The 1st Annual Stock Picking Challenge is in the books and I have to say that it has re-ignited a desire in me to start investing in stocks again. It's been fun to research them and then see how they perform over the month.
How you could be losing money if you don't invest
I first heard about our Stock Picking Challenge partner, GoldBean, through Lynda.com. The founder of GoldBean, Jane Barratt has several really insightful educational videos on personal finance and investing there. In one video on investing, Barratt makes the convincing case for investing by stating that if you keep your money in the bank (which traditionally have terrible savings rates) vs. putting that same money in stocks, etc. – your money will actually lose value over time due to inflation (based on historical returns from the stock market).
Barratt states the best course of action to beat inflation and avoid losing money is to invest.
GoldBean exists to empower individuals by making it really easy to start investing. They do this with their easy-to-use website where you can virtually follow stocks (if you are just starting out and want to get your feet wet), or set-up an investment account via Trade King and start picking and tracking your stocks. Trades are only $4.95 each (vs. other online trading services like etrade which is $8.95).
If you link up a credit card or bank account, GoldBean will analyze your spending and show you companies that you can invest in that you are already spending your money with. I think this is a really neat feature because sometimes folks just don't know where to start.
GoldBean does charge a yearly membership fee of $50. This is fairly nominal considering all the fees that you are charged in your 401k and other investment accounts.
So who won the Challenge?
During the past month, Charlie and I selected 5 stocks to follow. We also asked you to join along – and some of you offered your picks as well.
We decided that the highest percentage of gain over the month would be the winner. So, how did we do?
At the close of the market on 12/10, here is where our stocks ended up for the month:
The total percentage of gains for all the stock picks were:
- Aaron = 77.69%
- Charlie = -13.68%
But the winner is the highest percentage gain of any one of the five stocks. And, this one was a blow-out with Aaron's pick of the Keurig Green Mountain stock which had a whopping gain of 78.76% over the month.
Of course, it's worth noting the stock market is often a marathon, not a sprint. And, the results could have been poor if the market was having a tough month. So while this was a fun challenge – it's better to look at investing in terms of a long view.
How did you do?
Winner of the GoldBean membership + $10 Amazon gift card
Thanks to all of you who followed along, checked out GoldBean and selected a stock. Hope you enjoyed it and saw that investing can be a lot of fun and empowering.
Congrats to reader, Mandi in winning the GoldBean membership and a $10 Amazon gift card.
Be sure to check out GoldBean. They are offering gift memberships for Christmas.
This Challenge was brought to you by our friends at GoldBean. All opinions expressed are our own.