Smallest loser wins in a roller-coaster test of endurance
HERE'S a grim statistic for you: fewer than two of every 10 picks made any money during the four weeks of this competition.
HERE'S a grim statistic for you: fewer than two of every 10 picks made any money during the four weeks of this competition.No wonder none of our racers finished above water. Indeed, the eventual winner - reader Mark Rice - lost 5.5 per cent on his way to mounting the Rickety Tin Podium of Relative Success, to receive the Shares Race Wonky Cardboard Crown of Humble Victory.That's not to say it wasn't an exciting race. No, by gum, it was a thrilling game of The Smallest Loser, an entertaining contest our professional fund managers have been playing with our superannuation for the past five years or so. Rice only just squeaked past legal writer Georgina Dent in the final stretch after gold miner Newcrest Mining added a mammoth 3.3 per cent to its share price. There was only one bad apple in Dent's bunch: Image Resources sunk 24 per cent and took Dent's chances down with it.Lawyer Louise Virgona couldn't match the index plunge of 7 per cent overall, but did better than the rest of our field to claim third spot. Virgona actually had a strong final week: Maverick Drilling, CSL and the aforementioned Newcrest Mining all recorded gains. But her portfolio was undone by former blue chip QBE and Bandanna Energy.Director Marc Ryan made some money. Argo Exploration popped 36 per cent. And that was enough to haul himself above the hapless Richard Pritchard to claim fifth place. But the best performer for the week was - drum roll please - David Potts! Southern Cross Gold sizzled, Westside Corporation sparkled and Senex Energy surged, but all too little too late.WEEK FOUR1st Mark Rice ReaderAsciano $9593BHP Billiton $9114C'wlth Bank of Aust $9545Crown $9448Leighton Hldgs $8807Lend Lease Grp stp $9973Macquarie Grp $9458Newcrest Min $9738QBE Insurance Grp $8952Wesfarmers $9860 $94,4882nd Georgina Dent Legal WriterAristocrat Leisure $9393Austar United $10,000Coca-Cola Amatil $10,184Data#3 $8778Image Res $7778Jumbuck Entertain $9783Medigard $10,000QBE Insurance Grp $8952Spotless Grp $10,325Tanami Gold $9023 $94,2163rd Louise Virgona LawyerBandanna Energy $5899CSL $9942Macquarie Grp $9458Maverick Drilling $7889Newcrest Min $9738Origin Energy $9678QBE Insurance Grp $8952Telstra Corp $10,057Woodside Petroleum $8999Woolworths $10,418 $91,0304th Doreen Daze AstrologerBlackthorn Res $7025Central Petroleum $10,581Gryphon Minerals $7676Legend Min $8500Neon Energy $7857Orchid Capital $10,000Qube Logistics $9530ResMed Inc cdi $10,552Sirtex Medical $9429Trafalgar Corp stp $9850 $90,9995th Marc Ryan Director, BarrisolArgo Explore $7727Cochlear $9735Crown $9448DEXUS Prop Grp stp $10,331JB Hi-Fi $8450Lynas Corp $7892Metal Storm $10,000Oil Basins $7813Saracen Min $9065Westfield Retail Tr stp $9963 $90,4256th Richard Pritchard ChartistAtlas Iron $7038Biota Hldgs $9939Blackthorn Res $7025Brockman Res $10,335CogState $9825Dart Min $8333Insurance Aust Grp $9320Middle Island Res $6892Stratum Metals $8793Wesfarmers $9860 $87,3607th DartboardAlkane Res $7452Ausdrill $8099Automotive Hldgs $9760CSL $9942Imdex $6655Magellan Flagship $9759New Standard Energy $8448NuCoal Res $7258Soul Pattinson $9572Thundelarra Explore $7273 $84,2188th David Potts MoneyBeach Energy $7801Gold Road Res $8511Oil Basins $7813OZ Minerals $8631Rex Minerals $8585Senex Energy $7293Seven West Media $8694Sthn Cross Gold $7586Tap Oil $8113Westside Corp $8681 $81,708