Thursday, September 3, 2015

Today In History: Swedish Chimpanzee, Ola, Wraps Up Investing Career

From the Los Angeles Times, Sept. 9, 1993:
STOCKHOLM, Sweden — A newspaper gave five stock analysts and a chimpanzee the equivalent of $1,250 each to make as much money as they could on the stock market. The chimp won. 
After one month, the chimpanzee, Ola, saw the value of his stocks rise $190, the newspaper Expressen reported this week. 
Runner-up was Mats Jonnerhag, publisher of the newsletter Bourse Insight. His stocks rose $130 from Aug. 3 to Sept. 3. 
While the stock experts carefully considered their portfolios, Ola made his choice by throwing darts at names of companies listed on the Stockholm stock exchange. 
One dart hit Forsheda, a small diversified company whose stock rose 44% over the month. That compared to the average 5% rise for all stocks listed on the exchange.
Despite persistent rumors, it was never proven that the "chimp" was actually Burton Malkiel in a monkey* suit.
*(yes, yes taxonomy, my bad)

Possibly also of interest:

What Monkey Pornography and Celebrity Worship Tells Us About Human Nature  
Commodity traders superior to chimpanzees, research shows 
Jim Cramer beats Monkey in Stock Picking Contest!
UPDATE-Jim Cramer Beats Monkey in Stock Picking Contest
What Jim Cramer Does After Beating the Monkey