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Mark Hibben knows technology. Before he started writing about tech stocks, Mark spent more than 20 years as an aerospace engineer and iOS developer (something he still occasionally dabbles in), far removed from investing circles. He majored in English lit as an undergrad. "I invested throughout my time working in aerospace, making the same typical mistakes most retail investors make," he explains. "I didn't really have a research process."
While he didn't yet possess the financial chops to analyze particular companies' suitability as long-term investments, his penetrating understanding of new technologies - particularly in the semiconductor space - led him to start contributing to Seeking Alpha in 2013. It was there that his education in the financial side of investing began in earnest. By the time he started his Seeking Alpha Marketplace service, Rethink Technology, in 2017, he had nearly five years to hone his valuation techniques - everything from deep-dive balance sheet analysis to DCF models. It was the perfect complement to his already incisive understanding of new tech trends and how they were likely to play out in the stock market.
Asked for what advice he would give newer investors trying to find their unique skill set in picking stocks, Mark offers the following: "Invest in what you know. If you know real estate well, then focus on that. I know technology pretty well... so that's where I've focused." That may well be the understatement of the year.
Listen to the whole conversation by hitting play above.
- 2:00 - How Mark went from a background in the hard sciences to stock picking and investing
- 5:45 - A word on developing a unique investing strategy: Invest in what you know
- 10:00 - A more detailed description of Mark's investing process
- 17:00 - Financials are easy to quantify but how does one quantity the product narrative for a particular company or industry?
- 20:30 - When to enter and/or exit a position (hint: it's not about technicals)
- 26:00 - The new chip paradigm: smaller, cheaper, more energy-efficient (AAPL), (TSM), (ASML), (NVDA), (INTC)
- 38:30 - Reviewing WWDC and what the future holds for Apple
- 53:00 - How might the ongoing China trade war affect Apple's bottom line?
- 58:00 - Are Apple mobile devices more secure - and if so, does that offer the company a moat over Android devices?
- 1:00:45 - Moving beyond China: what's the next big market for Apple? (AAPL)
As always, please weigh in with your comments and questions for Mark below.
Disclosure: I am/we are long AAPL, TSM, ASML, NVDA. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.
Additional disclosure: Mark Hibben is long AAPL, TSM, ASML, NVDA. Jonathan Liss doesn't hold positions in any of the stocks discussed in this podcast.