Anyone can make money in the market – and we have proof of it

The results of David Shapiro’s popular Cristal Challenge 2021 showed that investing in the market can be very profitable, even if you are not a professional trader or analyst.

Shapiro, who is Vice Chairman of Sasfin Securities, is a seasoned equity analyst and one of South Africa’s most respected financial professionals.

He started the Crystal Challenge to emphasize that you don’t have to be a professional to buy stocks and that you can successfully invest in the market yourself.

“The motivation behind the game was to highlight the fun, joy, and financial rewards of creating an investment portfolio made up of individual stocks,” Shapiro wrote in a Business Day column.

Challenge participants had to select five stocks listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) for their portfolio. Shapiro then tracked the performance of these portfolios throughout the year.

The Cristal Challenge 2021 included people from all walks of life, including brokers, analysts, asset managers, media personalities and even a pianist.

The challenge was won by pianist and organist Betsie Schaap (pictured above), whose portfolio value increased by 121%.

Counterpoint executive director and portfolio manager Piet Viljoen was second with 96% growth, followed by media personality and trader Simon Brown with 73%.

What stands out is that the average performance of all participants was 51%, easily outperforming the JSE All Stock Index (ALSI), which posted a return of 24% in 2021.

It should also be noted that the majority of participants outperformed the market. In fact, only three participants did not beat the JSE ALSI.

Outperforming the market is not easy, but the Cristal Challenge has shown that investing in good companies can produce great results.

Commenting on the excellent performance of stock picks in the 2021 Cristal Challenge, Shapiro said the internet has made business and business information easily accessible to everyone.

“There are also lots of people on social media who are happy to help out and discuss their views as well,” he said.

Shapiro’s advice to new investors looking for guidance on how to build a stock portfolio is simple:

Instead of building a library of how-to books or lining the pockets of course promoters, nothing will speed up your learning more than putting some of your savings into a few companies of your choice.

Even the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett, admits that you don’t need a high IQ to identify a good company.

“A first class operation is screaming at you. If you need a computer to decide whether or not to invest in a business, don’t. If the reason for the investment isn’t obvious, walk away,” he said.

To find out more about the Cristal Challenge 2022, follow David Shapiro on Twitter.

Winners of the Crystal Challenge 2021

The tables below provide an overview of the results of David Shapiro’s popular Cristal Challenge 2021.

2021 Crystal Challenge Results
Participant Performance Job
Betsie Schaap 121% Pianist
Piet Viljoen 96% Portfolio manager
Simon Brown 73% Trader and investor
Altus Badenhorst 72% N / A
Nick Kunze 66% Portfolio manager
David Chapiro 50% Stockbroker
Mia Kruger 50% The head of finance
Brilliant Khumalo 49% Portfolio manager
Greg Davies 47% wealth manager
Deon Gouws 43% investment officer
Melinda Smith 36% N / A
Giulietta Talevi 34% Media personality
Greg Katz 31% N / A
Ladies Guild ten% N / A
Herman Lloyd -14% Portfolio manager
Average performance 51% N / A
Top Stock Picks
To share Performance Who chose it
Aveng 227% Piet Viljoen
CPC 219% David Shapiro; Betsie Schaap; Altus Badenhorst
MTN 175% Piet Viljoen; Mia Kruger
Regeneration 162% Betsie Schaap
purple group 145% Simon Brown; Betsie Schaap
Hulamin 128% Greg Davies; Nick Kunze
royal bafokeng 115% Deon Gouws
lewis 95% Melinda Smith
Tsogo Sun 89% Greg Davies
sasol 81% Altus Badenhorst; Greg Katz
santova 80% Betsie Schaap

Read now: South African stocks to watch in 2022

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