising the monkey league and the regular updates – its been interesting to follow the fortunes of the various runners and riders.

    I am of course secretly gutted not to have won the coveted trophy (drat, drat and double drat!) but I am more than happy with 5th place and, as the VLS60 is the largest of my personal holdings, I am very pleased with a return of 18% in just 12 months.

    I will look forward to see how things turn out after 2 years.

    • “drat, drat and double drat!”

      So it was Dick Dastardly all along, not Mutley! 🙂

      Glad you enjoyed it, diy – thanks for making things more interesting with the VLS60 portfolio, especially as this will likely form a large part of my portfolio when I come to simplify my holdings in the future.

  3. Haha, I’m glad this is finally over so I can stop seeing my picks languishing down near the bottom of the table

    Might have to have a closer look at the dogs of the FTSE strategy in future though! 😉

    Thanks again for setting it all up and keeping it going throughout the year. It seems like far longer than a year and a bit ago we all sat in the pub in York doing our picks doesn’t it?!

    • Glad you enjoyed it TFS (sort of, haha) and yes, that dogs of the FTSE strategy is definitely one to watch – I might run a test portfolio next year…

      Whilst the 12 months has flown by, it does seem like ages since we met up in York! Hope all went well with the London FIRE meeting!

  4. Really enjoyed following along with this, and it will be interesting to see where they end up in 12 months time. Will M be required to rehome the trophy if there is a change in fortune? Noooooooo!

    • Glad you enjoyed it, Mrs ETT.

      M’s trophy is for keeps but it will be interesting to see what happens in another 12 months’ time!

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