Fool Four Happy Dance
Celebrating the year so far

By Bob "Sandy" Price

[Editor's Note: Ann Coleman is on vacation through August 26.]

HOUSTON, TX (August 12, 1999) -- We're due a happy dance for the Foolish Four.

In the Credit Card message board, we do a "happy dance" when we pay a credit card off. (By the way, my American Express Optima is paid off as of this month!)

So far everyone here has resisted the temptation to gloat. I won't. We're not just crushing our mutual funds, baby! So far this year, the Foolish Four portfolio has returned over three times the return of the Rule Maker Portfolio. Over four times the return of the Standard & Poor's 500 Index. Not to mention over four times the Rule Breaker Portfolio's return. (Oops, I mentioned it.)

What now? Last year, when the Foolish Four was down, what did we do? Concentrate on long-term performance, and remind everyone that although the Foolish Four has occasionally had bad years, it comes back. Investing is like that.

The Foolish thing to do, with the portfolio climbing at a 40% annualized rate, is to concentrate on long-term performance.

During the 5 years the Fool has been in existence, the message boards on AOL and now on the Web have had a certain number of routine messages. You see them over and over again:

1. I recently bought the Foolish Four. The stocks are now up. Isn't this wonderful?

2. I recently bought the Foolish Four. The stocks are now down. What's wrong?

3. The Foolish Four is an artifact of backtesting and it won't work in the future. (Yes, these messages have been around for as long as the Fool.)

We won't discuss #3 any more, having spent a great deal of time on it recently.

Although the Foolish Four is up this year, people who bought in the last few weeks are down. You can see some messages like #2 on the boards now. But for most, the messages are like #1.

So we'll celebrate our happy dance. But remember, the Foolish Four has down years as well. They will come again. The title of Robert Sheard's book, "Unemotional Investing," should be our watchword.

More about that tomorrow.

Today's Stock Lists | 1999 Dow Returns

Would you work for a bunch of Fools?

 Recent Foolish Four Portfolio Headlines
  12/28/00  Modifying Mechanical Strategies
  12/27/00  Beating the S&P Year 2000 Recap
  12/26/00  After-Hours Quotes
  12/22/00  Why Include the Foolish 4 Port?
  12/21/00  The Value of Community Input
Foolish Four Portfolio Archives »  

08/12/99 Close
Stock  Change   Last
CAT  +1 15/16  61.19
JPM  +  13/16  127.50
MMM  -   1/8   96.75
IP   +1  3/16  53.75

                  Day    Month   Year   History
        FOOL-4   +1.52%   4.85%  28.87%  30.78%
        DJIA     +0.18%   1.43%  18.50%  18.03%
        S&P 500  -0.29%  -2.30%   6.19%   6.44%
        NASDAQ   -0.60%  -3.37%  16.27%  17.87%

    Rec'd   #  Security     In At       Now    Change

 12/24/98   24 Caterpillar    43.08     61.19    42.03%
 12/24/98   14 3M            73.57     96.75    31.51%
 12/24/98   22 Int'l Paper    43.55     53.75    23.42%
 12/24/98    9 JP Morgan    105.51    127.50    20.84%

    Rec'd   #  Security     In At     Value    Change

 12/24/98   24 Caterpillar  1034.00   1468.50   $434.50
 12/24/98   14 3M          1030.00   1354.50   $324.50
 12/24/98   22 Int'l Paper   958.12   1182.50   $224.38
 12/24/98    9 JP Morgan    949.62   1147.50   $197.88

              Dividends Received      $49.99
                             Cash     $28.26
                            TOTAL   $5231.25