Stock Picks by Local Business Men Net $34,000 for Melanoma Foundation

Posted on March 19, 2015 By

Three local men formed a team in the Portfolios with Purpose (PwP) competition, finished first place in the Novice class, and raised more than $34,000 for American Melanoma Foundation.

Team members Jonathan Herman, COO of Preferred Home Health Care & Nursing Services (PHHC), Eatontown; Mitchell Weitz, Hoboken, who works for Barclays, a multinational banking and financial services company; and Craig Hoffer, Toms River, an employee at PHHC, entered the stock-picking contest after Weitz heard about PwP on CNBC.

Herman said, “The three of us always wanted to invest together and this competition allowed for that to happen. It took a lot of time – a lot of unspectacular preparation (reading) for spectacular results.”

Portfolios with Purpose, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose motto is “Invested in Giving,” is an annual virtual stock selection competition in which players of novice and professional experience pay a nominal entry fee to choose a five-stock long-term portfolio. ( Contestants who maintain top-performing portfolios for one year, donate the total of all entry fees to a charity of their choice.

Weitz said, “We chose the American Melanoma Foundation given the impact that the disease has had on Jonathan’s family and scores of other families. We are elated that PwP presented us with a fun and exciting way in which to contribute to this cause. To be honest, we are still pinching ourselves to make sure it’s not a dream.”

Although it was a team effort, Weitz said, “My partner Jonathan Herman was instrumental in our success. He chose Intermune as one of our five initial holdings.”**

Jim Hiltner, director of charity relations for PwP, noted that his organization relies on a network of participants, colleagues and investors to spread the word about the contest. Visit for more information.

Herman, who represented his team, was honored recently at the PwP Awards Night in New York.

** Herman shared some of his team’s hits and misses. “As for the stocks that worked, we went long (bought) Intermune. We picked this biotech stock at $15 and Roche bought it for about $75. We also went long (bought) Macquarie Infrastructure around $53. It closed the year near $80. We went short, meaning we bet for the stock to fall, the data and communications company Neustar at $50 and then closed the position at $25 for a 50 percent gain.

Not every pick was a winner. “We went long Atwood Oceanics around $50 and it closed the year around $30. It’s an oil service company and fell along with the price of crude.”