I often get asked, "Hey, if you say a stock is a buy, or that it is a required holding, or that it is a Forever Hold stock, why don't you own it?"
This is a great question. Let me give you some insight into writing articles for SA, as well as my own investment situation.
I have limited investment capital. Depending on my personal situation, I may be heavily invested in the market, or have much of my capital deployed in private investments. I move in and out of stocks depending on many factors.
I cannot hold a position in every security I write about. If I did, I'd spend all day every day managing my de facto mutual fund! Plus, I'd have to constantly rebalance my portfolio, as my long term desired positions have strict asset allocation percentages. So I write from the perspective of someone who has infinite capital available. I do so because the range of readership is all over the map. Some have a few bucks here and there to invest, others have tons of capital. So I try to write for the entire audience. Lately I've been trying to make certain I qualify my suggestions as a trade, a long term hold, a Forever Hold, required hold for various portfolios, etc.
I also write from multiple time horizon perspectives. Some articles are about swing trades or options. Others are about long term or medium term plays. Other times I write about fair value. I can't hold all of these plays.
In other words, "if I had all the money I desired to invest in the market, this article says what I would do with one portion of it".
I offer suggestions based on my own experience. This never substitutes for your own due diligence, nor can it take into account all the various factors that influence you as an investor. I don't know your risk profile, time horizon, availability of capital, market experience, and so on.
Other question: So if I don't have skin in the game by holding the security, does that mean I have nothing at risk? Hardly. My reputation with my SA audience is at risk. That is worth substantiallly more than capital.