Marc Gerstein

Marc Gerstein, the director of research at Chaikin Analytics, is an unconventional "quant." He has long specialized in rules- and factor-based equity-investing strategies. And he authored two books on stock screening – Screening the Market and The Value Connection. Marc met company founder Marc Chaikin in 2010 and eventually assisted in developing our proprietary "Power Gauge" system. He eventually joined the Chaikin Analytics team in 2018. Marc's quant inclinations trace back to his early days as an attorney (mainly criminal and landlord-tenant proceedings). In that world, everything Marc did had to be supported by evidence or legal authority. He first applied this evidence-oriented approach at Value Line, an independent investment-research firm that he joined in 1980. There, he learned to relate human investment stories to that company's "Timeliness" ranking system. Before coming to Chaikin, Marc used screens to create and write The Reuters Value Review and The Reuters Growth Review in the mid-2000s, and The Forbes Low-Priced Stock Report from 2010 to 2015. During the mid-1980s, Marc managed the Value Line Aggressive Income Trust. That's a high-yield ("junk") bond open-end mutual fund. He steered the fund through the Drexel Burnham scandals and the related junk-bond storms. He came away from that experience with a non-academic but highly reality-based understanding of risk.

In a Recession, You Have to Be Better Than ‘Good’

When a recession hits, being “good” isn’t good enough… Good dividend-seeking investors focus on strong companies. They want to park their money in businesses that can avoid cutting dividends, even when profits fall. Many such opportunities exist. The Vanguard Dividend Appreciation Index Fund (VIG) is filled with them. But VIG’s yield is only 1.95%. That’s …

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Cash Is Retaking the Throne

Cash is king… That phrase dates back to a different time in the markets. It comes from before investors started falling in love with cash-burning, “basement-dwelling kid” companies. Back then, investors focused more on managing risk. They didn’t just assume growth-promising, money-losing companies would eventually figure things out. Cash really was king in those days. …

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Some ‘Basement Kids’ Are Portfolio Stars

Avalara (AVLR) intrigues me… You’ve probably never heard of the company. In short, it aims to be a leading global cloud-based, tax-compliance platform. And it went public in mid-2018 in pursuit of that dream. Sure, it sounds like a snooze. Thrill-seeking investors don’t seek out tax-compliance companies, after all. But for businesses that operate across …

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