Jonathan Lim

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  • Say Aloha to These Hawaiian Stocks

    By Jonathan Lim - February 17, 2013 | Tickers: ALEX, BOH, CPF

    I’m not one to daydream, but this week I have been imagining the swaying palm trees, poke plate lunches, and overall joie de vivre of the Hawaiian Islands. Beach weather is at least three months away, and I could use a dose of sunshine.

    My portfolio could too. Figuratively of course, but what about literally? Could adding some Hawaiian stocks help me brighten my returns?

    Buy Your Piece of more »

  • The Dinosaur of Newark, N.J.

    By Jonathan Lim - February 9, 2013 | Tickers: IDT, LEAP, TMUS

    Note: an earlier version of this article erroneously stated that the 5.7% dividend was suspended for 2013. The 2013 dividend was paid in 2012 as a special dividend, amid uncertainty about changing tax rates on dividend income. Additionally, the earlier version erroneously stated that Boss Revolution only works with landlines.


    There’s a dinosaur in Newark, N.J. – and I’m not talking about the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que restaurant on more »

  • A Bargain in Buffett’s Favorite Business

    By Jonathan Lim - February 5, 2013 | Tickers: CNA, L

    When you own as many businesses as Warren Buffett, you may have trouble picking a favorite. After all, you are an interesting person, and interesting people have all sorts of interests and hobbies. If you were Mr. Buffett, you’d have trouble deciding whether you prefer selling furniture, owning a railroad, or building modular homes.

    The thing is, Mr. Buffett isn’t an ordinary person. And based on his many more »

  • This Company Has a Four-Star Rating, But It’s Worth Five Stars

    By Jonathan Lim - February 4, 2013 | Tickers: BKD, CSU, ESC, FVE, SNH

    I tend to be skeptical about investing in stocks that have enjoyed substantial run-ups that I missed out on. Like Benjamin Graham, I like my cigarette-butt stocks and reject the idea of riding momentum to success. But the more I observe the market, the more I start to realize that value can exist in stocks that are feeling the love from Wall Street.

    Today, I'll make my first pick more »

  • A Stock for the Stoic Investor

    By Jonathan Lim - February 1, 2013 | Tickers: ASNA, FRAN, CATO, TJX

    Mr. Market favors the stoic investor, though he dares not admit it. In fact, he tries to mask this preference, allowing the emotional investor to triumph in the short term. But should the latter be so foolish (not to be confused with Foolish) as to overestimate the duration of his or her lucky streak, there goes all the gains.

    The real strength of a dispassionate approach lies in the ability more »

  • Pigs Get Fat, Hogs Get Slaughtered -- What Is Questcor?

    By Jonathan Lim - January 14, 2013 | Tickers: QCOR, SNY

    Selling people what they normally can have for free or for a nominal amount is a surefire way to make money. Think bottled water, especially the purified kind from the tap.

    There aren't many products this blatantly marked up. One of the few that comes close is eyewear, as I discussed in October. At first glance, most drugs seem like they would fit this category as well, which explains more »

  • It's Gold Star Clearance Time for This Department Store Stock

    By Jonathan Lim - January 2, 2013 | Tickers: DDS, JCP, KSS, M, SHLD

    If you went shopping at the typical Kohl's (NYSE: KSS) outpost this Christmas season, you found plenty of sale signs and clearance racks as you pushed your black shopping cart around a sprawling, single-story, brown cinderblock box in the 'burbs.

    You may have woken up for morning specials called Early Birds or stayed up past your bedtime to catch the late-night deals called Night Owls. Either type of promotion more »

  • Ready to Try Your Hand With These Gaming Stocks?

    By Jonathan Lim - December 14, 2012 | Tickers: ASCA, ISLE, MGM, PENN, PNK

    Lady Luck and Mr. Market sure haven't been kind to investors in gaming stocks over the last five years. Once the darling of Wall Street, the industry was rejected like lukewarm food from a buffet steam table.

    Similarly, like many casino buffet patrons, casino operators gorged on easy money to saturate not only Las Vegas and Atlantic City, but also major metropolitan areas. Who would've thought that we more »

  • This Tobacco and Real Estate Stock Pays 10%, But Which Way Does Its Performance Vector Point?

    By Jonathan Lim - December 6, 2012 | Tickers: MO, LO, RLGY, RAI, VGR

    Hoping to juice their returns, today's investors are pursuing all sorts of esoteric investments. Emerging markets debt, master limited partnerships, and the more conventional real estate investment trusts (REITs) have caught their eye. In this climate, it's a wonder that tobacco stock Vector Group (NYSE: VGR), with its 10% cash dividend and 5% stock dividend, remains little-known.

    Perhaps it's the generic corporate name and the lack of more »

  • Leucadia, Isle of Paradise, Place of Shelter?

    By Jonathan Lim - December 3, 2012 | Tickers: BRK-B, ITT, JEF, LUK

    In Greek, leucadia means "isle of paradise" or "place of shelter." It's also the name of a seaside community outside San Diego. A fitting name, I'd wager. I haven't been there. But we're here to discuss the stock market, so our focus must shift to yet another Leucadia.

    This Leucadia, Leucadia National (NYSE: LUK), is named after Leucadia, Calif. It's a conglomerate in the most more »

  • Whole Foods Plans More Organic Growth

    By Jonathan Lim - November 6, 2012 | Tickers: SWY, TFM, WFM | Editor's Choice

    It's a tired cliché that everything's bigger in Texas, but I had to agree when I visited Houston two years ago. The wide freeways, sprawling subdivisions, and megachurches were foreign to me. So were the mammoth supermarkets.

    Yet it was against this unlikely backdrop that America's leading chain of health foods stores was born, albeit in famously hip Austin, the state capital. Yes readers, Texas is more »

  • Hurricane Sandy and the Real Dividend Stocks of New Jersey

    By Jonathan Lim - November 1, 2012 | Tickers: FE, POM, PEG

    I've been to plenty of beaches, but for some reason the Jersey Shore has always been part of me. That's why it saddens me to see the havoc Hurricane Sandy wreaked on the region. The submerged houses and automobiles, the breached seawalls, and, above all, the lost memories are painful. Aggravating the situation, much of the coast remains off-limits, and thousands are without power.

    As one of the more »

  • The Ultimate Vertically Integrated Company You've Never Heard Of

    By Jonathan Lim - October 20, 2012 | Tickers: LUX, ZQK

    Based in Milan, Luxottica Group (NYSE: LUX) just might be the ultimate vertically integrated company. And chances are that you have never heard of it.

    The fact is that whatever your vision, if you've ever purchased a pair of glasses - nonprescription sunglasses included - you have likely given Luxottica some of your hard-earned money.

    That's because Luxottica owns icons in eyewear, such as Oakley and Ray-Ban, and manufactures glasses more »

  • Can You Sit Back and Relax If You Hold These Stocks?

    By Jonathan Lim - October 10, 2012 | Tickers: ETH, LZB, ZZ, SCSS, TPX

    You'd think companies that make products we spend large amounts of time using would prove to be great investments over time. In many cases, you'd be right—but not always. The wide range in the performance of these companies' stocks suggests that the oft-repeated investment maxim about buying what you love might not work as well as it sounds. Let's compare La-Z-Boy (NYSE: LZB) and Tempur-Pedic (NYSE: TPXmore »)

  • This Stock Hit the Market, and It's Getting Crowded

    By Jonathan Lim - October 1, 2012 | Tickers: GOOG, LEDR, MOVE, TRLA, Z

    Quick! Name a recent dotcom IPO that was wildly oversubscribed, that skyrocketed its first day of trading, and that started to fizzle out shortly thereafter. Here's a hint: it rhymes with Julia. Did you guess Trulia (NYSE: TRLA)? If so, are you a real estate agent or were you recently shopping for a residential property?

    Founded by two physicists, Trulia is changing the way we buy and sell residential more »

  • ULTA's Beauty Is Skin Deep

    By Jonathan Lim - September 25, 2012 | Tickers: CVS, LTD, RGS, SBH, ULTA

    The way ULTA's (NASDAQ: ULTA) stock is behaving, you'd think the company was the next IKEA, except for beauty products. But ULTA is really more like a hybrid of Regis Corporation's salons (NYSE: RGS) , Limited Brands' Bath & Body Works (NYSE: LTD), Sally Beauty Supply (NYSE: SBH), and even pharmacy chains such as CVS (NYSE: CVS). It's a beauty supply store plus a salon, with aisles of more »

  • No Bargains Here: Off-Price Retailers Not Living up to Image

    By Jonathan Lim - September 7, 2012 | Tickers: M, JWN, ROST, TJX, TUES

    I stepped into my local TJ Maxx the other day, and I wasn’t alone. The store was full of customers – Maxxinistas as the commercials call them – searching for designer closeouts without the department store prices. Unlike the TJ Maxx of yesteryear, home décor, hosiery, shoes, apparel, and cosmetics were on display in remarkably neat fashion, and the fitting rooms appeared to have received a makeover. There was even a more »

  • Don't Open Pandora's Box

    By Jonathan Lim - August 31, 2012 | Tickers: CCMO.PK, CCO, FB, LYV, P

    Single-letter ticker symbols used to mean something. Companies that possessed them were bulwarks of the economy, including household names such as Sears during its heyday, and they were associated with a certain level of stability and reliability. But now more than ever, you can’t judge a stock by its ticker symbol. Pandora (NYSE: P) is one such case, having taken investors on a roller coaster ride since its initial more »

  • Is La Dolce Vita in Sight for Bravo Brio?

    By Jonathan Lim - August 30, 2012 | Tickers: BBRG, DRI, RT, CAKE

    The American palate is evolving and becoming more adventurous, a trend that’s apparent when you consider the culinary terms that have entered our lexicon over the last few years. While semifreddo (a semi-frozen dessert) and sfogliatelle (a shell-shaped pastry) are foreign to most everyone save for Food Network devotees and professional chefs, terms such as panini and pesto aren’t anymore. You can find panini at Olive Gardens nationwide more »

  • Regeneron's Vision for the Future

    By Jonathan Lim - August 27, 2012 | Tickers: ALPMY.PK, BAYRY.PK, REGN, RHHBY, SNY

    "Great company, but not at that price" is a line I use a lot these days. It sure can be tempting to deviate from a value-focused strategy, especially when all sorts of glamorous growth stories are commanding billion-dollar valuations and your Benjamin Graham cigarette-butt stocks aren’t featured on CNBC every day and aren’t sending you glossy annual reports full of exciting news. But I’m managing to stick more »

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