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Comment for Bill Ackman | Pershing Square Capital Management, L.P. Portfolio - 2014 Stock Picks and Performances

April 21, 2014

Some stocks are best evaluated by hands-on personal empiricism. After going into a Walgreen's store, it's manifestly clear where it ranks compared to CVS or Rite Aid. As for Ackman's attraction to Mondelez, perhaps he likes some of the company's snack items, and no doubt enough other consumers will share his taste to move the stock in a positive direction. But anyone looking for more something more dramatic would be better advised to take note of the population's compulsive consumption of Hershey products. (Twizzler's Twist 'n Pull Cherry Licorice is candy heroin.) Also, like Coke and Kleenex, Hershey's is a brand name that's synonymous with the product. (When's the last time your spouse asked you to go to Walgreen's to pick up a "Mondelez Bar"?) In short, investing is a game of guessing, supported by past predilections and indicators that "may" have a bearing on future results. But 50% of stock picking is playing hunches. Never ignore the intangibles as well as personal impressions--that's can't be charted or measured by most systems.

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