Goodbye Monday morning footy-tipping office humiliations and hello 180 Markets 2022 Mega Stock Tipping glory.

180 Markets has just had a pretty cool idea.

The leading Aussie capital raising platform is giving retail investors the opportunity to hone their investing skills in a bloodless competition to pick the best performing stock of 2022.

We’ve trialled it.

It’s simple to use and you are always in control.

And there’s $15k up for grabs in prize money including $10k for the winner and a steady stream of cash for those topping the leaderboard at regular intervals.

Most importantly, with the markets looking pretty toppy in 2022, it’s the ideal space to learn your trade without copping the losses.

How 180 Markets Mega Stock Tipping Competition 2022 plays out

“The person picking the stock with the highest percentage increase over 2022 will score the $10k,” Co-founder Shaun Factor told Stockhead.

“At the end of March, June and September the person who is leading will win $1500 plus we’ve made a $500 boogie prize for the loser who makes the worst return.

“Investors who recommend others to join up with us will get an additional free tip as well so you can potentially get a lot of entries.”

Healthy competition for all

While sophisticated investors are only allowed to participate in placements and IPOs on the platform, 180 Markets has been building resources and programs for the “little guy”.

“While they may not be able to participate in placement, we’ve got a lot of resources on our platform for non-sophisticated investors – things like interviews with companies, director trades and live Webinars – and wanted to include them,” Factor said.

“Anyone can take part in the competition, no matter how much money they have and don’t need to be a sophisticated investor.”

“We want to create some excitement for all investors as it’s actually been a tough last month in the market,” he said.

No exclusions to stock choice

From a $300 share like CSL to a stock as low as 0.01 cents any listed company on the ASX can be included in the competition.

Indeed 180 analyst Ariella Grunfeld told Stockhead penny and super cheap stocks are worth considering for the competition.

“Price is also worth considering as a share price under 1 cent shows a stock does not have much love now but potential for multiple returns,” Grunfeld said.

Bumpy year ahead for markets

Factor said he expects 2022 to be a very interesting year for markets with volatility to continue.

“We will expect a lot of bumps on the way but are very hopeful we will have another strong year for small caps,” he said.

“But it is hard to really predict where the markets are going to go and especially small and mid-caps.”

Factor said while the COVID-19 pandemic may still have an impact, he does not expect it to be long-lasting.

“Definitely COVID stories do affect the market in the short-term (but) it seems to settle pretty quickly as the market is pretty used to the pandemic story now,” he said.

“As we’ve seen in the last 18 months the market can be very unpredictable when it comes to COVID and I don’t think anyone would have predicted 2020 would’ve been such a strong year.”

More thematic investing

From biotech, ESG, cannabis stocks, video gaming and digital currencies, both Factor and Grunfeld expect the trend of thematic investing to continue into 2022.

“The market will continue to be very thematic and the ASX always has different themes that investors get bullish on,” Factor said.

“We’ve seen themes come and go this year like uranium which was very short lived and also seen the recent theme of the metaverse take off with only a few stocks in that sector on the ASX, so we might see them in the competition.

“People still like biotech so we expect a lot of people will pick some biotech stocks which have massive upside but higher risk but in this competition there’s nothing to lose.”

Inflation concerns and changes to monetary and quantitative easing by central banks, including the US Federal Reserve may also have an impact on markets.

“There are signs inflation may start picking up next year but it’s not a theme we are seeing yet,” he said.

Analyst tips

Co-founder Factor says 180 staff can’t take part in the competition because they’d win and it wouldn’t be a good look and they should be concentrating on work anyway and he doesn’t pay them to play in-house stock tipping competitions, no matter how cool.

That said, both Factor and Grunfeld have their tips.

Grunfeld reckons she’d narrow her choice to the resources sector.

“Battery metals have been heating up and a lot of companies we are speaking with are bullish on the sector so it might be a good one to pick for the competition,” Grunfeld said.

She said if gold prices start to rise next year particularly on the back of ongoing inflation concerns, then gold stocks may have an uplift.

“There are a lot of gold stocks people may choose from and if the resource price goes up then people who chose a gold stock for this competition may do really well,” she said.

“The gold price at the moment is not creating much excitement but there’s definitely potential in 2022 for it to move.”

Factor said Australia biotech sector is strong with plenty of good stocks to choose from with potential for solid gains next year.

“I would probably pick a biotech that has massive upside doing clinical trials in 2022 and one that has a potential multiple returns from where their price is now,” he said.

Winners for 2021

So, who would have won the 2021 competition?

While the year is not quite over yet, it seems Grunfeld’s tip of the resources sector may be on the money.

Nine of the 10 top performing stocks so far for this year were resources stocks including ViaGold Rare (ASX:VIA), up more than a startling 7000% to $2.

The company, which acts as an investment holding company with some subsidiaries in rare earth refining and separation, recently released a very positive financial update, including an upsurge in revenue.

This article was developed in collaboration with 180 Markets, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.