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Our Team in 2007 SLO

MSN's 1st Strategy Lab Open Tournament

What is Strategy Lab?

Strategy Lab is MSN Money's stock picking Challenge game. Up to the end of 2007, the Strategy Lab has run 16 rounds. Each round lasted 5-7 months. For each round of competition, MSN Money will invite 5-6 reputed professional Fund managers as the players to run their own $100k Portfolios for that round of Strategy Lab. The winner will be the one who made the best return from his/her Portfolio.

What is Strategy Lab Open?

During the summer of 2007, MSN Money decided that beginning from 2008, one amateur will be added into the Strategy Lab against the professionals. Strategy Lab Open is the qualifying tournament. The first Strategy Lab Open started on July 28, 2007 and lasted five months. Each tournament participant will be given $1 million to start with and the finalists will be the five players who made the most money during the tournament. Winner will be selected from the five finalists.

Strategy Lab Open Rules

1. Only US residents can register to enter the tournament. Each registered player will be given $1,000,000.00 to begin with;

2. No short trading, no trade in margins. Buy stocks only from NYSE, NASDAQ and AMEX listed ones;

3. Account cash value will earn 1% annualized interest; 2% management fee will be charged daily (2%/365) based on account size after each market close;

4. Commission is $0.05/per share traded. That is, $0.10 commission will be charged for each share traded round trip.

5. No one stock can have more than 25% of account size at any time. If a stock made a run after buy and exceeded 25% of the account balance, the player has to sell part of its holdings to meet the requirement;

6. Order fill policy: Any buy order has to be filled based on the actual trading volume. Normally, only 10% of the trading volume can be attributed to a particular order. Let us take the case that one player placed a 1,000 share buy order as an example. The order can be completed only the stock has more than 10,000 real share traded after the order is placed.

There are additional rules but these are the major ones.

Why Did We Enter the Competition?

Our team registered for the tournament with userID jsIRA2007.

1. We just finished the first version of our Short Term Trading Software and wanted to use the opportunity to test it;

2. We strongly believe that we can beat the professionals by big margins and want to compete with them.

The Result

We finished at the second place with +45.88% return (our account balance was $1,458,843.35 when the tournament ended). Please be noted that our first buy order was on August 28, one month after the tournament started. That is, we only used four months not five months to compete with others. That was because we were informed a wrong tournament starting date by the SLO organization.

Click to see our complete trading records and our daily NAV changes. Our daily NAV never run into negative during the tournament. We made a total of 521 trades during the four month span and paid $101,715.80 commission. If the commission was charged on per trade basis, not on per share basis, the commission charge would be only $5,210.00 (if $10 per trade is charged) and the return will be +55.53%, equal to a +376.22% annualized return.

Please click here to see the tournament Top 200 Finisher . The table showed that only 192 made positive return in the tournament. That is, only 10.94% players made money and near 90% losers in the tournament (there were 1,755 people registered for the tournament).

During the same five month span, S&P 500 gained 1.34% and NASDAQ made 4.38% return. Therefore, 172 beat the S&P 500 index and 133 beat the NASDAQ.

During the same time span, the best Fund manager among six carefully selected to participate the round 16 of Strategy Lab returned +3.14% and the worst gave a negative of -14.24% return. See others result? Click here.

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