Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., on Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. Stocks climbed after the U.S. and China declared a truce in their trade war, while Treasuries and the dollar fell. Oil surged on optimism producers will cut output. Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg
US equity funds saw $3.5bn in outflows during the week ending December 5 © Bloomberg
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Every year, FT writers compete to pick a portfolio of five stocks they hope will generate the highest return over the next calendar year.

This year, for the first time, we’re inviting readers to join in the fun.

All you need to do is select five stocks, and decide whether you want to go “long” (betting the price will rise) or “short” (betting the price will fall). Use the form below to record your choices. The deadline is Monday January 14 2019, which will be counted as the “start date”.

To take part and see if you can beat FT writers’ choices, click here:

The rules of the competition are as follows:

  • You MUST pick individual stocks that are listed on a major world stock market — funds, ETFs and investment trusts are not allowed — but it’s fine to choose international shares. Please make sure you include the ticker.
  • If you want to go long or short on a commodity, say oil, you must find a listed stock that will act as a proxy for that (eg, BP or Shell).
  • The winner is the portfolio that has generated the highest overall return by December 31 2019. This will be calculated by adding up the annual percentage loss or gain of each five stock picks and dividing it by five.
  • If there is a fine margin between two leading entries at the end we will add in dividends to the total return of the longs, and subtract them from the shorts.
  • Currency movements are not taken into account.
  • If your company is taken over, you take the price at which it is trading at the end of the period, or the final price if it is delisted.
  • If your company is suspended, then you get the suspension price.
  • It is up to you if you want to remain anonymous, but we will use the data from your picks to inform a future article.

The three readers with the best-performing portfolios will be invited in for a VIP tour of the FT’s London offices in January 2020, giving them the opportunity to meet writers and columnists.

The judges’ decision is final, and normal FT terms and conditions apply.

FT writers who take part are making a voluntary £5 donation to the FT Seasonal Appeal partner, Habitats for Humanity. This is not a condition of entry — but if you would like to do so, the link is here.

We wish you luck with your investments in 2019 — you can read all about the winner of the 2018 competition early next year.

If you have any queries about the stockpicking competition, please contact the FT Money team via money@ft.com

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