• The rest of the players



    You already met last week the first three of the 10 contestants who made it to the final lineup of players for our virtual stock trading game. Now, meet the last seven.

    Again, they are arranged not necessarily in any order of preference or attributes:

    The fourth contestant is middle aged, very much married, and the “owner/manager” of the company he founded 22 years ago.

    Based on his given address, he resides outside Metro Manila, in the ascending east direction toward the Sierra Madre. In particular, he lives with his family in that high-end subdivision high above the hills of the suburb described in a real estate flyer as the place where “you will have a view of Metro Manila as enchanting like San Francisco (USA) at night.”

    An old-time resident of that “enchanting” place, this may explain why he “resorts to some mystical systems” to trade. He was quick to add, however, that he likewise makes use of his knowledge of “macroeconomics, charting, technical and fundamental analysis combined.”

    I’m not sure about what he wanted to convey in choosing to play under the pseudonym of “Dud67.” Does that mean he’s cool as a “dude” or as wry as a “dud?”

    The fifth contestant is an “insider.” He is presently employed with a member firm of the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) as an “equity analyst.”

    He was sparing in sharing information about his personal circumstances and was also terse about his academic background, except that he has a degree in accountancy and law.

    For one who eats and sleeps stocks, so to speak, he relies on fundamental analysis for his investing decisions with an eye on value play – further describing himself as a “dividend catcher.”

    At the moment, though, he is contemplating to change his trading paradigm. He wanted to shift to short-term trading and thought the contest will allow him to try his plan without the actual pain of losing money in the attempt – under the trading name “Dondee Prime.”

    A significant event in the past could be behind our sixth contender’s desire to use a Marvel Comics character-like trading name of “HRB2015.”

    He is 38 years old, married, and an employee at a local government unit (LGU), which he deliberately omitted to identify.

    A rewarding career must be awaiting him with his academic background. He is a “certified public accountant (CPA) and a law graduate, with management accounting certification from Australia.”

    “My trading style,” he declares, “really depends on what the stock can show me. I use the combination of Stochastic, RSI, MACD, S&R, price action, moving averages and multi-time frame.”

    Notwithstanding this grasp on technical and statistical tools, he complains that he is “not having any success” since he started investing in the stock market in 2013. The problem, he admits, lies in his difficulty to “be more disciplined in executing trades.”

    The trading game should be a breath of fresh air that may lead to improve his discipline and actual performance in the market.

    Our seventh contestant is a 24-year old call center agent in the business complex of Bonifacio Global City (BGC). He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Tourism Management from one of the universities situated along Claro M. Recto Ave., Manila.

    He was introduced to stock market investing at the age of 16 by his father, whose profession was managing funds in one of the local universal banks in the country.

    Since then, he has “been reading books about stock trading and investing, and he attended stock market investment seminars.” He has been investing part of his salary in the stock market since he got employed.

    The contest, according to him, should be a “great study and experience,” given that he will be competing with seasoned and veteran stock market players. Owing to this, he picked up the trading name of “PH,” as in “play hard.”

    The eighth player in the competition is from the medical profession. He is a practicing dentist who is also considering pursuing a degree in medicine – a professional combination that could usher him into the very special and prestigious career of oral facial surgery.

    He prefers to be known in the trading game simply as “Mjsp12.”

    He has this introductory note in his application: “I am a beginner in stock market investment. I developed my curiosity and interest in the stock market when it was introduced to us in undergrad, but I was not able to actually get into learning more about it until after I graduated.”

    “Since then, I have been reading a few books and picking up some tips, but I still have a lot of things to learn,” he added.

    Fundamental analysis is mainly behind his investment decisions, as a result of reading one too many books on “Benjamin Graham and Warren Buffet.”

    News about the company and developments in the economy are important inputs to his decision-making, too. But, according to him, it is his overall impression of the market that ultimately shapes his final judgment.

    Ninth is our player who introduced himself cryptically as “slightly past middle age, male, married and with three kids.”

    On his academic background, he was as terse as the other contestants were. He wrote, “I have an undergraduate and post-graduate degree in Business” from the school that teaches the color of the eagle is “Blue.”

    With regard to his current profession, he simply stated, he is an “executive of a start-up energy company.”

    Interestingly, he admitted candidly that he has been searching for the “holy grail” of the market – “that secret trading system of making big money in the stock market” – because despite his more than 20 years of investing in stocks and a short stint as a stockbroker, he “has yet to succeed.” This should explain why he picked up the trading name, “Holy Grail Hunter.”

    The next and last finalist was also the last to beat the game’s deadline, and is lucky to be the tenth contestant, naming himself the “winner.”

    Why not? He is the top geologist at one of the country’s successful oil exploration and production companies.
    General statistics in the oil industry show that “for every 25 prospects, you need 11 drillable prospects.” Out of these 11 drillable prospects, there should be a discovery – yielding a success rate of 9.09 percent.

    Under the service contract system in the Philippines, a total of 120 wells had been drilled. Out of these, only five have turned out to be oil-producing fields. These are Malampaya, Galoc, Nido, Matinloc and Cadlao.

    Hence, the success rate in the Philippines is only “5/20 or one out of 24.” Compared with the success rate of the drilling projects in which he and his company had been involved, his team, he claims, had a success rate even higher than the general mark. Combined with luck to play in the trading game, this is possibly the metaphor behind his trading name, “Winner.”

    QUICK UPDATE: Only Play Hard (PH), Swing Trader and HRB2015 drew the first blood on the first day of the virtual trading game last March 1. Small Time Trader and HRB2015 (for the second time, albeit failed) dared to enter the market on Tuesday. The rest still opted to stay out of the market. At the close of trading on Friday (March 2), young Play Hard and Swing Trader were amazingly in positive territory. Watch out for the detailed review.

    (Den Somera is a licensed stockbroker. The article has been prepared for general circulation for the reading public and must not be construed as an offer, or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any securities or financial instruments whether referred to herein or otherwise. Moreover, the public should be aware that the writer or any investing parties mentioned in the column may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of their reported or mentioned investment activity.E-mail address of the writer isden.somera@manilatimes.net and/or at densomera@msn.com)


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