Thursday, May 28, 2009
Why Picking The American Idol Is Similar To Stock Picking
I kept telling friends that Adam Lambert was not a shoo-in, even though I think he is the most deserving and talented performer this year. In the earlier rounds, I had little doubt that Adam Lambert would win by a proverbial mile. Then the photos came out which had Adam kissing other men... hmmm. He still managed to brush it off and led most of the way. When it came down to the last 4, I thought this was strange. Gokey and Allen were from the same background, and when the girl was voted out, I thought Adam might not be the winner. When Gokey was eliminated, they announced that out of 65 million votes cast, Allen and Lambert were less than a million votes apart. Then the final winner would be whomever managed to attract the Gokey votes.
Adam Lambert is from California, his background is in touring companies of Broadway shows. While he's been coy about his sexuality, he projects an androgynous image, especially in terms of the heavy make-up he constantly wears. The photos did not help. One thing did help was that most girls thought Adam should be the Edward vampire character in the Twilight series - its a chore to explain to you, go get your girlfriend to explain to you why so many girls are crazy over Edward the vampire.
Allen is middle America, squeaky clean, married. And he's done international missionary work for his church. Gokey is a church musical director. Clearly the majority of his supporters were going to fall in behind Allen. Still, its likely that Adam Lambert will have a much brighter future.
Just because everyone says its a buy, might not be so straight forward. Stock picking involves having that added edge, it rewards those who put in that extra effort. Just like if you read more into the elimination before the finals and the votes break down, and then read into the nuances and factors surrounding each contestant, stock picking is knowing the stock / industry / investors behaviour well. I put emphasis on the last part - at the end of the day, whether you are buying or selling, its not whether you want to buy or sell, its whether you should be buying or selling. Its predicting where you are in the gulf of trading activity, where are you in the midst of a momentum run, are you near the end run when you are establishing a position or the beginning.
Picking AI winner is much like stock picking because you need to look beyond the surface. So, yes, many people thought Adam was the most talented, much like all research houses issuing buy calls on a stock - if everyone had a buy and is long, who is selling? If everyone is long, who will be there to take the long out? Allen was not such a good stock but its pricing offered value and good upside. Not much long positions, so any buying would result in good upside. Sometimes you don't have to pick the best stock, but pick the stock with the better upside.