Local stock pickers run with the bulls


POSTED: Sunday, January 17, 2010

The bulls are back in town.

While the four local stock experts in the Star-Bulletin's best-investment contest may have been wary at the start of 2009, they stampeded out of the gate to big gains and never looked back in reversing their misfortune of the previous year when everyone finished in the red.

It was a clean sweep as they all outperformed the total returns of the Dow Jones industrial average (up 22.7 percent) and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (up 26.5 percent).

Try this on for size: Barry Hyman, vice-president managing team for the Maui branch of FIM Group Ltd., up 125 percent; Norm Caris, managing director-institutional sales for Caris and Co., up 97.9 percent; Richard Dole, chief executive officer of Honolulu investment adviser Dole Capital LLC, up 37.8 percent; and Dwight Melton, co-founder of the Hawaii Stocks and Options Group, up 29.5 percent.





        Hawaii stock experts underestimated how the major indexes would finish in 2009.








Norm Caris9,7001,7651,000
Richard Dole9,2001,735950
Barry Hyman8,5001,500850
Dwight Melton10,0001,8101,040
2008 close8,776.392,122.42903.25
2009 close10,428.052,269.151,115.10
2009 consensus9,350.001,702.50960.00





“;2009 proved once again that markets are not efficient,”; said Hyman, who won the eighth annual contest for the second time and posted the best return since the rules were changed in 2005 to allow investors to change their picks in their hypothetical $20,000 portfolio at the end of each quarter.

The previous best return was by the late Paul Loo, former executive director of Morgan Stanley, who posted a 157.4 percent gain in 2003 when investors' results were calculated by averaging the return of all their selections.

“;All you need to do is compare finance stocks to energy, gold or technology securities—or international markets to U.S. markets,”; Hyman said. “;Investing was indeed not a U.S. dart thrower's market in 2009.”;

Those sectors mentioned by Hyman ranged from a loss of about 24 percent to a gain of more than 68 percent.

Hyman's best performer was U.S. Global Investors, which gained 160.3 percent for the year.

Caris, whose negative 13.2 percent return in 2008 was good enough for first place in a down year, nearly doubled his portfolio's value on the strength of Pimco High Income Fund (up 133.1 percent) and Collective Brands (up 94.3 percent), the owner of Payless ShoeSource.

Next week: 2010 picks.