The Money Pros 2012 Index Fund Challenge

The Money Pros network of Personal Finance writers have a new challenge for you!
The Money Pros network is competing in a friendly challenge, although I am pretty sure at some point name calling and biting might happen but it's friendly at this point in time. They are investing a fantasy $1000 for three different stocks. They will be tracking their progress throughout the year and they are inviting us to join in the fun too (I'm not a biter but I can make up some really good names, dorkface). The top performers will have their name or blog shown on the Money Pros leaderboard. Plus, they earn bragging rights. These are some of my favorite type of rights.
Here’s how it works:
  1. PICK 3 STOCKS you think will perform the best in 2012
  2. SIGN-UP on the Money Pros Index Fund Challenge registration form - before the first trading day of 2012!
  3. FOLLOW your progress, and see if you can make the leaderboard
Now, this is completely outside my frugal, meal-planning comfort zone. However, it is pretend money so I figure what the heck. Here's my chance to learn more about investing and stocks. Maybe this time next year I'll be able to put my money where my pretend mouth is and feel comfortable with investing some real cash.    

My own stock picks for 2012:
  1. Mylan Inc. (MYL) This company and subsidiaries manufactures generic pharmaceuticals. It doesn't have the overhead that regular pharmaceutical companies have but it has the competitive earnings.  When I first started looking at what stocks I might possibly choose this company kept showing up over and over again as an expected winner for 2012. 
  2. Raytheon Company (RTN) This is the Sailor's pick for 2012. It is a technology company that specializes in defense, homeland security and other government markets. I thought I heard him mumbling something about space travel, I don't know.
  3. Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) Okay, this was a close my eyes and point pick out of the top 20 current holdings of the S&P index. I wanted to pick one that was a consistent earner.  
I am really looking forward to seeing how I do. So, you up for the challenge? It's all in good fun and a great way to "play" with other bloggers.

Disclaimer: This is no way investing advice. Please know that I have no idea what I am doing. I can not stress this fact enough. I feel like there is nothing else I could have said to make this point clearer.