A Random Walk and a Bite to Eat


stockpicking waitress

It's not quite the random walk hypothesis in action, but it looks like the winner of a stockpicking contest sponsored by CNBC might be a waitress who "never even paid much attention to the markets before signing up for the challenge."

Business Week reports that Mary Sue Williams "of the tiny Appalachia town of St. Clairsville, Ohio" is showing a 29 percent return so far in the two-week contest. The prize is $1 million. The story writes itself from there:

Williams has already bested thousands of financial professionals [375,000 entrants overall] who entered the contest with Ivy League degrees and complex trading models. "Part of this was luck," she says. "A lot of it was a gut feeling, some eenie-meenie-minie-moe, and common sense."…

To pick specific stocks, she used the Warren Buffett approach: Invest in what you know. "I was looking for companies that had something to do with my life," she says. That led to some of her most memorable picks, among them lubricant manufacturer WD-40 (WDFC) and Crocs (CROX), best known for its sandals.

For a little more random strolling down Wall Street, go here.