Our fantasy share picking game returned last week, as those who read This is Money regularly and our newsletter will know.
This year we are offering players the chance to win a £15,000 jackpot prize and runners-up prizes of £5,000 and £2,000, but it was the weekly prize of £500 that proved one of my highlights last time round.
That’s because it gave me the chance to hear some great stories from our readers, when I got in touch to let the weekly winner know they’d bagged the best performing pick of the week – and ask them about themselves for our weekly share game email.
A small cap gold explorer proved the pick of the week in our share game, but it was the player who made the story
There were some good tales – including the family playing against each other who managed to score bragging rights in different weeks – and this year’s game’s first weekly winner has delivered another one.
In a week that’s proved somewhat depressing, as coronavirus restrictions are ratcheted up again and fears of a full-on lockdown to follow loom large, I thought I’d share it with you.
The winning share pick last week was gold explorer Greatland Gold, which saw its shares rocket on positive news.
So far, so small cap gold company share. But it was the player who had picked it that made the story.
The winner of our weekly prize with a 33.66 per cent gain over the week from picking Greatland Gold was 76-year-old grandmother-of-three Saratha Devi Sivagnanasundaram.
The retired radiographer, told me that she lives in London with her husband and moved to the UK from Sri Lanka in 1974.
She has never bought or sold shares but Saratha said she was tempted to play the Fantasy Share Picking Game after her family told her about it.
‘When I started playing this game I told my grandson, who is 11 years old, that my aim is to win one of the weekly prizes,’ she said.
Saratha, whose hobby is puzzle solving, chose Greatland Gold after looking at share price performance charts in order to pick ten shares.
She said: ‘I watched it and on Friday I was really disappointed for not selling it when it was high. I had a feeling it may go up again on Monday. So from the start I watched the This is Money day chart for Greatland Gold and when it went up I sold it.
‘I only follow the graph and my gut feeling.’
Whether they come from long-standing readers or people new to This is Money, it is this kind of story that we love to hear from our readers and podcast listeners.
And it’s the kind of thing that makes doing things away from the daily financial news, such as the Fantasy Share Picking Game or podcast, rewarding.
The share picking game runs until 4 December and there is still plenty of time to sign up and play – either for the prizes or for fun – but this column isn’t meant to be a shameless plug for the game, so I will leave just leave things here with the note than you can sign up to play here or get some tips on how to pick shares and do well below.
Tactics to play the game
Players’ tactics on how to play the game differ.
Some may choose to use their maximum weekly picks and build up a sizeable number of share picks that are open.
But while this opens up the possibility of bigger gains from more companies, it also raises the risk that you hold shares that fall and your overall performance is dented.
Anthony Pepler: The musician won This is Money’s Fantasy Share Picking Game last year
Alternatively, others may decide a focussed and tight, smaller number of shares is a better option.
That means they need big gains to win from a smaller selection of shares, but have less risk of the share price turning against them.
Last year, the game allowed an unlimited number of share picks but only 20 live picks at any one time.
This enabled some players to use a tactic of trading in big volumes and banking lots of small gains.
That was used to great effect by the game’s winner 25-year-old musician Anthony Pepler, playing as Big Trade Bull.
To make the game different this year, we have tweaked the rules: the 20 live picks limit is gone, but players can only make a maximum of 10 picks per week in the prize league – and they cannot buy the same company twice in the same day.
This means the high volume trading strategy won’t work in the same way, so you’ll need to decide what will.
One thing to keep an eye on is early morning official stock market announcements on the Regulatory News Service.
These statements are released before the market opens and companies that have done better than expected are likely to see their shares op on open – while those that disappoint will fall.
Often that momentum is continued through the day, so these shares can be worth buying.
Also, look out for momentum over a longer period – shares making higher highs and lower lows, rising above their 200 or 50 day moving averages and seeing consistent gains on higher volume of trading.
Make sure you read our Midas Share tips column on a Sunday. Shares tipped here often rise on a Monday – and keep an eye on rival publication’s tips too.
How to look for shares
This is Money has a wealth of information that will help you on your way to becoming a winner.
Our daily business and markets news features stories about the events likely to influence share prices.
The in-depth analysis in our two investing channels looks beyond share prices and the daily news. We feature investing tips and report on fund managers who study companies for a living to decide whether they are the ones to back for their investors.
Follow our special Fantasy Share Picking Game Twitter feed too, where we update on companies on the move, the latest business stories and what’s going on in the game.
If you drill down into our Market Data channel you will find a vast array of facts and figures to help you assess whether a share price is correctly backed up by the company’s fundamental data.
One thing to keep a keen eye on is the stock market’s daily top risers and fallers, we feature a table of that in the Market Data section of This is Money
We suggest you bookmark these pages:
You can also find more information about shares and companies on the move at the game sponsor Fidelity International’s website at their Shares Insights hub and our game partner Stockomendation’s website.