Robert Freedland adds Ford Motor Company to his Covestor portfolio (F, MCD, JCI)

Robert Freedland has over 40 years of investment experience and is a full-time optical surgeon. He uses his expertise in the medical field to help select healthcare stocks. In investing, Robert utilizes two divergent strategies for identifying new names for inclusion.

In strong market environments, he searches for companies with both price and earnings momentum making strong moves higher. During more difficult times, he concentrates on larger companies with proven strategies of dominating their industry that he believes can continue to succeed in future financial environments.

When examining companies, Robert says he:

looks for persistence of revenue growth, earnings growth, dividend growth if possible, stable outstanding shares, positive and possibly growing free cash flow, and balance sheets with greater current assets than current liabilities. Technically, any company included should be reasonably expected to continue or move higher. All investments will continue to be managed with limiting losses after initial purchases to predetermined levels by selling complete positions should those holdings decline to 8% or similar loss level, and selling portions of holdings as they appreciate to realize gains to offset possible realized losses. These sales on the downside or upside will also be the source of market signals that will determine whether the portfolio will be moving into more cash or adding new positions except at the extremes of the portfolio which will be at 5 holdings minimum and 20 holdings maximum.

Robert got started investing at the age of 13 when he took $300 of savings and purchased five shares of Global Marine upon the advice of his soon-to-be brother-in-law. Previously, Robert had been inspired by his father who often asked Robert to read the stock prices to him as he had a hard time reading them.

Robert was soon captivated by the investment world and bought small holdings of diverse stock of companies like Jones & Laughlin Steel, I.C. Industries, and many other names no longer still trading as free-standing companies. Robert continued to invest small amounts through high school, college, medical school and read as many financial investment magazines and books as he could find.

Robert manages Covestor’s Buy and Hold Value portfolio, which,

Using secondary research, takes a value based approach on large cap equities and ADRs. Conservative medium term model looking for hidden value in leading equities. Prefers companies with strong balance sheets, consistent growth records classic long term buy and hold candidates.

Current top holdings include Church & Dwight Co Inc (NYSE: CHD), Johnson Controls Inc (NYSE: JCI) and McDonald’s Corp (NYSE: MCD). On March 29, Robert added Ford Motor Co (NYSE: F) to the portfolio. The Motley Fool recently compared Ford with General Motors (NYSE: GM):

A few days ago, Edmunds predicted — not without caveats, which we’ll get to in a moment — that Ford could outsell GM in the U.S. in March. Again, this wouldn’t be unprecedented, and it wouldn’t mark a change in the global pecking order. GM still outsells Ford by a huge margin around the world, and that isn’t likely to change anytime soon.

  • GM’s incentives down. The General’s incentive spending, the money put into those “zero percent financing” or “cash back” offers, has been the highest in the industry, but it’s coming down. Edmunds estimates GM’s incentives, which were close to $4,000 per vehicle in February, will be down by $700 in March. A drop in sales is thus predictable, but that’s not all bad: Average per-sale margins should be up. Even with lower sales totals, higher margins are a good thing.
  • Ford has some aggressive discounts. Ford just launched its all-new Focus, and is working hard to sell down its inventories of the outgoing model. That effort is apparently going very well, according to Edmunds, as a willingness to discount combined with rising gas prices has led to a surge in demand for fuel-efficient cars.
  • Hotter models in favored categories. While GM’s Chevy Cruze compact is selling quite well, Ford’s new Focus may outclass it. And Ford’s midsize Fusion has won praise and sales, eclipsing Chevy’s aging Malibu. Likewise, Ford’s just-refreshed pickups are the hot ticket in that category at the moment, and the all-new Explorer is starting to steal some of the thunder from the Chevy Equinox and GM’s other hit kid-haulers.


“Is Ford About to Pass GM?” John Rosevear. The Motley Fool, 3/31.