Mark Bern: Building a Portfolio for a Lifetime

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Mark Bern: Building a Portfolio for a Lifetime

Mark is in his mid-60s, is a CPA, a CFA, and has been investing since the 1980’s and considers himself a fairly unorthodox investor. He claims his first stock pick as a kid was to his dad to buy shares in Madison Square Garden years ago. Apparently that worked out pretty well for his dad.

It wasn’t until he was 40 that Mark started thinking about retirement and is now a strong advocate to all young people to get started early!

IITF Learn to Invest - The Intelligent InvestorA big help early on to him in shaping his views as an investor was The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham. He was also impacted by the dot com crash of the early 2000s. It was these experiences that convinced Mark to become a rules based investor.

Mark’s method focuses on finding bargains and loves income producing investments in both equities, bonds, and real estate (one of his best investments ever was a 4-plex). He loves boring companies that increase dividends on a yearly basis and is happy to pass on stocks touting appreciation alone. Why take the risk?

Did you know that 40% of the growth in the S&P500 comes from dividends alone? I never would have guessed that, Mark’s focus on fundamentals like these were a great reminder for me.

According to Mark, there are three ways to build a portfolio:

  1. Buy on the dips
  2. Dollar cost averaging
  3. Buy only after a bear market

His favorite is the third. In the interview Mark talks about why he loves this approach, why he loves cash, how he likes to hedge with 2% of his portfolio, and why he’s only bought one stock in the last year and a half (and why he regrets it).

You can find the full interview below and links to it on your favorite podcast directories.

The two article series that Mark mentions in the podcast can be found at the following links:

How I Created My Portfolio Over a Lifetime

The Time to Hedge is Now!

Thank you so much for joining us at Investor in the Family!

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