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By Jeff Fischer (TMF Jeff)
April 5, 2000

Many people need to think about doing an undesirable chore several times before they actually undertake it. The process of filing income taxes takes this procrastination to an extreme: Many of us wait until the day before the filing deadline (or the day of!) before completing and mailing our taxes.

If this describes you, Fool, you can beat that habit this year! Complete your taxes this week, or this weekend. Yes, have them finished -- drumroll please -- a few days early! (You can accomplish this goal by filing by April 15, since this year's filing deadline is April 17. Next year, we'll work on being a few weeks early.)

If you're a Drip investor and you have a young, modest portfolio like our real-money Motley Fool Drip Port, you probably won't need to do much more than report your dividends on your Form 1040. Only if you received more than $400 in interest and dividends do you need to fill out a Schedule A as well. Indeed, if you're like the Drip Port and you haven't sold any stocks in the past year either, then dividends truly are the only additional tax concern that you should have this year in relation to your Drip Port. And dividends shouldn't be much of a concern at all. They're quite straightforward, and the Fool is here to help should you have questions.

Vince Hanks (TMF Elwood) wrote an excellent article on tax instruction and guidance for Drip investors, which is linked below beside some other very useful and understandable tax resources offered by the Fool. Please use these at your leisure to help answer all your tax questions. (Only the Fool tax book costs anything, and it could easily save you more than its $12 cost by lowering your taxes.) Also, as a last resort, you may get help from the knowledgeable folks who hang out on the Fool's Tax Strategies message board.

Useful Fool Tax Resources:

  • Drip Port, 3/9/00: Drips and Taxes
  • Rule Breaker, 3/28/00: Have a Taxilicious Year
  • The Motley Fool Investment Tax Guide 2000
  • Fool.com In-depth Tax Area and Tax FAQ

    We'll keep tonight brief in hopes of persuading you to start your taxes (if you haven't yet) right now!

    To close, I want to remind you that we sent $124.46 to Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) last Saturday, as we announced last Friday. Finally, yesterday Brian Graney and I visited the new data center, or server farm, that Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) just opened (yesterday!) in Virginia. I'll have a report detailing our Foolish visit to Intel's Online Services division on Friday.

    Fool on!

    -Jeff Fischer, TMF Jeff on the boards.
  • Drip Portfolio

    4/5/2000 Closing Numbers
    Ticker Company Dly Pr Chg Price
    CPBCAMPBELL SOUP-1/4$31.31
    INTCINTEL CORP-2 7/8$129.88

      Day Week Month Year
    To Date
    Drip -1.68% 1.84% 1.84% 17.40% 52.52% 16.98%
    S&P 500 -.49% -.75% -.75% 1.23% 58.43% 18.65%
    S&P 500(DA) -.49% -.75% -.75% 1.23% 61.06% 19.37%
    S&P 500(DCA) n/a n/a n/a n/a 31.03% 10.56%
    NASDAQ .49% -8.83% -8.83% 2.46% 165.63% 43.76%

    Trade Date # Shares Ticker Cost/Share Price LT % Val Chg

    Trade Date # Shares Ticker Cost Value LT $ Val Ch
      Cash: $24.47  
      Total: $5,282.09  

    • S&P 500 (DA) = dividend adjusted. Dividends have been added to the total return of the index.

    Drip Port launched with $500 on July 28, 1997, adds $100 to invest every month, and the goal is to own $150,000 in stock by August of the year 2017. Due to the slow nature of dollar-cost-averaging and our relatively significant starting costs, we do not expect to seriously challenge the S&P 500 for the first three to five years as we build an investment base. The long-term advantages of dollar-cost-averaging still overcome the short-term disadvantages, however. Final note: our investment in Campbell Soup is frozen due to fees instituted in its investment plan. Click here for a history of all Drip Port transactions.