Calcutta 2020: ‘Hall of Fame’ fundies lift the lid on their 14 best ideas

James Marlay

Livewire Markets

Not even the challenges thrown up by a year ravaged by a global pandemic could get in the way of Australia’s top fund manager finding a way to pitch their best ideas while also raising valuable funds for the charities they support.

The Australian Fund Manager Foundation holds an annual charity event to recognise outstanding performances from the investment industry and to raise money in support of charity. A pillar of the annual event is a highly competitive stock picking competition called the Calcutta. Under ‘normal’ conditions, the Calcutta would feature stock ideas from a small selection of market legends. However, this year a second competition, The Great Charity Calcutta Challenge, has also been launched allowing emerging stock pickers to go head-to-head against the big guns with the lure of a potentially lucrative cash prize for the winner.

The Great Charity Calcutta Challenge entry fee is $1000, with the winner taking 50% of the pot, the balance going to charity. Click here for the full entry details.  

If you're short on ideas then read on, as you might get inspiration from the 14 ideas nominated by the fund managers.

Perennial’s Steven Bruce takes out 2019 Calcutta 

It is always interesting to look at the past performance of these stock picking competitions, and in 2019 the active managers made a strong case for the value that they add. According to data provided by Refinitiv, the mean return for the stocks selected is 47.99%. 

Click on the image to enlarge


The winning stock, selected by Steven Bruce of Perennial Value Management, was Redbubble (ASX:RBL) which delivered a 12-month return of 280%. The stock was sitting dead last at the midpoint of the competition before staging a stunning rally, surging past the pack to finish the clear winner.

Notable performances also came from anonymous fundies with a short on Jumbo Interactive (ASX:JIN) and a long on Silverlake Resources (ASX:SLR), Matt Williams from Airlie kept the resources theme going with Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) and Chris Stott from 1851 rounded out the top 5 by tipping Optimcom (ASX:OPC).

Commenting on the 2019 Calcutta, Adam Woods from Evans and Partners (E&P) described it as a wild ride with the ~50% outperformance of the Calcutta picks over the ASX200 index as a strong endorsement for active managers.


As is tradition, Steven Bruce and the team at Perennial have donated the full prize pool from their 2019 win to the six charities supported by AFMF.

Fundies name their 14 best ideas

Kerr Neilson has tipped Newcrest (ASX:NCM) as his pick for the 2020 Calcutta featuring 14 fresh stock ideas from a star-studded line up of fund managers.

The 2020 field has picks from the industry heavyweights including Geoff Wilson AO, Paul Skamvougeras, Catherine Allfrey, Philip King as well as Steven Bruce from Perennial, who is looking to back up his success from the 2019 event.

Adam Woods from Evans and Partners has the honours of revealing all of the picks for the 2020 Calcutta, which you can access via the video below (Note: 2020 picks start at 6:38)

Want to be part of the biggest challenge this year?

Entries in the Great Charity Calcutta Challenge are now open. Do you think you have what it takes to outwit, outsmart and outplay the leading Fund managers? For a limited time you have the opportunity to select your number one stock pick and compete for the title of 2020 Golden Calf winner and raising much needed funds for our charities.

Entry fee is $1000, with the winner taking 50% of the pot, the balance going to charity.

Click here to enter


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James Marlay
Co Founder
Livewire Markets

Livewire is Australia’s #1 website for expert investment analysis. We work with leading investment professionals to deliver curated content that helps investors make confident and informed decisions. Safe investing and thanks for reading Livewire.

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