'March Madness' pits IN's Kephart vs. pro stock pickers

Let BlackRock's games begin; how will our guy fare?

Mar 21, 2013 @ 2:28 pm

By Jason Kephart

Mutual funds
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Kephart: Committee selection ((Photo: Andrew Yackira))

Since my alma mater Florida State University somehow got left out of the big dance, I've had to look elsewhere for my March Madness kick. Luckily, BlackRock Inc.'s iShares has opened up its exchange-traded fund picking tournament to some non-institutional clients – including IN's Josh Brown – so this year so I can prove, without a doubt, that I would be a horrible day-trader.

The bracket, as you can see below, is set up exactly like the NCAA tournament. Instead of picking between college basketball teams, I'll be picking the ETF I believe will outperform over a five day period (yes, the idea probably makes Jack Bogle sick to his stomach). The winner gets $20,000 to give to a charity of their choice. I'll be playing for the Dan Marino Foundation, a non-profit that raises money for a variety of children's charities and was founded by the man responsible for the greatest play in NFL history. Sorry, not sorry, Jets fans. (To see the play, check out the video below).

As for my picks, I'm guessing the market keeps plodding along for the next few weeks and Cyrpus keeps getting shrugged off by investors. So I picked stocks over bonds and the U.S. over the rest of the world. When it came to the international and single country picks, I went with a coin flip.

Specifically, I have iShares Core S&P Total U.S.Stock (ITOT) and iShares Emerging Markets Dividend Index Fund (DVYE) going to the final, with ITOT winning it all. To see the brackets, and my two picks, check out the chart below the Dan Marino video. To enlarge, simply click on the magnifying glass.

We'll be checking in on my bracket again next week to see what went wrong.

Moment of inspiration, from Dan Marino

The Bracket

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