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Mark Bern, CFA's  Instablog

Mark Bern, CFA
  • on Portfolio Strategy & Asset Allocation
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Mark Bern (formerly K202) intends to continue writing solo and has shed other work-related relationships that required anonymity. CPA since 1990 a CFA charter holder since 2000. He has a bachelors degree in Business Admin. with a concentration in Economics. His experience includes both private... More
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  • How I Created My Own Portfolio Over A Lifetime

    This instablog will provide links to all the articles I write about creating my own portfolio, what I have learned along the way (including successes and failures) and how/what I would do if I were starting out at a much younger age. It contains a lot of what I have tried to explain to my 23-year-old son over the past few months/years. Recently, it seemed as thought something clicked for him and he gets it. Investing over a lifetime begins with a plan and flexible goals along with milestones along the way to measure progress and facilitate adjustments as necessary.

    My thesis, as it stands now and has for the past couple of decades, is based upon a long-term, buy-and-hold strategy of investing to build future income streams as my focus. I stick with quality and never reach for yield. I would rather accept lower returns temporarily than put too much of my capital at higher than necessary risk. I am always in the market to some extent. I rarely sell those investments that were purchased primarily for income. I like to add layer upon layer of income to my holdings, increasing my overall cash flows.

    The links below are to the articles I have completed thus far to explain my strategies and allocations across the multiple asset classes that I own. I hope readers can enjoy reading about my experiences in stocks, bonds and real estate. Some adventures have turned out very well while others were the cause of much consternation.

    Part I - Series overview and how I developed a unique approach to investing.

    Part II - Questions investors should answer before developing a financial plan.

    Part III - Allocating across asset classes and within an equity portfolio.

    Part III [A] - Allocations to bonds, real estate and precious metals.

    Part IV - Answering questions from earlier articles to explain a flash crash; the parties involved and the mechanics of a flash crash.

    Part V - The hardest lesson I have had to learn.

    Part VI - When and why I sell and the methods I use to do so.

    Part VII - What I have learned about avoiding taxes, which account I put what into and why.

    Part VIII - The basics of saving and creating a plan

    Part IX - How I helped my son develop his financial plan

    Part X - Adjusting a financial plan to fit new career path

    Just click on the Part you want to read to access the article. Then, upon finishing each article, you can use the "back" button on your browser to come back and click on the next Part/topic that interests you; or you should be able to click on the link at the bottom of each article "On to Part "__" to proceed in the order of which the articles were written.

    I hope my experience can shed some light and help you with your future investing decisions. You do not need to follow my strategies, but you may find something that helps you form your own plan or strategy. Enjoy!

    Oct 14 5:10 PM | Link | 1 Comment
  • The Energy Sector Outlook

    This blog will serve as a convenient central location for all of my most recent articles about the energy sector. I have started with a three-part article about the history and future prospects of pricing for oil and natural gas. Next up is an overview of Exxon Mobil and why I still like it's prospect for the long term as well as how I determine an good entry point. The oil producing industry is my next offering with an analysis of the leading companies in the industry and how I believe the industry shake out that is happening now will unfold.

    I will add additional articles to this list in the coming weeks. Here are links to articles already published:

    Energy Sector Outlook - Part I Reviewing the history of Oil pricing.

    Energy Sector Outlook - Part II Short-term price expectations.

    Energy Sector Outlook - Part III Intermediate & Long-Term pricing.

    Exxon Mobil - Patiently Positioning for the Future

    Oil Producing Industry - When Will it be Safe to Invest Again?

    More to follow!

    Aug 22 2:03 PM | Link | Comment!
  • The Time To Hedge Is Now!

    This instablog is meant to be a resource page with links to all articles in my series for low cost hedging. Hopefully this makes it easier to read the articles for those readers needing to refresh.

    Part I Introduction to strategy

    Part II How the strategy works

    Part III Tutorial on Options

    Part IV My process for selecting options

    Part V Why I do not use ETFs for hedging

    Part VI A look at Grantham's view and European Banks

    Part VII Look deeper than headlines in housing and GDP growth

    Part VIII Housing prices well above long-term trend again

    Part IX A more positive long-term outlook for America

    Part X My exit strategy Rules

    Summary May 2014

    Update July 2014

    December 2014 Update - Part I

    December 2014 Update - Part II

    January 2015 Update

    February 2015 Update

    March 2015 Update

    April 2015 Update

    May 2015 Update

    June 2015 Update

    Take Profits on MU of 397 - 878%

    August 2015 Update and a New Candidate!

    Is It Too Late?

    Two New Candidates Before It's Too Late!

    Sept 2015 Update - Junk Bonds Continue to Fall

    Bear Rally = Another Chance?

    2,753% Profit on MW

    Disclosure: The author has no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

    Additional disclosure: I own put options on all of the companies listed. I am using these position to hedge my equity portfolio.

    May 20 5:59 PM | Link | 4 Comments
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