Sharesight Stock Picking Competition — Final Results!
In the lead up to 2018 we emailed Sharesight users asking them to nominate one stock (from select markets) they believed would be the top performer for the 2018 calendar year (January to December). We then constructed a Sharesight portfolio containing the nearly 100 stocks chosen, allocating $10,000 to each in the portfolio.
Now that 2018 is over it’s time to find out which stocks performed best, which performed worst, and most importantly, which was the winning stock pick!
In a word, terrible. The Sharesight stock picking competition portfolio had a total return (including dividends) of -17.77% in 2018, with a capital loss of -20.63% only offset by small gains from dividend and foreign exchange movements from stocks in markets outside Australia.
This contrasts with a -1.35% total return for the ASX200 (using the STW.AX Spdr 200 Fund ETF as a benchmark) over the same period. As we noted previously, this suggests that building a portfolio that consists entirely of growth stocks that might be potential winners in a stock picking competition may not be the best investment strategy.
The Australian aerial imagery technology and location data company is our stock picking competition winner. The company showed strong momentum throughout the year, taking and holding top spot from the end of the third quarter after the company broke into the S&P ASX 300 index in August. Nearmap returned 152.10% during the year.
The Australian based stem cell therapy company announced it has "met all clinical endpoints" on its stage 1 trial of drug CYP-001 and is looking to stage 2 trials and has Japanese rivals scrambling to catch up. Cynata’s shares have slid compared to their highs around June, finishing up 109.68% for the year.
"Buy now, pay later" company Afterpay Touch looked like an early favourite to win, especially after trading at all-time highs above $20 during August, before sliding almost 25% in early September after Afterpay announced an expansion into the UK after acquiring 90% of existing operator ClearPay Finance and raising $104 million to fund growth, then sliding further in the fourth quarter to $12.40. Afterpay shares returned a still impressive 107.71% in 2018.
The sustainable aquaculture company reached an major agreement in May with Japan based Nissui (TYO:1332) over a $24.99 million equity investment in Seafarms Group that would assist in the development of Seafarms’ Project Sea Dragon plans to build a large scale prawn aquaculture project in northern Australia to produce prawns for export markets. The first major piece of the project was announced in June, with the acquisition of a 52ha site in Kununurra to build the processing plant for the project. This sent shares higher -- before settling 69.23% up over the year.
This Australian based PCB design software company clawed back some of its impressive gains seen during 2018. After hitting nearly 100% returns in September, the stock saw a total return of 65.54% by year end.
After being the target of short seller Glaucus back in April, diversified alternative asset manager Blue Sky’s share price has not recovered since taking out the worst performer crown in our June update, with a total return of -94.53% in 2018.
After buying a ‘strategic equity position’ in blockchain company Brontech in December 2017 (and pushing shares up 42% at the time), the stock for this blockchain venture company fell considerably through to June, and before settling somewhat to return -91.43% in 2018.
After Retail Food Group’s horror performance in 2017, the fortunes of the company have not improved materially in 2018. The company announced a $306.7 million loss after recording $427 million in asset impairments and costs from closing almost 250 stores during the year. On top of the RFG’s managing director Andrew Nell stepping aside in May and Richard Hinson being appointed CEO, RFG’s chairman Colin Archer announced his retirement in September. RFG continued to slide throughout 2018, returning -87.55% during 2018.
Formerly TopBetta Holdings, The Newcastle-based Australian online bookmaker changed its name in the third quarter after selling its ‘TopBetta’ and ‘Mad Bookie’ retail brands to PlayUp Limited for $6 million. The company also placed an additional $3 million of shares to raise funds and acquire Global Betting Services and Dynamic Odds in August. Markets pushed the total return for TBH to -87.25% by year end.
Specialising in cryptocurrency initial coin offerings (ICOs) and blockchain consulting, Australian firm DigitalX had a horror year that saw the stock perform even worse than the return investors in bitcoin saw during the same period, as well as DigitalX clients taking the company to Australia’s Federal Court. DigitalX ended the year down -83.45%.
Social media video company Big Un Ltd had a stellar 2017, before the company unravelled in spectacular fashion early in 2018 collapsing -34.16% and being delisted from the ASX after investigations were launched by both the ASX and ASIC into the company. Administrators were appointed in August, and it looks unlikely it will resume trading at this stage, though Big Un Board members appear keen to do so.
This story in the Australian Financial Review on the fall of Big Un Ltd is quite thorough and worth a read by all investors.
We’d like to thank everyone who entered our 2018 Stock Picking Competition, and congratulate our winner who picked Nearmap. We’ll reach out to the winner by email to arrange delivery of their prize, an Amazon Echo (2nd Generation) so they can quickly find out their Sharesight portfolio performance by asking Alexa – thanks to Sharesights Alexa skill.
We’ve made the 2018 Sharesight stock picking competition portfolio public for anyone to view, removing the need to be logged-in to Sharesight to follow these stocks in 2019.
We collated your responses (discarding invalid picks/typos/duplicates) and created a Sharesight portfolio with a holding of each share picked, with the following rules:
- The 2018 Sharesight Stock Picking Competition portfolio was created with a tax residency in Australia (with the performance of shares in markets outside Australia subject to currency effects)
- We "invested" $10,000 in each holding, but did not include brokerage for matters of convenience here. (Sharesight factors the impact of fees when calculating portfolio performance, as reducing portfolio fees can improve returns).
- All dividends are/will be included in the total performance calculation, and are reinvested.
- Performance figures are total return (versus annualised) as none of the portfolio positions has been held for longer than one year.
- The winner will be the person(s) who picked the top performing stock over the period January 1st through to December 31st 2018.
- Blog - 2018 Sharesight stock picking competition - September Update
- Blog – 2018 Sharesight stock picking competition - June Update
- Blog – 2018 Sharesight stock picking competition - March Update
- Blog – 2018 Sharesight stock picking competition
- Blog – How your broker’s performance numbers mislead you
- Blog – 7 reasons why Sharesight is better than a spreadsheet
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