The Week in Review -- August 13, 1999

The Markets

  8/6 Close 8/13 Close Change %Change
DJIA 10,714.03 10,973.65 +259.62 +2.42
S&P 500 1,300.33 1,327.68 +27.35 +2.10
Nasdaq 2,548.19 2,637.81 +89.62 +3.52

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by Jerry Thomas (TMF Cheeze)

Greetings, Fools.

Last week in these Notes I confessed that I do not know my readers very well. This week, you told me all about yourselves -- boy, did I get email. It seemed that all of my readers wanted to tell me a bit about themselves at once. I love it. What I discovered, or confirmed, was pretty much what all of us know already: a Fool can be anyone, anywhere, of any age, with any income, from any background. Yet, in spite of that diversity, we all share an interest in getting our financial lives in order.

I'm not talking about an unhealthy preoccupation with money. I'm talking about behaving responsibly with money. Greed can lead a person take unFoolish risks, but a healthy respect for money can reward you in ways that are almost breathtaking. You want to win the lottery? Do it the smart way: by not playing it. Ann Coleman (TMFAnnC) wrote a splendid piece a week ago that illustrates the power you have in the dollars you used to spend on lottery tickets. That's in her August 6th Foolish Four Report.

So click the link, Fool, 'cause I can't click it for you.

Last week you told me a bit about yourselves, and now, thanks to an Amazing Fool Innovation, we can return the favor. This is really cool, so stick with me here. Suppose you're reading Tom Gardner's Thursday's Rule Maker report about The Gap, Inc. (NYSE: GPS). You notice the byline is hyperlinked, so you click on the spot where it says, "By Tom Gardner." Boing! Up pops a little window with Tom's picture and a short bio. Even better, you'll find a "best of" list of articles Tom has written over the years, from his classic Rule Maker Portfolio reports to his pointed critiques of the ways of the Wise. Click this link next time you see it, because it's fun, and because it's a handy tool to have. Soon all of our Fool writers will have these little pages devoted to them, and the finest features they've produced for the Fool will be at your fingertips.

I hope by now you've taken a few minutes to look over our new News World page. My weekly Notes are designed to help you find some highlights in Fooldom, but News World is no slouch in that department, either. With News World you get a panoramic view of the features we're producing, and the page is updated frequently throughout the business day. For example, if you had been following this page in the past week, you would have discovered the two--part report from Louis Corrigan (TMFSeymor) on the possibility that the Nasdaq and NYSE stock exchanges might become publicly traded companies. Or you might have noticed the interviewDave Marino-Nachison (TMFBraden) did with iTurf's CEO, Steve Kahn. Those are just two items on the page; you'll find lots more to draw your attention when you get there, and only you can be the judge of what interests you most.

All of this is good stuff, and timely information. But if you were to ask me (and, frankly, nobody did), the most important event of the past week in Fooldom happened on Monday in the Rule Maker Portfolio report. Matt Richey (TMFVerve) had earlier written a commentary challenging Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) to be more equitable in its disclosure of information to shareholders. Matt's effort brought a lengthy response from Larry Mark, Coke's Director of Investor Relations, which is printed in Matt's report. In fact, thanks to this exchange, Mr. Mark will be a guest this weekend on The Motley Fool Radio Show. That's about as Foolish as it gets: bringing the people who run America's best companies just that much closer to shareholders. Check our listings for the station nearest you.

My thanks to all who wrote to me this past week. It was quite exciting to see so many Fools willing to share their investing experiences with me.

Until next week,
Fool on!

Cheeze

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