Wednesday, November 19, 2008

One Roll of The Dice

For the 12 months ended Oct. 31, the S&P 500 lost 37%. Happily for the five bears in our annual equities contest, their picks did considerably worse. In October 2007 we challenged them each to name one stock that would trail the S&P over a one-year period. On average their stocks fell 61%. All five accepted our customary invitation to the winners to play again another year.

Our panel's 12 bulls scraped by. Only five of their picks beat the market, and only two of those showed gains. As a group they declined 37%, same as the S&P 500.
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Richard Jandrain, head of growth investing at Fort Washington Investment Advisors, leads the bulls. A year ago he liked the look of Pharmion, a developer of cancer treatments. So did Celgene (nasdaq: CELG - news - people ), which acquired Pharmion last March and helped Jandrain to a 50% gain.

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