THE CASH-KING PORTFOLIO
by Tom Gardner (TomG@fool.com)
Alexandria, VA (Nov. 25, 1998) -- The day before Thanksgiving begs a short report. 1998 has brought your Cash-King managers an awful lot for which we can be thankful. The portfolio is now up more than 23% since we started in February, marking a 5-percentage-point lead over both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq. We'd like to thank the employees at all of our companies, but in particular those at Microsoft, Gap, Pfizer, Cisco, and Intel for handing us market-thumping returns in 1998.
We'd also like to thank all of you -- for tuning in each day, for providing your insights in the Cash-King folders, and for carrying these ideas back to your friends, families, clubs, and communities. Together we're changing the way people manage their money and, incrementally, changing the role of money in our lives. As my brother Dave has said on numerous occasions, "We shouldn't look at our savings and see shades green and gold. Money is just opportunity."
I think he's right (though it's often easier to disagree with him). An increase in your savings translates into an increase in your world of opportunities. Cash reserves mean that one can move away from an unhappy job, travel to the Scottish Highlands with a bag of golf clubs, shell out the cash to take a weekly painting class, open a small business, or turn the basement into a surround-sound movie theatre. Or the increase in savings can mean your ability to just pile away more opportunity for your kids and their kids... by taking advantage of the common miracle of compound interest.
Money is just opportunity.
And, naturally, we can give away some of that opportunity to others by giving away some of our money each year. This year, The Motley Fool has committed to donating two cents to charity for every message-board posting in our forum before the New Year. We're partnering again with Share Our Strength (SOS), one of America's leading charitable institutions, and the charity that you, our worldwide community, selected in last year's Vote For The Fool's Charity.
SOS has a pretty ingenious and enterprising operating model in place. It collects uneaten and untouched food from local eateries and delivers it to community kitchens in every major urban area in United States. It extracts enormous value out of what was once, amazingly, just waste. And throughout the process, SOS trains unemployed individuals in the business of food services, helping them to get jobs across the country. Share Our Strength combines service with enterprise in ways that many of our nation's public companies could learn from.
Now, today's Cash-King report has not been written to persuade you toward giving to Share Our Strength. But I hope that you will think seriously about giving shares of stock, a little cash, or a little volunteer time (or all three) to a charitable organization this holiday season. Gee whiz, numerous charities could benefit from your input into their long-term investment strategies or your guidance on their strategic planning. Your creativity can take them as far as or farther than your cash.
That said, if you have too little time this season to get much beyond the full-time job, the nieces and nephews, the bill paying, the cooking, the housecleaning, the kids, the two dogs, the retirement planning, and that darned recurring leak in the attic, consider just giving away a few shares of stock. You'll be transferring certificates of opportunity to those in need of an accelerant; you'll be directing joy their way and yours.
Here is a link to our Share Our Strength plans this year, as well as information on giving time and/or money: The Motley Fool Charity Fund. If you have any charitable ideas or organizations that you'd like Fool readers to consider, please drop a note in our Cash-King Strategies folder.
My best to you and your families. Have an outstanding Thanksgiving Day.
Tom Gardner, Fool
P.S. Come back on Friday for a discussion on Valuation and our C-K holdings.
Order your copy of David and Tom Gardner's new book, Rule Breakers, Rule Makers, in advance. This Simon & Schuster beauty doesn't arrive until January, but you can reserve your copy today! The first half of the epic book, on Rule Breakers, elucidates the Fool Port's investment style; the second half, on Rule Makers, further explains Cash-King investing.
Day Month Year History C-K +0.55% 11.07% 23.45% 23.45% S&P: +0.33% 8.03% 17.98% 17.98% NASDAQ: +0.98% 12.07% 19.14% 19.14% Cash-King Stocks Rec'd # Security In At Now Change 2/3/98 24 Microsoft 78.27 124.25 58.75% 5/1/98 37 Gap Inc. 51.09 75.00 46.80% 2/3/