Seeking Alpha

Mark Bern, CFA

 
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  • The Time To Hedge Is Now! July 2014 Update
    Wed, Jul. 16 BID, ETFC, GT 30 Comments

    Summary

    • The article introduction contains a brief overview of the series, links to more detailed explanations and some reasons why I think it is the time hedge against the next bear.
    • A brief discussion of where I believe weaknesses still remain in the US economy.
    • A summary is included listing all the candidate companies that have been provided in the series along with selected options data for each.
    • The article concludes with a discussion of the risks of employing this strategy versus not being hedged.
  • Don't Expect The U.S. Economy To Grow As Expected
    Mon, Jun. 2 SPY, DIA, QQQ 44 Comments

    Summary

    • Expected GDP growth for the U.S. economy is near 4 percent for quarter two 2014.
    • Some cylinders of the U.S. economic engine are not firing as well as expected.
    • Why I do not trust early Wall Street estimates and how the revisions make it easy to create positive surprises.
    • S&P 500 sales growth trend is troubling.
    • My more modest expectations for second quarter and full-year GDP growth.
  • The Trigger For The Next China Economic Correction
    Wed, May. 28 SPY, QQQ, DIA 23 Comments

    Summary

    • Could there be a bubble in China real estate?
    • The one change that is happening in China over the next three years that could adversely affect Chinese real estate speculation.
    • It all hinges on the central government of China. Will it follow through?
    • The potential impact of that change could affect the global economy.
  • China Creates A Buying Opportunity For Nu Skin
    Tue, May. 27 NUS 30 Comments

    Summary

    • Quarter 1 results were strong even with the China government investigation scare.
    • Growth in China and emerging markets remains the key to future success.
    • Dividends are likely to double over the next five years.
    • My five-year target price represents an average annual total return of 17.7 percent, including dividends.
  • The Time To Hedge Is Now! Candidate Summary
    Tue, May. 20 BID, ETFC, GT 21 Comments

    Summary

    • The article begins with a brief overview of the series and links to more detailed explanations from earlier in the series.
    • A summary of all candidate companies is included, with options data for each.
    • The article offers a discussion of which candidates are exhibiting the most weakness already, and my best prognostication about which options contracts will work best.
    • The article concludes with a comparison of the risks of employing this strategy versus not being hedged.
  • The Time To Hedge Is Now! Do It For Less - Part X
    Thu, May. 15 LVLT, MU 19 Comments

    Summary

    • The article begins with a brief overview of the series and links to earlier articles that contain more detailed explanations of the strategy.
    • The rules that guide my exit strategy.
    • The last two candidates for consideration to use in the strategy.
    • Discussion of the risks of employing this strategy versus not being hedged.
  • The Time To Hedge Is Now! Do It For Less - Part IX
    Tue, May. 13 MAR, WSM 14 Comments

    Summary

    • The article begins with a brief overview of the series and links to earlier articles that provide more detailed explanations of how the strategy works.
    • Why I believe it is time to hedge and why I believe that the U.S. economy will eventually grow more normally again in the future.
    • Two new candidates are reviewed for consideration of use in the strategy.
    • The article concludes with a discussion of the risks of employing this strategy versus not being hedged.
  • The Time To Hedge Is Now! Do It For Less - Part VIII
    Fri, May. 9 GT, TPX 14 Comments

    Summary

    • The article begins with a brief overview of the series containing links to detailed explanations available in earlier articles.
    • Another reason why it is time to hedge.
    • Two new candidates for consideration to use in the strategy.
    • The article concludes with a discussion of the risks of employing this strategy versus not being hedged.
  • The Time To Hedge Is Now! Do It For Less - Part VII
    Fri, May. 9 STX, VECO 4 Comments

    Summary

    • The article begins with a brief overview of the series and some links to more detailed explanations of the strategy.
    • More reasons why it is time to hedge.
    • Two new candidates are presented for consideration to use in the strategy.
    • The article concludes with a discussion of the risks of employing this strategy versus not being hedged.
  • The Time To Hedge Is Now! - Do It For Less - Part VI
    Wed, May. 7 KMX, RCL 7 Comments

    Summary

    • The article begins with a brief overview of the series.
    • Some more reasons why it is time to hedge. Things to think about.
    • Two new candidates are presented for consideration to use in the strategy.
    • The article concludes with a discussion of the risks of employing this strategy versus not being hedged.
  • The Time To Hedge Is Now! Do It For Less - Part V
    Mon, May. 5 TEX, USG 7 Comments

    Summary

    • Introduction contains a brief overview of the series, links to more detailed explanations and some reasons why I think now is the time to begin the hedging process.
    • An explanation of why I prefer put options on individual stocks over ETFs.
    • Two new candidates are presented for consideration to use in the strategy.
    • The article concludes with a discussion of the risks of employing this strategy versus not being hedged.
  • The Time To Hedge Is Now! Do It For Less - Part IV
    Fri, May. 2 BID, LB 32 Comments

    Summary

    • The article begins with a brief overview of the series, links to more detailed explanations and offers one more indicator why it is time to hedge.
    • The step by step process that I use to select appropriate options contracts for this strategy is explained in detail, including an example and a spreadsheet screen shot.
    • The article concludes with a discussion of the risks of employing this strategy versus not being hedged.
  • The Time To Hedge Is Now! Do It For Less - Part III
    Fri, May. 2 JBL 11 Comments

    Summary

    • Why Hedge Equities Now?.
    • A brief Options Tutorial is included along with links to more detailed tutorials.
    • Introducing a new candidate from the Technology Sector that is already trending down in price.
    • A brief discussion of the risk inherent in this strategy compared to not hedging at all.
  • The Time To Hedge Is Now! Do It For Less - Part II
    Thu, May. 1 ETFC, MS 30 Comments

    Summary

    • Why is it time to hedge equities?
    • Explanation of how this strategy works to protect against major market declines.
    • Two new candidates presented, with specific positions explained.
  • The Time To Hedge Is Now! Do It For Less - Part I
    Wed, Apr. 30 LUV, UAL 43 Comments

    Summary

    • A little investing philosophy background.
    • The reason I want to hedge my equity portfolio now.
    • An overview of my low-cost strategy for hedging equities.
    • The first candidate to use in hedging.
  • Protecting Your Equity Portfolio For Less - Part XIV
    Tue, Apr. 8 ETFC, GT, JBL 5 Comments

    Summary

    • The article introduction contains a brief overview of the series, links to more detailed explanations and why I think now is the time to begin the hedging process.
    • A brief summary explanation of the strategy and its low cost benefits is provided for readers who are new to this series.
    • The second batch of options purchased is listed here including the strike prices, premiums and a brief discussion of why I chose these candidates.
    • The article concludes with a discussion of the risks of employing this strategy versus not being hedged.
  • Dividend Investors' Guide 2014 Review - Retail And Wholesale Food Industry
    Fri, Apr. 4 KR, SWY, SYY 13 Comments

    Summary

    • A brief introduction to the series and an overview of the rules I use in selecting stocks.
    • Review of results since I recommended Safeway in 2012 plus a discussion of the pending acquisition by AB Acquisitions.
    • Review of results since I recommended Sysco in 2012, a brief analysis of the current pending acquisition of US Foods, and my new five-year projections.
    • Review of results since I recommended Kroger in 2012 and my new five-year projections.
  • Qualcomm For Above Average Total Return
    Wed, Apr. 2 QCOM 2 Comments

    Summary

    • Overview of the company and industry prospects over the next few years.
    • Review of how my previous recommendations of Qualcomm shares have done.
    • My five-year guidance and price target for Qualcomm.
    • An invitation to consider a series of articles on a low cost equity portfolio hedging strategy.
  • Dividend Investors' Guide 2014 Review - Household Products Industry
    Editors' Pick • Mon, Mar. 31 CHD, CL, PG 24 Comments

    Summary

    • Overview and brief discussion of rules used in my stock selection process.
    • Overview of my expectations for the household products industry for the next five years.
    • Evaluation of my 2012 Procter and Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive, Church and Dwight and Tupperware recommendations and my updated projected five-year target prices.
  • Dividend Investors' Guide - Part V Toiletries And Cosmetics - 2014 Review
    Mon, Mar. 31 IPAR, NUS Comment!

    Summary

    • Introduction to my industry reviews series and a brief review of rules I use in selecting candidates for my watch list.
    • Update of my review on Nu Skin and my current recommendation.
    • Update of my review on Inter Parfums and my current recommendation.
    • Invitation to consider my low cost hedging strategy for equity portfolios.
  • Protecting Your Equity Portfolio For Less - Part XIII
    Sat, Mar. 29 UAL 19 Comments

    Summary

    • The article introduction contains a brief overview of the series, links to more detailed explanations and why I think that now is the time to begin the hedging process.
    • A brief summary explanation of the strategy and its low cost benefits is provided for readers who are new to this series.
    • The step by step process that I use to implement this strategy is explained in detail, including spreadsheet examples and formulas.
    • The article concludes with a discussion of the risks of employing this strategy versus not being hedged.
  • Low Risk Way To Use Silver As An Inflation Hedge
    Wed, Mar. 26 SLW 24 Comments

    Summary

    • The article begins with a summary of previous work by the author about inflation.
    • Higher inflation will come eventually; an explanation of my reasoning.
    • The best way to invest in silver with less risk and greater potential reward when higher inflation returns.
  • More Weakness In The Australian Dollar Ahead
    Sun, Mar. 23 FXA 11 Comments

    Summary

    • Establishing the relationship between the Australian Dollar (AUD), commodity prices and GDP growth in China.
    • A new series of events unfolding in China could cause further erosion in the AUD versus the U.S. Dollar.
    • Connecting the potential effect of the events in China to commodity prices and AUD.
  • National Fuel Gas For Rising Dividends And Future Growth
    Editors' Pick • Fri, Mar. 21 NFG 19 Comments

    Summary

    • The article starts with a brief description of the company's segments and operating territory.
    • Next is a discussion of recent strong NFG financial results and areas of potential growth from internal activities.
    • External factors supporting future growth in revenue and earnings at NFG come from expansion in several existing and new sources of natural gas demand.
    • The article concludes with an explanation of how NFG is positioned to benefit from external trends.
  • Protecting Your Equity Portfolio For Less - Part XII
    Wed, Mar. 19 VXX 6 Comments

    Summary

    • This article begins with an overview of previous what has been covered in previous article in this series to provide links and references for new readers.
    • A summary section follows to explain the basics of how this hedging strategy is designed to work, including a link to a more detailed explanation.
    • Why I do not use VXX in my equity hedging strategy including an explanation of how and why VXX varies significantly from the VIX.
  • U.S. Real Estate - Are We Out Of The Woods Yet?
    Mon, Mar. 17 IYR, VNQ, REM 18 Comments

    Summary

    • The large number of all cash purchases are good for the short term but I expect them to result in more volatility in the future.
    • Housing prices in the U.S. have been above the historical trend since 1997. Why I believe there could be a reversion to the mean over the next few years.
    • The housing market is showing signs of strength taken on an aggregate national basis, but there are concerns about available inventory matching future demand.
  • McCormick's Future Supported By Demographics
    Mon, Mar. 17 MKC 6 Comments

    Summary

    • Why demographics matter.
    • How demographics support growth for the food industry.
    • Why I like McCormick.
  • Protecting Your Equity Portfolio For Less - Part XI
    Wed, Mar. 5 BID, MS, JBL 24 Comments
  • Is The China Real Estate Bubble Real?
    Sat, Feb. 22 FXI, PGJ, GXC 88 Comments
  • Protecting Your Equity Portfolio For Less - Part X
    Thu, Feb. 20 MU, WSM 28 Comments
  • Protecting Your Equity Portfolio For Less - Part IX
    Thu, Feb. 20 JBL, TPX 4 Comments
  • Protecting Your Equity Portfolio For Less - Part VIII
    Tue, Feb. 18 BID, VECO 16 Comments