In Honor of 'Planet of the Apes': The Top 3 Monkey Stock Pickers

Rise of the Planet of the ApesWith Friday's opening of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, we think it's a good time to consider the man vs. primate war on another front: stock picking. The financial meltdown convinced many of us that human brokers have not evolved as much as we'd like. But some monkeys -- the actual mammals that swing from vines -- have mastered the market.

"It's pure chance," Warren Porter, zoology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told DailyFinance. "It's like playing roulette."

Sure, we can listen to the Darwinian voice of reason, but why? Let's revisit the glory of stock-picking monkeys in the past decade or so. Dr. Zaius and Dian Fossey would be so proud.

Lusha, the Russian Circus Chimp

In January 2010, as man could barely walk upright through the tail-end of the recession, circus chimpanzee Lusha thrived. Her portfolio topped 94% of Russia's mutual funds, nearly tripling her initial capital of 1 million rubles ($35,884), the Daily Mail reported. Lusha selected eight cubes among 30 that represented different investments.

The chimp made her homo sapien counterparts look like chumps by mixing equities that were private and state-run. The one move that turbocharged her returns was putting her money on banks that received a Kremlin bailout. Those rose 600%, according to the tabloid.

"It shows that financial knowledge does not play a great role in giving forecasts to how the market will change," Pavel Trunin, the head of monetary policy at the Institute for the Economy in Transition, said in the article.

Adam Monk, a Cebus in Chicago

Employed by the Chicago Sun-Times, a cinnamon-ringtail monkey named Adam Monk beat the market's average every year from 2003 to 2006.

The abyss of 2008 provided a moral victory. His portfolio dropped 14%, but he didn't take as big a hit as the national average (thanks to heavy investing in Marvel). He also outperformed Mad Money's alpha gorilla, Jim Cramer, on a few occasions.

Adam Monk picked his stocks by circling them in the newspaper with a red pen. You got a better way?

Raven, a Chimp Actress in L.A.

In 1999, a chimp in L.A. burst on to the scene, posting a 79% gain in her portfolio -- then boosting that to a whopping 213% gain the next year. Raven, whose picks were tracked by the now-extinct MonkeyDex.com, built her fortune by throwing darts at a board of 133 Internet-related stocks. She would have ranked as the 22nd most profitable money manager in the country if she actually had been managing money in 2000.

Alas, the dot-com bust at the dawn of the 21st century made a monkey of Raven, who hasn't been heard of in some time. Her portfolio began to underperform, and many of her picks disappeared along with the MonkeyDex website.

We asked Porter, the zoologist, if stock-picking monkey stunts might teach us anything about playing the market. "Not unless you can repeat the experiment several times and find one [monkey] that is really good at it while randomizing [the choices] each time," he replied.

Thanks for the reality check, professor. Even without monkeys, it's still a jungle out there.



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TERRY

We have already been taken over by the apes as well as other primates. Hopefully 2012 will be better, How ever it looks like we do not have any one to offer help. Maybe if Rebio for President and Danials for vice president , with Buchman and Palin we could get back to being true Americans. When we were threatend by Oboma that we may not get the military, and social security benifits this month should have told you he does not care about you. They recieved thier money on time but they sure as hell have not earned it, they all recieved rasies but SS has not and the cost of living HAS gone up. It is time you true Americans wake up. If he makes it to 2012 it will be way to long, he should be IMPEACHED ASAP as well as all of those who works for Him. Have a nice day it may be your last.

August 06 2011 at 6:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
wadisplace

I saw the Movie. I will give it a 4 out of 5 star. It is good to start a Franchize (sp). They writers and director would have made it better if they went further in character developement. But it is definately a good movie for the family.

August 06 2011 at 1:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David R. Priest

This is more proof that active management does not work. Monkeys outperform humans at active management! Put money in low cost passively managed index funds and time will make you rich!

August 05 2011 at 1:29 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Richard

Monkeys outperform analysts in more areas than just picking stocks. Maybe we should elect them to Congress too.

August 05 2011 at 12:47 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply