Fascinating Bert-Saul Split

Saul: “… the turn arounds almost never do turn around. You remember the one (Netflix) that does, but forget the hundreds that don’t.”

Bert: (re: a recent stock price drop)“I have seen this movie time and time again and it tends to have a very happy ending. But I realize that many readers aren’t going to stick around to see the plot unfold.”

Point being it’s your money and you’re the one who has to make the call. Bert has his take. Saul has his. And both are intelligent, legit. The one who looks like a genius today may look foolish tomorrow and vice versa. May all depend on your timeline, POV, etc. I strongly caution against hindsight bias, declaring yourself right/wrong based on any single ER, stock price move.

For me, what I’m focusing on is as my Saul/Breaker/Bert stocks have exploded in value, I am growing increasingly uncomfortable with the gap between how well I understand the actual technology and the value of those stocks. Obviously I can either get up to speed (not easy) or get comfortable flying blind but that’s a tough choice. When you-know-what hits fan it’s hard to make a call when expert analysts split and I don’t fully understand the products/services.

Quote to consider (bold mine):

"We’ve become prisoners of measurement: audits, league tables, targets. It just destroys creativity. Look, I’m not opposed to measuring things that can be measured - I’m opposed to letting those things drive everything else out. It has some destructive effect in business, but in education and healthcare it’s absolutely devastating.

What would happen if we started from the premise that we can’t measure what matters and go from there? **Then instead of measurement we’d have to use something very scary: it’s called judgment.**A society without judgment is a society that’s lost. And that’s what bureaucracy does: it drives out judgment."

Henry Mintzberg
Strategy Professor
McGill University


Fool On,



The big difference here, I think–and FYI I am also a Ticker Target subscriber–is Bert still owns NTNX in his model portfolio (and probably his personal one, too). That creates its own anchor point, for better or worse.

Saul, on the other hand, bailed out long ago on NTNX and regardless of the truthfulness of the statement, it’s a lot easier to make a “…turnarounds almost never do” comment regarding it. Again, no judgment on the veracity of that statement – it’s probably very true. But it’s also very human to defend something you own or have care over.

I think Saul has a shorter average time horizon on most of his PF than Bert might, and he extends a lot less rope to companies. He’s methodical, brutal and relentless when it comes to execution. Revenue drops, you’re gone. Management screws up an investor call, you’re gone. This is probably very necessary, though, when you have a concentrated portfolio, as there isn’t a lot of room for error. If you only have 10 stocks and one of them does a NTNX, it can kill your returns.

I read Saul and Bert both, though, as having both sides (and often they agree) is very helpful. I do wish Bert would bone up on his punctuation and grammar, though, as TT is a little hard to read sometimes (very train-of-thought).


Hlygrail - we can’t talk about Bert’s picks here. It’s a big no-no to reveal information from paid subs.

I also do not think your take on Saul is fully accurate. Saul is not that black and white. After MDB hit turbulence he got back in.

Agree with you though about general rule that in concentrated portfolio a bit more ruthlessness is required.

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Hlygrail - we can’t talk about Bert’s picks here. It’s a big no-no to reveal information from paid subs.

Yet here you are directly quoting from a paid sub…

Please refrain from sharing information from paid services.


Admittedly I danced on fault line of impropriety and hypocrisy but feel - and still do - the good of my general point outweighs any potential harm to Bert’s business. Outright naming a stock blatantly crosses the line. I will not respond further and ask all to do the same. And I strongly suggest all subscribe to Bert’s newsletter which is terrific.