Seeking Alpha
View as an RSS Feed

Mark Bern, CFA  

View Mark Bern, CFA's Comments BY TICKER:
Latest  |  Highest rated
  • How I Created My Portfolio Over A Lifetime - Part I [View article]
    John - First, I should point out that I have written 4 or 5 articles on the energy sector recently that I would refer you to for a clear understanding of what I expect, why, where I might put my money and when. I have several more planned for that sector, but just need to find the time, hopefully in the next two weeks (in between installments in this series).
    As far as CAT and DE are concerned, they are heavily connected (especially) CAT to demand from mining and construction. I like both long term, however, I am waiting for the downtrend in the commodity cycle to bottom. I don't think we are quite there yet. Agricultural demand is a great long-term bet due to growing global populations. So, food/grain prices may bottom ahead of the rest. But, again, it does not appear that we are quite there yet. Global demand, in general, is slowing and that could spell trouble for prices.

    VLKAY has further down to go, imho. Read on into this series and you will find my rules for identifying the bottom of a trend. The rules primarily apply to indices, but Rule #2 also is a good indicator for individual stocks.

    PG is a case unto itself. I like the company, but it is facing stronger headwinds in its international ops than had been anticipated. It is not just the FX losses that are hurting the company. The other problem, according to management (and that of other consumer product companies) is that sales of such products are moving much faster to the Internet than could be imagined. PG and other multinationals are not prepared to compete in the Internet space in China and other major EMs. They are losing sharing. I am waiting for the two trends to stabilize before adding any shares. I have owned PG for many years, through ups and down. Changes in mgmt can be great for the stock or, as in the case under the previous CEO, it can be difficult. But PG will come around again. It is a quality company with a deep bench and strong competitive position in most markets it serves. It can innovate with the best and its marketing is excellent. They will figure it out eventually. But until they do, I would be cautious in how much of a position to commit to for now. I would not buy my full intended position here as I think we have a better buy price coming in the not too distant future.

    The 52-week lows can go lower on all of the above companies. How much? I have not clue. But when a bottom is in I'll be writing as fast as I can about many of those companies as well as many others. I smell some great bargains coming and can't wait to spread the word when I find them.

    I hope that helps. BTW, my next article in this series (should be out tomorrow or Sat.) should be of interest to you. This is not just a shameless plug. I really think that you could benefit from it. If not, let me apologize in advance. It will be Part V in the series.
    Sep 24, 2015. 07:44 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat #283 [View instapost]
    Are 9 of 10 cars in Europe built by VW? <sarc>
    Sep 24, 2015. 12:37 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat #283 [View instapost]
    It was closed Monday through Wednesday, so it probably needs to play catch up today.
    Sep 23, 2015. 09:16 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Stability Of The European Union June 1, 2015 To ??? [View instapost]
    Only 1.7 million times levels considered unsafe on a California beach? Only a 99% chance of infection if one ingests 3 teaspoons of water? Is that bad? :)
    Sep 23, 2015. 05:54 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Stability Of The European Union June 1, 2015 To ??? [View instapost]
    Olympics in Brazil sounded real good a couple of years ago! Now I'm going to have to adjust my bucket list.
    Sep 23, 2015. 05:08 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat #283 [View instapost]
    But what did VW do with all those savings? If they have it in cash, then no problem. If they used it all to expand manufacturing capacity that may not get used, then...

    I know that's extreme, and I like blood in the streets, but I would want to know more before making a decision. I haven't looked at the VW financials, so I am speaking out of turn. Sorry.
    Sep 23, 2015. 05:04 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat #283 [View instapost]
    I haven't had a solicitation in awhile, but probably since I cut the number of authors I follow way back. I saw this coming from comments in the contributor forum as SA decided to get into the newsletter subscription business. Those authors who have subscription-based deals with SA are begging for access to email accounts. I have argued against that as it betrays the privacy of its membership. I don't have much weight with SA anymore. I am on the outs, so to speak, since I tried to use social media to market my articles. Links to my articles were shared on a dozen or so social media aps by about two dozen folks. Those links produced thousands of page views. SA decided, after the end of the quarter, that none of those page views were of high enough quality and that it would not pay for any of the page views from the articles that I promoted. So, I'm guessing that they don't like me much anymore. Thus, my suggestions may fall on deaf ears. I don't blame them, but they refused to tell me what the metrics they used to determine "quality." So, I have had to start all over. In the end I didn't get paid for over 997,000 page views on a couple dozen articles written over a span of two months. Shame on me. But I really didn't know that I was breaking any rules. And I still don't know what rules I broke. The outcome doesn't change. I have been blacklisted, so to speak.

    I am trying my best to win my way back into the good graces of SA by writing well-received articles and doing absolutely no promoting. In any event, when I launch my newsletter in November it will not be hosted by SA and I will not send you solicitations. I may post a link to my website here, and include a little ad at the bottom of all my future articles, but that would be the extent of my marketing here on SA.

    I suspect that those who are using PMs aren't doing so well. I am not closing the door on a future deal with SA, but I won't be the one to suggest it. Sometime in October I will be the top author in at least two categories and by year-end it should be at least three. This isn't meant to toot my horn, but rather to say that my end goal is to earn back the trust and respect of the SA editorial staff. It's an uphill battle but one worth waging, imho. Wish me luck!
    Sep 23, 2015. 04:59 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How I Created My Portfolio Over A Lifetime - Part IV [View article]
    Toofuzzy - True. But it is easier said than done. I tried when much younger and it really is harder than it looks like it should be. Hind sight is so much better!
    Sep 23, 2015. 02:46 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat #283 [View instapost]
    Thanks for stepping up to the plate
    To facilitate!
    Sep 23, 2015. 12:12 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat 282 July 28 2015 [View instapost]
    I've been meaning to join PU for years!
    Sep 23, 2015. 12:09 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How I Created My Portfolio Over A Lifetime - Part IV [View article]
    Thanks, Michael! I am glad if it helped your understanding.
    Sep 23, 2015. 09:43 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How I Created My Portfolio Over A Lifetime - Part IV [View article]
    Dividend Sleuth - Thank you! I appreciate that sentiment.
    Sep 22, 2015. 11:21 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat 282 July 28 2015 [View instapost]
    Maya, Change the title to just Quick Chat #283

    Then Put the date in the body insta. It should work.
    Sep 22, 2015. 10:28 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat 282 July 28 2015 [View instapost]
    Maya - Check your PMs - I sent you a message. Mine worked!
    Sep 22, 2015. 07:42 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Quick Chat 282 July 28 2015 [View instapost]
    I'll try it, but if it works I'll just take it back down and explain in a PM how I did it. If it doesn't work, I'll just let you know here.
    Sep 22, 2015. 07:30 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment