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Mark Bern, CFA  

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  • The Time To Hedge Is Now! June 2015 Update [View article]
    Bohan2012,

    Point well taken! I realize that this point won't make much difference to you, but I do try to keep the number of hedge trades to a minimum, with one or two position entries per year. My core portfolio remains intact with the exception of minor pruning, also usually only once a year and only if a stock no longer meets my quality criteria.

    Thanks for adding your perspective to the conversation.
    Jul 1, 2015. 02:36 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Stability Of The European Union June 1, 2015 To ??? [View instapost]
    Hope will probably remain alive and well until the referendum results come in Sunday evening, I suppose. Dragging this out is, I am guessing, designed to give all parties time to prepare in case things go the wrong way. One would think they have all had plenty of time already, but it seems like no one is prepared. Either that or dragging it out is supposed to make it less worse for everyone but Greece by the time it actually happens. The media will be blaring full bore that a Grexit won't matter to global finance or markets. It's too small! The only ones who will be hurt will be the Greek people. That, I assume, will be the message coming at us strong and often over the next few days. Whether it represents reality or not doesn't matter. I think world leaders and the media believe they can make reality whatever they want.
    Jun 30, 2015. 07:03 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Stability Of The European Union June 1, 2015 To ??? [View instapost]
    Right! It's after the midnight deadline on Central European Time. So...who's going to swerve first? The game of chicken continues....
    Jun 30, 2015. 06:43 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat #281 June 1 2015 [View instapost]
    MJ - Thank you for the notice! I am not sure why but this one is not doing as well as previous installments. But I feel the need to keep publishing the updates for as long as it takes on a regular basis to keep those who do follow informed. I just can't leave them hanging if they are following.

    I think a lot of folks are getting worn out on all the recent talk of a potential correction/recession. That can lead to complacency which is when things go wrong. When we least expect it. I suspect there will be at least another leg or two up to get the shorts to capitulate.
    Jun 30, 2015. 05:14 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat #281 June 1 2015 [View instapost]
    DG - Praying for Aiko and your wife. Both will need comfort and support. So sorry to hear about family strife.
    Jun 30, 2015. 05:09 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Time To Hedge Is Now! June 2015 Update [View article]
    DG - Thanks for reading!
    Jun 30, 2015. 05:03 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Time To Hedge Is Now! June 2015 Update [View article]
    Just to be clear, I did mention in Part X of this series how low MU shares have fallen in the past two recessions. In both instances MU shares broke under $5 and in December of 2009 MU stock price actually fell below $2. In a recession, MU loses money in a big way and the stock falls precipitously. I expect something similar if we experience another recession. However, I am only calling for a low of $10 in the stock because I expect the Fed and gov't to step in with an attempt to support equities earlier. But $10 is still easily achievable by a stock when the company's EPS turn negative. Granted, the company has made more profit in the last four years than in the previous 20 years combined, but I suspect that the bottom line will again turn negative during a recession.

    We can, of course, maintain differing opinions. That's the nature of the market. There always seems to someone on the other side. And that's a good thing. Thanks for sharing your perspective! I suspect we will continue to agree to disagree.
    Jun 30, 2015. 02:11 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat #281 June 1 2015 [View instapost]
    That will fix things for the moment; maybe a lot longer.

    So, do you think Congress and the Administration are watching and wondering what would happen if they decided to pass a law allowing a portion of future Soc Sec funds to enter the market? If the Fed actions fail to prop equities sometime in the future, will it come to this? Even just a lot of talk about a bipartisan bill like that could boost expectations and hold things together at least until the next election!

    Just thinking out loud. :)
    Jun 30, 2015. 10:37 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Time To Hedge Is Now! June 2015 Update [View article]
    DandyLion - Of all the indices, QQQ appears to have the most potential. Of course, I am really not trying to say that my methods are superior to all other hedging strategies even though I am sometimes forced to defend my reasoning. My primary purpose is to get people to think about hedging, do their research, and implement a plan that makes them comfortable. Not being hedged is getting more and more risky. It's like flying a plane across the Pacific with almost enough fuel to reach Hawaii, assuming that if one flies high enough there will be less resistance and, anyway, when the fuel runs out we'll be able to glide the last couple of miles. Besides, we have life preservers aboard, so what could possibly go wrong. We'd rather keep dreaming about all the great fun we will have when we get to those beautiful beaches.

    Thanks for adding your perspective!
    Jun 30, 2015. 10:29 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • The Time To Hedge Is Now! June 2015 Update [View article]
    Benni - You may be right about this being just another dip if the EZ finds a solution to the Greek situation. I suspect that markets would make new highs if that happens, even if it is just another temporary fix that merely pushes the hard decisions a bit further into the future.

    Puerto Rico announcing insolvency is just another small drop in the global economic bucket but is also indicative of just how bad things are getting. How many Detroit, San Bernardino, Stockton, and Harrisburg bankruptcies will it take before we realize that the foundation is crumbling? Apparently, many more.
    Jun 30, 2015. 10:21 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Stability Of The European Union June 1, 2015 To ??? [View instapost]
    LT - You've got that right! Now we find out if the counter-parties can all remain solvent. The majority of the OTC derivatives market is in Interest rate swaps. If rates make a move that falls far outside expectations there will be some major losses. And I think an event such as this could drive rates well beyond what Mr. Market expects. But that's just my opinion. It will be interesting to see how it all sorts out.
    Jun 29, 2015. 04:53 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Time To Hedge Is Now! June 2015 Update [View article]
    f5alcon - Yours is a different strategy than mine. It seems to be working, though. Good for you!
    Jun 29, 2015. 04:49 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Stability Of The European Union June 1, 2015 To ??? [View instapost]
    Blackmail? Should Greece even care?
    Jun 29, 2015. 03:30 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Time To Hedge Is Now! June 2015 Update [View article]
    Just Some Guy - I would agree with your hypothesis if MU went down to $14 without a recession or significant market correction. But in the case of a broad-based correction due to an economic recession, I doubt that others would step up to the plate. They probably should, but didn't in 2003 or in 2009. I think it depends upon the context within which the stock falls. I could be wrong. But, of course, if the stock drops to $14 our puts will still have good value. They have already risen by nearly 400% since last month.

    Thanks for the comment and sharing your perspective!
    Jun 29, 2015. 03:28 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat #281 June 1 2015 [View instapost]
    The Perfect Storm?

    And the Fed has no bullets. How do interest rates go any lower? What good will more QE do for the economy? We find out the answers sooner rather than later!
    Jun 29, 2015. 02:13 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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