Million Dollar Buzz

Guest Blogger Mishlove: Reflections on Contest


Hey folks, Jeff Mishlove has a few words for the final regular week of the contest. As he noted, Jeff is a contestant himself. We thank him for his contributions as I know his posts have helped a lot of contestants--whether they ultimately followed his advice--or not. Here's Jeff: For the last three months, CNBC’s Million Dollar Portfolio Challenge has been a major part of my life. It all began when, in a burst of inspiration, I wrote an ebook called Jeffrey Mishlove’s Handbook for Contestants in CNBC’s 2007 Million Dollar Portfolio Challenge.

At first, I was confused myself as to what strategies I would employ for this contest. So, initially, I began to write the book as a way to clarify my own thinking. Little did I realize that this would lead to five appearances on CNBC’s “How to Win” program – plus these invited guest blogs on the “Million Dollar Buzz.”

Nevertheless, I always felt that, in spite of my professional and financial background and my recognition by CNBC, writing the Handbook would be insufficient unless I could demonstrate through my own performance in the contest that the methods I was advocating could produce tangible results.

For the last two weeks now, I have had outstanding portfolios – and have come very close to winning the weekly $10,000 prize and entering the finals. I finished in second place in Week 8, competing against about 1.2 million other portfolios.

Now, it is very gratifying for me to see that – in this final week of regular competition – I have five portfolios listed in the top ten for the week (in fact, five out of the top six). And, I believe that there are now about 2 million portfolios entered into the contest – representing hundreds of thousands of contestants.

These consistently good performances in the contest are largely (but not entirely) attributable to the “short squeeze” strategy about which I have blogged extensively, as an invited guest blogger, here on CNBC's “Million Dollar Buzz." Also, if you are reading this and would like to understand better how to pick stocks, I would recommend my Handbook.

Because I am currently on the leaderboard for the week, I will refrain from publishing my daily stock picks as I have done in the past. But, I believe I have revealed enough about my methods so that anyone who is willing to do the work can replicate my successes using the resources mentioned in the paragraph above.

Of course, it is only midweek. Although I am currently the weekly front-runner, the final result for the week will only be known after the close of trading on Friday. In fact, it has been quite common for the midweek front-runners to be overtaken by others before the week is over. So, it is good to have a detached attitude toward the contest.

I'll do my best, and if I'm lucky I might win. But, I have to say that the skills involved in stock market analysis are valuable life-skills. And, in fact, they can be worth much more outside of the contest than even the $1 million prize.

Soon this contest will be over. In fact, if I do not make it into the finals, it will be over at the end of this week. And, if I am lucky enough to proceed, it will still be over by the end of the month. In any case, life goes on.

I will return to my work as a teacher and writer, philosopher, investor, owner and co-owner of several businesses, husband, father, son, brother and friend.

The burst of inspiration that got me involved with this stock-picking contest has been a real adventure. Win or lose, I'm grateful that I listened to my inner voice on this one. (Actually, it's not as if I had much choice, my inner voice was quite strong and compelling.)

I’m particularly grateful to Mark Koba and the staff at CNBC who provided me with support and encouragement. After all, they could have seen my Handbook as an unauthorized and unwelcome intrusion into their contest. Instead, they embraced me with an entrepreneurial spirit. For this, I salute them. (editor's note: Jeff's kind words were unsolicited--though appreciated. It's been a pleasure to have him post on this blog).

Jeffrey Mishlove, PhD, lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he can often be found hiking in the Red Rock National Conservation Area hear his home.

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