Much of our quarter end reporting season is winding down, so we hope to be back blogging in the coming weeks on our thoughts about the economy and the stock market. 

Our overall gameplan for 2009 remains the same.  We expect the markets to trade in a wide range of 740 (the 2008 low)  to 1100, with plenty of false starts and failed rallies along the way.  When buying and selling positions in our portfolio, we will be mindful of where the market is trading within this range, with an eye towards positioning the portfolio for an eventual economic recovery.   

In a Sign of the Times, I also just received notice that I won a stock picking contest for 2008 sponsored by Strategas Research Partners, an investment and economics strategy firm catering to the institutional investment community.  What is interesting isn’t so much that I won the contest, but that I won it even though my stock pick, Illumina (ILMN), still declined by 12.1% in 2008.  

So among participating investment professionals, a loser was still the best in a very bad year.  

And that’s what you call whipped cream on ****.