Teams of British professional financial experts and students were bested in 2012 stock picks by a orange cat named Orlando, The Guardian notes.
The newspaper challenged the professionals and students to invest an imaginary £5,000 in companies listed on the FTSE All-Share Index, and then monitored the performance of their picks, which could be periodically adjusted, over the year. Orlando eschewed heavy financial research and chose his stocks by tossing a toy onto the pages of the Financial Times.
Through September, the financial professionals were in the lead, producing profits of £497, while Orlando’s picks generated just £292.
However, the last quarter of the year upset the results, putting the cat on top. At the close of 2012, Orlando’s portfolio had earned an average of 4.2%, or £542.60 for the year. The professionals earned just £176.60.
Orlando’s success reignited a debate over whether professional stock-pickers can really outperform random fluctuations in share prices. The cat has been rewarded with a new red collar for his success, while the students and financial professionals were left to lick their wounded reputations.