Question #1 – Someone has asked multiple times if anyone knows what Bert’s current positions are? The answer is:
“Of course not!”
No one I know posts their current positions (except Bear and me). The Motley Fool principals post whether they are long a stock or not, but you can’t tell whether they have just one share of it, or whether they have invested half the family assets in it. Seeking Alpha posters say if they are long or short the stock, but you can’t tell whether they are talking about 1 share, or 100,000 shares. You also can’t tell whether they have “no position” but the company they work for has a huge position, or a huge short position.
Why don’t people post their current positions? Because then you have to deal with the embarrassment if your positions don’t work out, you may have to talk about changes before you are ready, and because you have to justify each change. In fact, even on this board, people don’t post their current positions (except Bear and me), and I certainly don’t expect them too. So I don’t expect the questioner will ever know what Bert’s current positions are, although at the time he writes about a stock Bert does tell you if he’s long or not (ie. Amazon, Shopify, etc), and the ones he’s not in but is considering.
Question #2 - Someone asked me the following question off-board. I thought I should share my answer with all of you.
“First, thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience with the rest of us. I sincerely appreciate what you do. Typically, I don’t read analyst coverage, because I’ve found them to be biased or from an untrustworthy source. Instead, I stick to TMF and the boards. This is also due to the fact that I have a full-time job and don’t have time to seek out good analysts.
However, after reading Bert’s analyses, they made me think of some things I haven’t thought of on some of my investments and left me thinking that I’d like to find a few more analysts to read so that I can get a better perspective on companies in which I am invested.
Could you please send me a couple recommendations of analysts you find worthy of your time to read? I respect your opinion, and this would provide me with a holidays reading task. I didn’t want to ask you on the boards, because I didn’t want to have a bunch of threads get created like the one on Bert. Most of us make mistakes and atone for them. Regardless, Bert is a good analyst, and I like reading his work.
I answered as follows: Actually I haven’t encountered any other analysts like Bert, who give you all the warts, as well as the good points, and tell you what they don’t know, what they don’t understand, and what they can’t predict. Most of the guys who write for Seeking Alpha just write brief articles, with a couple of points that they are trying to make. Some of them turn out to be guys a year or two out of high school. Others really have an ax to grind.
I do subscribe to MF Rule Breakers and MF Stock Advisors, and look at their recommendations for ideas. I tried MF One for a year or two but found I didn’t use most of it and Rule Breakers and Stock Advisors seem the best part. Remember though that MF is a business, trying to get people to sign up for their paid subscriptions, so you have to take their advertising blurbs with a grain of salt. Bert, on the other hand, is primarily just sharing his knowledge (and getting paid for so doing by Seeking Alpha).
I hope that helps.