Mr. Rich, a 49-year-old factory manager in Fremont, is the most recent winner in The Blade's Pick the Dow contest. His prediction of 8,993.54 was just 8 points off the second-quarter close of 8,985.44 and good enough for first place among the 210 entries that ranged from 5,000 to over 11,500.
Entrants had to select a Dow prediction by March 31 for the quarter ending Monday. The venerable stock index gained nearly 1,000 points last quarter. The contest runs each quarter, and entries for the Sept. 30 prediction had to be postmarked by Monday. Each quarterly winner received $100 from The Blade.
“It looked like the [country] was going to do a little better in the war,” said Mr. Rich, explaining his forecast from more than three months ago. “I figured it would go up but I didn't know how much.”
The real trick was adding in some lucky numbers he has used in lottery picks from time to time: 8 and 3. “More than anything it was a guess,” said Mr. Rich, a founder and general manager of BAP Manufacturing Co. Inc., a maker of cutlery blades for medical and food-processing uses.
The next closest contestant was Toledoan Brian Tischinae, with a forecast of 8,976.25, off by about 9 points. The median guess for all 210 entrants was about 8,607.
Mr. Rich has been on vacation while his factory that employs 25 is shut down for its annual summer break, and he waited too long to enter the third-quarter Dow contest, now under way. But he has a tip for those who did: “I think we'll get over 10,000 [this quarter]. I would have put down something like 10,200.”
If he's right, that would mean an increase of more than 13 percent in the coming three months.
He said he has some IRAs but is not an active investor in the stock market at the moment. However, he hopes to exercise some options in his company stock. “That will be my retirement,” he said.