Common cents distinguishes victor as small change makes big win

NEVER before - never! - has 27? meant so much to so many. Lord knows, there's not a great deal you can buy with such a piddly amount. Once upon a time it was enough for 27 1? lollies at your local shop - but that was before the demise of 1? pieces. And local shops. And before the carbon tax drove up the price of lollies for working families.

NEVER before - never! - has 27? meant so much to so many. Lord knows, there's not a great deal you can buy with such a piddly amount. Once upon a time it was enough for 27 1? lollies at your local shop - but that was before the demise of 1? pieces. And local shops. And before the carbon tax drove up the price of lollies for working families.

Incidentally, those born on the 27th day of the month are broad-minded travellers but can hold a grudge, are tight with their cash and - wait for it - "are able to attract money from unusual sources". That's straight from the web, so file it under "spooky but true".

Why all the fuss about three cubed? Because 27? was all that separated the perennially profitable Pottsy from the tyro, translator Primrose Riordan.

Their battle for second and third last week was close and when dizzy Doreen took a cosmic bath on Pura Vida Energy, which gave up almost a quarter of its value in the home stretch after shooting up in week one, the race for top spot was on.

Pottsy relied heavily again on a gushing Oil Basins performance - up 23 per cent! - particularly as NSX reversed course and slumped 17 per cent. He only added half a per cent to his pile from his "two-speed" portfolio but Primrose couldn't even match that after Aspire Minerals - henceforth "Despair Minerals" - collapsed 13 per cent.

It was a week where mining stocks fell again and the sector finished down 2.9 per cent over the race entire. That capped the broader market's return to 1.9 per cent over four weeks and only our leaders could match that performance. (Remember that old proverb: "racers love resources".)

Dartboard put in a super effort in the last leg, adding 1.7 per cent to claim an unlikely top-four finish. Animal scientist Katie Watson can put her lab coat back on knowing she had a solid race and made money to boot. Chart whiz Richard Pritchard will be more disappointed with finishing in the red and his sixth placing, while engineer Andrew Hutchinson and reader Leanne Vaz will ruefully face the brutal reality of investing: for every winner there's a loser. Just ask Goldman Sachs. Next week, new racers, new race!

Think you could mix it with Doreen? Measure up to Pottsy? Teach Dartboard a lesson he/she's sure to forget? Then put your money where your mouth is: send us an email at investor@fairfax.com.au to take part in the shares race the whole world is talking about.

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