The FT's annual stock picking competition

The FT’s doing their annual stock picking competition, the deadline’s midnight on the 2nd February.

Summary (to save you a click)

Every year, FT writers compete to pick a portfolio of five stocks that they predict will generate the highest return over the next calendar year.

To join in, you need to select five stocks and decide whether you want to go “long” (betting the price will rise) or “short” (betting the price will fall). The deadline for entries is midnight on February 2 2020. February 3 will be counted as the start date.

You must pick individual stocks from the alphabetical list provided. The list contains stocks from the FTSE All Share, Dax 30, Eurostoxx, S&P 500, Dow Jones and Nasdaq. Once you click on the list and start typing the first letter of your desired company, the list will jump to all companies beginning with that letter to make selection easier.

If you want to go long or short on a commodity, say oil, you must find a listed stock that will act as a proxy for that (eg BP or Shell).

Entrants who pick the same company more than once will be disqualified from the competition.

The winner is the portfolio that has generated the highest overall return by December 31 2020. This will be calculated by adding up the annual percentage loss or gain of each five stock picks and dividing it by five. If there is a fine margin between two leading entries at the end we will add in dividends to the total return of the longs, and subtract them from the shorts. Currency movements are not taken into account.

If your company is taken over, you take the price at which it is trading at the end of the period, or the final price if it is delisted. If your company is suspended, then you get the suspension price.

The three readers with the best performing portfolios will be invited in for a VIP tour of the FT’s London offices in January 2021, giving them the opportunity to meet all the writers and columnists they have beaten.

I’m thinking of entering, is anyone else? I’d be curious to know if you use our app to help you make your choices :smile:


This looks extremely fun!

It’s raw performance as well, they don’t consider dividends unless it’s a tie, so you really are betting on the moonshots for that year.

Guess you want high scoring value and momentum, definitely not thinking stocks as a long term investment! I don’t think traditional solid long term buys will be in the winners portfolios, e.g. Disney has seen a 22%~ increase over the last year, however Tesla has had a whopping 88%~ increase.

I do love the prize too, a bit cheeky but sounds a really good time.

Time to put together my top five risky bets of 2020 :smiley:


Would be intriguing to see what people may come up with - may take a punt myself once I see some of the stock picks.

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Just entered myself now!

I’ll give you a quick run down of what I did in the app to find my five picks.

First I went to the scorecard tab and didn’t use one of the collections, I went for the All link under Stock collections. I want to create my own filter!

Now, straight into the filters section as I know what I want to look for. The brief is really looks for high growth firms, as the end results are averaged I can’t make five wild predictions, I need semi reliable companies which have massive short term (1 year) growth potential. We also have a restriction on exchanges to consider.

First the easy bit. I’m looking for aggressive growth above everything else. I’ve change the sort by to be Momentum based only. This does mean the companies are unlikely to be cheap, and thus have a harder time getting a massive 88% return in one year, I do believe the market is fairly good at pricing in terms of risk versus reward. If it was easy everyone would do it!

Next up is another easy filter. Country of Exchange, this is UK and USA only. There are other markets which I can pick from but I want to select items I have a better understanding of, and for the filters I’m going to use it will be harder with the other markets for me. So, potential gap I’ve left you all in this contest! :speak_no_evil:

Sector, no filters applied. I want to see all sectors. In the end I will try and pick firms from different sectors. Last thing I need is sector/industry risk!

Now for market capitalisation. I will pick large and mid cap. My view is it’s harder for a large firm that has many pies to get explosive growth, they are more stable and reliable in my eyes, not what I need in this content. I didn’t go below mid cap as I don’t want any failures or acquisitions. Yes an acquisition does count and they lock in the sell price, but if that happens in eight months, I’m losing out on an extra four months of growth! They would pay a premium but I want to be in the spirit of the content. :ghost:

That is my filters sorted! I went through the 30 companies returned and picked a few favourites using the watchlist. Then reviewed them all and picked by five!

Time will tell how it works out! :crossed_fingers:!


Love the write up and get the logic. Surprised though that Netflix has such a high momentum given the launch of Disney+, Apple TV and others, the loss of their most popular shows like Friends and the Office to HBO and others, and the increasingly prohibitive cost of continually creating original content in order to compete with the likes of Disney+ who already have an incredible back book.


This is a very interesting read


Awards mean remarkably little though, I would argue. The Witcher has been universally slated by critics, yet has been universally loved by the viewers.