Anniversary, Shmanniversary
The Week in Review -- August 7, 1998
by Jerry Thomas (

Greetings, Fools.

This past week, the Motley Fool Online celebrated its fourth anniversary. Messrs. Thomas and David Gardner, the siblings who bear most of the blame for this venture, marked the occasion with a special article recounting our humble origins. You know: the log cabin, the winter in Donner Pass, the terrible night we all spent watching Leonardo DiCaprio perish from hypothermia while clutching a plank in the North Atlantic. No, really.

Okay, not really. And let's be frank about this whole anniversary thing. Four years? Big deal. I've had hangovers that have lasted that long. If you want me to be really impressed, come back in 2018 and show me how Tom & Dave saved Social Security, or colonized Mars, or developed a new, plaque-preventing mouthwash that whitens teeth and kills germs above the gumline. This whole Save the American Investor business is nice and all, but if you want to get me excited, you'll have to come up with something more impressive.

So stocks greeted our little celebration with a well-deserved Bronx cheer. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost almost 400 points in the first two trading sessions this week. Call it spite if you want, but I like to think of it as ol' Mr. Market reminding us not to get too smug. Market-crushing portfolios, eh? Take that, Fool! Anniversary? Phooey! Ha ha ha.

My apologies, but that's about as deep as my analysis of this week's Big Drop in stock prices is going to get. Even worse, the chances of my growing the proper brain lobe that would give me enough IQ points to think of something cogent to say are mighty slim. Fortunately, Louis Corrigan (TMF Seymor) was on the scene Wednesday, and in that day's Fool on the Hill commentary, he examined the downturn and the forces contributing to it. Louis notes that much of the gains the market has enjoyed in recent months have come on the backs of but a few favored stocks, while the broader market has languished beneath the veneer of overachieving averages. But don't settle for my gloss; click the link and read Louis's own words (his version even has numbers in it.)

So, despite the market craziness, and despite the milestone of our anniversary, it was business as usual in Fooldom. Readers still posted messages to our message boards, with "GRudolph" winning praise for his detailed and bearish examination of (Nasdaq: AMZN) in a contribution that was named Thursday's Post of the Day. Yi-Hsin Chang (TMF Puck) and Brian Graney (TMF Panic) were matching their usual high standard, visiting Larry Rosen, the CEO of N2K Inc. (Nasdaq: NTKI). N2K operates the burgeoning website, and Brian and Yi-Hsin grill Mr. Rosen under the hot lights in this week's StockTalk interview, available either in RealAudio or transcript form.

For the caffeine addicts among you, you'll want to check out Thursday's Fool Portfolio Recap with Jeff Fischer's latest look at Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX), a company that has not fared well since being added to the Fool holdings. My own big contribution this week came in Wednesday's Foolish Four Report, where, among other things, I make fun of Sue Herera's hair.

So, what's ahead for the next four years of Fooldom? Good question. I think I'll wait for the movie version to come out: David Gardner (played by Kevin Spacey) and his brother Tom (Samuel L. Jackson) face off in a tense hostage confrontation to determine the fate of the global markets. With Nick Nolte as Alan Greenspan, and Charles Durning as the S&P500.

"Two Thumbs Up, Way Up," rave Siskel and Ebert...

Until next week,
Fool on!


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