Net Stocks Shine in Top Investment Challenge Portfolios

A professional trader and an 18-year-old with a day job at the mall take the leading spots this week.
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We never said it would be easy to win Investment Challenge

, especially when you're up against the likes of Bob Arciniaga.

A professional trader at

Hanifen Imhoff

in Denver, Arciniaga made more than 120 different trades en route to his victory last week. His strategy? Internet stocks, Internet stocks, Internet stocks. A big winner in his portfolio was



, which rose 17.1% last week.



IPO and



strong performance also helped push him toward his weekly gain of $1,739,451, putting him at $2,239,451.

Arciniaga found that sticking to what he knows was the best strategy.

"I tried to trade somewhat close to my usual investments," he says, citing tech systems as his particular field of expertise. But with the no-risk nature of the challenge, he often upped the size of his positions from the range in which he normally trades.

Coming in second was Harris Kupperman, who's only 18. He finished last week with $2,156,037. And considering he can only trade two days a week because of a job commitment at the local mall, his $1,656,037 weekly gain looks even better.

Kupperman's biggest boost came from E-Loan's IPO. He also dabbled in lots of other stocks, so many, in fact, that he doesn't remember many of them. He completed more than 200 trades.

"I will trade anything that moves fast," he says.

While slightly surprised at ending up in the winner's circle last week, the soon-to-be

Tulane University

freshman says that he is intent on staying in the race, "assuming I can convince my dad to pay for my subscription to


," he adds.

Probably like most participants in the challenge, David Betten, who finished in fifth place, wishes he had a bit more time to play around with his fantasy investments. As an equities trader in New York, Betten is limited to a few hours a week of trading in the challenge.

"I wish I had more time to watch these stocks," Betten says. Time constraints notwithstanding, he still managed to make the top five and plans to stay in for the long haul.

Wit Capital's


IPO came up big for Betten, who says he likes the more volatile stocks. A quiet workday on Friday, due to the holiday weekend, also left Betten free to work on his challenge portfolio. Betten has only been a professional trader for a year, but if the challenge is any indicator, he has a good future ahead of him. He finished last week at $2,090,981 with a weekly gain of $1,590,981.

The other top five finishers included Joel Wood, who ranked third at $2,116,629 with a $1,616,629 weekly gain, and Kent Hurd, who ranked fourth at $2,098,320 with a $1,598,320 weekly gain.

Registration for the challenge will continue until 9 a.m. EDT Aug. 9.