And the Winner Is…

The winner of Money Morning’s inauguralPredict the Dow contest is Kenneth Alkire, a California man who’s working as a Defense Department contract worker in the Middle East.

Alkire, 60, predicted a second-quarter close of 12,414.27 for the Dow Jones Industrial Average – a stunning guess that was only seven-hundredths of a percentage point (0.07) away from the actual second-quarter adjusted close of 12,414.34. For this near-perfect guess, Alkire wins a top-of-the-line Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPad2 (MSRP $829).

When posting his prediction on the “Predict the Dow” Website (www.PredictTheDow.com), the San Diego County resident said he believed U.S. stocks “would go up a little – and then down,” and noted somewhat grimly that “it is not a pretty picture for the future with the debt ceiling rising.”

In a telephone interview, Alkire’s wife Diane – the family’s actual investing aficionado – revealed that her husband’s guess was more sentimental than scientific. He figured the market would go up in the near term, so he predicted a second-quarter Dow close north of 12,000. But he filled out the rest of his prediction in a manner that was intended to honor his late daughter, Nicole, who passed away in 2000, Diane said.

“Nicole would have been 27 and her birthday was 4/14/83, so that is why we picked 12,414.27,” Diane Alkire said. “The fact that he used that as part of his guess – and won – is almost like Nicole reached out and helped us. Maybe it was her way of letting us know that she’s watching over us.”

Kenneth, a former trucking company entrepreneur, is deployed to a Middle East military base. In fact, he just returned to work there this week after a short visit home. Diane says her husband works 12 hours a day, seven days a week, and gets a two-week break every three to four months. He’s been working this job for seven years.

Alkire’s most recent visit allowed him to be home on June 30, when the second quarter came to a close. Diane said that she and her husband watched the Dow ticker as the trading day wound down, acknowledging that Kenneth’s guess was very, very close. When the adjusted close was posted – and they saw how close his guess was – they believed he might have won. They even allowed themselves a bit of celebratory excitement.

Diane promises the iPad2 will be put to good use – by her.

“I’m going to use it to track my investments,” she said with a chuckle.

Second “Predict the Dow” Winner

Money Morning is actually awarding two iPad2s. The second winner – Christopher Gleason, 54-year-old California pharmacist – was chosen via a random drawing.

A veteran investor with more than 20 years of experience in the financial markets, Gleason says one of his secrets is to make a conscious point of avoiding the hype-laden cable-channel investment programs.

Gleason, a Pittsburgh native, learned of his win on his birthday.

“This is a very nice birthday present,” Gleason said.

Money Morning will host this contest again. In fact, look for the next “Predict the Dow” contest to take place late in the current quarter.

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