Results: 2017 Top Investment Picks

As we ring out the year 2017, its time to look back and evaluate some of our investment picks/decisions. At the end of 2016, I reached out to the investing community and asked them to pick one investment security as their top pick for the year 2017. Plenty of folks responded and I was happy to compile the list and track them over the year.  The original post & quarterly updates can be found here. It is always interesting to see what everyone was thinking a year ago and how the picks played out over the year.

Again, I would like to remind readers that this was meant to simply be a fun exercise and should not be considered investment advise. Please do your own research before investing in any securities.

Without further ado, here is the list and details of how the investment performed over the year. I have also included each investor’s original quote from a year ago to provide some context.

The Top 3

Some interesting names and a wide variety (weed, commodities & biotech) of stocks in the top three position. Also, of the top three picks, one came from Canada and two from Australia. The top 3 performers in 2017 were:

#1 Canopy Growth Corp (TSE:WEED) by Intelligent Trend Follower

Intelligent Trend Follower made a fantastic call with Canopy Growth Corp. A year ago, this stock appeared overvalued, but the weed sector saw some amazing growth as the sector has seen the next leg of bull market take effect in preparation for the Canadian federal recreational use legislation coming into effect in 2018. Canopy Growth also saw a major investment in the latter half of 2017, with Constellation Brands (STZ) taking a 10% stake in WEED and is now considered a “blue chip” name in the marijuana space. The company also decided to change its stock symbol from CGC to WEED in 2017.

Admittedly, it’s very hard to value this company. And by most measures it’s incredibly stretched. But as a speculative pick, I think CGC WEED warrants some attention and has a lot of upside potential.

After all, this is a brand new international market that is opening up and CGC WEED is one of the most established and largest players in the space. There are still a lot of unknowns with regards to marijuana legalization in Canada. However it seems that the wheels are in motion and if so CGC WEED shareholders could continue to benefit. I view this like buying a call option with no expiry date. The shares are pretty cheap and a small perentage of your portfolio in this company could end up going a long way.”

Total return: 225.3%

 

#2 Birimian Ltd (ASX:BGS) by FI Fighter

FI Fighter nailed this one. Lithium has continued the boom and the sector saw immense demand coming from major battery producers. Going with a well run company with high grade deposits is always a no-brainer in the commodity sector. Another aspect to keep in mind is that there are some great opportunities in international markets (and continue to be), that most North American investors brush off due to home-country bias.

“Lithium boom 2.0 sometime in 2017… Birimian will get taken out, or joint-venture to develop high-grade Goulamina deposit.”

Total return: 127.2%

 

#3 Starpharma Holdings Ltd (ASX:SPL) by Blog Reader Guy Knight

A great pick here from Guy Knight. The biotech sector continues to deliver some great results and can be a great wealth multiplier if you know how to pick the right stocks and ride the wave. Again, a company from the land down under making it to the top three for 2017.

“My personal choice for 2017 is an Australian nanotech company called Starpharma. In the long term, its dendrimer technology shows huge promise to make a wide variety of drugs work better at lower dosages and with fewer side effects. Should this prove to be the case, these qualities could improve existing drugs that are off patent, thereby qualifying them as new formulations and worthy of new patents. In the short term, the company has multiple products newly for sale or for some time in 2017. The first product is its Vivagel-coated condoms that that have been shown in the lab to kill viruses such as HIV and HPV. These are for sale in Australia and approved for sale in Canada, Iran, and China with likely more countries to follow. Another product that will be for sale soon is Vivagel to treat bacterial vaginosis. It is a new class of treatment that appears to have a huge demand, since current treatments are severely lacking. In addition, they have clinical trials ongoing, with milestone payments from Astrazenica that will come due. It’s a speculative investment in a currently unprofitable company that may very well show its first profit this year. I own shares in this company.”

Total return: 86.3%

 

There you have it folks. The top 3 performers have performed very heartily beating the broad market. Congrats on the investors who picked the stock and made saw some spectacular returns over the year.

Rest of the Results

2017 was a great year for stocks as the bull market has continued the run. Collectively, the stock pickers here in this list have done extremely well, and the annual performance has been pretty amazing. The full set of picks from all the investors are listed below.

Coming Up: Top 2018 Picks

I have reached out for the top 2018 picks and so far the participating rate has been lower than last year. I intend to share the picks with the readers early next week, so if you want to participate please get in touch with me asap. The participation deadline is Dec 31. You can see contest rules on this page. You can reach me via my contact page or DM via Twitter@Roadmap2Retire.

Disclosure: Our full list of holdings is available here.

23 thoughts on “Results: 2017 Top Investment Picks

    • Its always great to see what we were thinking a year ago and learn from the experience. Great pick with JNJ — it did great this year.

      Let me know if you want to participate again in 2018…the deadline is tomorrow.

      cheers
      R2R

  1. R2R, Just submitted a pick for 2018. I don’t usually think of investing in this manner. Like most I think about a pick in the context of a total portfolio strategy. It’s a fun game though, so I went with a total flyer…..CNSL. Happy New Year! Tom

    • Hi Tom,
      I hear you. This is just a fun exercise…investing is better done when you play the long game. But tracking one or few picks over the course of 4-5 years (or longer) isnt that fun and hard to get a grasp of. An annual contest is easier to put to together and see how we progress.

      I am not aware of that pick…will check it out
      R2R

    • Haha…Ive suffered a lot of that too. I made some good money in the Lithium space this year…will need to catch some more rising stars in the space, but its slim pickings in the N.American markets. Most action and hot commodity stocks in the sector seem to be in Asia/Australia.

      Best wishes
      R2R

  2. Apparently, your stock pickers are above average, because the beat the index (SCHD). And this is for a second year in a row.

    If you can get to a five year track record with this thing, you can create a crowdsourced ETF 😉

    As I wrote in the new years spreadsheet, I think the next decade will be the one for emerging markets. Luckily, plenty of dividend growth companies have exposure there already…

    DGI

    • That should be the next wave of financial innovation — to build your own ETF instead of picking companies based on arbitrary rules like stock price or market cap.

      I agree that the global growth engine is in emerging markets and thats where the opportunities lie.

      All the best in 2018.
      R2R

      • In the US, there is a broker called Motif, which lets you build your own portfolio with 30 companies with one click of a button. So in essence, you are creating your own etf – transaction cost to buy up to 30 companies is something like $10

        There is also M1 Finance, which lets you do something like 100 – 200 companies at once.. And play with weights etc.. And I think it is free…

        All the best to you! Hope you do not join Bryan and abandon R2R…

        • If heard some bloggers mention Motif, but never heard of M1…wish we had that facility here — as always, the industry is not competitive enough up here in Canada.

          I still find blogging interesting, so not really looking to shut it down 🙂

          R2R

  3. Thank you! I know its a lot of work to do this, monitor, and follow up each quarter. I noticed the 2018 picks are significantly more speculative than 2017. I think this is another sign of danger. I’ll stick to the boring stocks. I’m pleased to have doubled the market average with a “boring” pick like Wal-Mart (WMT)!

    • Haha, I think the pickers on the 2018 list are also swinging for the fences since that is the way to reach the top of the table. Congrats on the WMT pick…hope you owned the company and made some good money over the year.

      cheers
      R2R

  4. JC says:

    I didn’t think I realistically had a shot at winning this but I’m pretty happy with that nearly 25% gain out of Nike. Those were some truly impressive gains from the top 3 performers. I need to research some potential marijuana companies because it’s just a matter of time before it gets legalized nationwide here in the US and should provide some great returns. Thanks for keeping up with this and we’ll see how 2018 turns out.

    • Those are some great returns from a megacap like NKE — its been quite a year. MMJ is a very interesting sector — definitely seeing some great high growth stocks there. I started investing only in fall, and have already made some good returns, both realized and unrealized. I think SEC also authorized a marijuana ETF, so look for more capital to flow into the sector.

      R2R

    • Oh you didnt own it? Sometimes it happens…we end up making a call which turns out to be right. Same happened with my call for 2017 atleast until the summer — it was up about 33%, and then the ETF changed the rules and got slaughtered.

      Best
      R2R

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