AS AUTUMN settles into the south-east of our great country, the fortunes of the market in recent weeks have turned like the leaves on the trees. Investors bumped up the benchmark index by 0.8 per cent in the past five days, led by the resources sector, which jumped 1.4 per cent, but held back by the banks, which finished fairly flat.
There's a lot of daylight between our early leader, Barrisol director Marc Ryan, and the rest of the pack. Not to be harsh, but Marc's portfolio is a bit of a one-trick pony at the moment - and a pony that suffers from an acute case of upsies-downsies. That can make for a rough trot and we humbly suggest that Marc should enjoy his time at the top. Breathe the air, take a few photos of the view, that kind of thing.
The fortunes of our other racers were split between the old and new hands, with the newbies coming up trumps. Legal writer Georgina Dent beat the market handily but so did reader Mark Rice, leaving them neck and neck for second place. Georgina holds on to the silver-medal position by a few hundred bucks, thanks to Image Resources, which popped almost 20 per cent, with some back-up singing from Jumbuck Entertainment and Spotless Group. But Mark had the steadier-looking ship, recording strong performances almost across the board from a quality collection of stocks.
Still very much in the race is lawyer Louise Virgona. Woodside Petroleum was her best pick. And Louise is already a winner, taking out the round-one Most Awesome Stock Name of the Race Award with Maverick Drilling, which sounds like an invitation to poor OH&S practices to us. Bravo, Louise.