I find it interesting when the financial media makes bold predictions for individual stocks or mutual funds and as time passes the reasoning for the pick erodes. My interest may be based in on my love for history or it may be because of people’s failure to apply sense of accountability.

In Part 1 of this 2 Part post I review lists from 2007 and 2008 from two main stream financial magazines, Fortune and MoneyMagazine, respectively. 

Let us see if any of these were a good buy!

Top 10 Stock Picks of 2007

When I saw number 1 a huge smile ran across my face:

  1.  AIG – From 1/1/2007 till 03/14/12 AIG is down a whopping 98.02%…over $1,400 dollars per share!
  2. Altria (MO) – From 1/1/2007 till 03/14/12 MO is up over 51%
  3. ConocoPhilips (COP) – From 1/1/2007 till 03/14/12 COP is up about 8% with steady dividends that increased .41/share/quarter to .66/share/quarter.  Wow.
  4. Diamond Offshore (DO) – From 1/1/2007 till 03/14/12 DO is down over 21%
  5. General Dynamics (GD) – From 1/1/2007 till 03/14/12 GD is down 1.71% but it had steady increasing dividends which if you reinvested would probably put you ahead
  6. Joy Global – Must have went through a restructuring deal as I can’t look up the history
  7. Microsoft (MSFT) – From 1/1/2007 till 03/14/12 MSFT is up approximately 9.4% and increased its dividend from .10/share/quarter to .20/share/quarter.
  8. JP Morgan (JPM) – From 1/1/2007 till 03/14/12 JPM is down about 10% and until yesterday was actually down even more (16%).
  9. RadioShack  (RSH) – From 1/1/2007 till 03/14/12 RSH is down about 58%
  10. Southwest (LUV) – From 1/1/2007 till 03/14/12 LUV is down 45.1%

Wow.  The shares that were down are really down and those that are up were a bumpy ride up.

Top 10 Stock Picks of 2008

  1. Annaly Capital Management (NLY) – From 1/1/2007 till 03/14/12 NLY is down about 8.5% but there pretty heavy dividends paid out ranging from .48/share/quarter to .75/share/quarter.  It has settled around .57/share.  If you were clairvoyant enough to get in one year before Fortune Magazine told you to you’d actually be up about 18%!
  2. Berkshire (BRK.B) – From 1/1/2008 till 03/14/12 BRK.B is down a bit under 14%.  Oddly enough, this is another example that if you got in a year earlier you would have been up (about 10%).
  3. Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS) – NAILED this one! From 1/1/2008 till 03/14/12 DKS is up about 74%! You would have to stick with it when your shares plummeted a bit over 50% in a year (end of 2008 to beginning of 2009) but you would have be rewarded if you did.  Interestingly, if you got in year earlier you’d be up 97%
  4. Electronic Arts (ERTS) – Well all the gains you would have made with DKS would be wiped out with EA.  From 1/1/2008 til 03/14/12 EA is down 70%.  If you got in in 1/2007 you would be down only 65%.
  5. Genentech (DNA) – Fantastic Stock Symbol.  Must have restructured or merged.
  6. GE – From 1/1/2008 to 03/14/12 GE is down 47% coupled with a drastic dividend cut over the years.  Like EA it wouldn’t have really mattered if you got in a year earlier.
  7. Jacob’s Engineering (JEC) – From 1/1/2008 to 03/14/12 JEC is down about 52%, but if you got in a year earlier you’d actually be up  13%.
  8. Merrill Lynch (Was MER) – Bought out by Bank of America for about $29 a share.  Not sure how to look up historic prices.
  9. Petrobras (PBR) – From 1/1/2008 to 03/14/12 PBR is down about 51%.  Once again, if you got in a year earlier you would actually have positive gains (11%).
  10. St. Joe (JOE) – From 1/1/2008 to 03/14/12 JOE is down about 42%.  Unlike the others if you got in a year earlier you would have been down even more (62%).

I couldn’t believe how many of these picks would have been dead on if they were made in the PREVIOUS year!

The time frames may be too short (4 to 5 years), but some of the losses will take decades to overcome.