REDMOND, Wash. — Feb. 5, 2008— The Strategy Lab on MSN Money has announced the winner of the Strategy Lab Open, a competition looking for great undiscovered investing gurus who can not only find great stocks but write and teach others to do the same. Participants are tasked with managing a $1,000,000 model portfolio and writing about their strategies and investing decisions on their blogs. After six months, judges vote on a winner, who then moves on to compete with the pros in the MSN Money Strategy Lab competition. The first- round winner, Vad Yazvinski, who uses the screen name “dishwasher,” rang up an incredible 34 percent gain from August through December 2007 with a well thought-out strategy that balances long-term holds with news- and event-driven stocks. In addition, his “Vad’s Best Ideas” blog was top-rated overall by readers. Yazvinski competed with more than 500 avid amateurs setting up portfolios and starting their blogs at a time when the market was midway through pullback. Still, when trading closed on Dec. 28, 2007, 125 players had made money, 114 had beaten the market, 43 produced double-digit returns, and 13 were up 20 percent or more. The top five finishers all produced stellar returns: two well above 40 percent and three others right at 34 percent.
Judges from MSN Money, Marketocracy and InvestorPlaceBlogs.com who reviewed the posts and interviewed the top five contestants were stunned by the skill level and depth of knowledge of the amateur investors. “Our editors were pleasantly surprised by how well so many contestants were doing in the volatile market conditions and how much we were all learning from the process,” said Chris Jolley, group manager for MSN Money. “MSN Money’s Strategy Lab Open provides a unique opportunity for people to test their skills in the stock market, share insights with peers and compete with professional traders in a fun environment.”
For almost 10 years the Strategy Lab on MSN Money has selected top investing pros with different strategies for a friendly competition. Strategy Lab sets up the investing pros with mock portfolios and asks the competitors to outline and explain their strategy for readers. In the end, one winner is awarded bragging rights, and the top players return, along with three new faces.
Round 2 of the Strategy Lab Open started on Feb. 1, 2008. Readers can follow along and join the debates at the Strategy Lab Open Web site. All contest trades are handled through Marketocracy and displayed at http://www.investorplaceblogs.com/strategylabopen.
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