Monday, February 08, 1999

More On Blind Hogs and Fools


Robert Oberdorf's comment in an old Fribble that even a blind hog will find an acorn reminded me about my own lack of investment knowledge prior to discovering The Motley Fool.

It's been more than thirty-five years since I've had to rely on a few games of eight ball to raise enough money to go out on a date, and even longer since I consistently raided the penny jar to tide me over till payday. (Uncle Sam only paid his sailors $50 a month back then.) But dadgum it, I just didn't seem to be making much progress by investing in new cars and recreation vehicles every few years (what with depreciation and all). Also, my real estate investment strategy of trading up every couple of years or whenever I got tired of my furniture (whichever came first), enriched the realtors more than me.

In July 1996, a co-worker introduced me to The Motley Fool homepage on the World Wide Web. I took to the Fool like a sticker burr to bare feet. By the end of the year, I was engaged in some really "deep" reading (other than Trailer Life). I visited the Fool's School on many occasions, read The Motley Fool Investment Guide and Beating the Dow, and began a serious review of my financial goals and investment strategy.

Well Fools, after all this school'n, I decided to get my feet wet. I transferred my traditional IRA account from my credit union to a discount broker and executed my first trade. Shortly after this quantum leap of faith, the Hong Kong market collapsed and the DOW dove 180 points. Whoa! Not to worry... I opened a taxable account with a different broker and started my own personal "dozens" program. Each month I added a new stock and each month the dang thing dropped like a rock the day after I purchased it (talk about poor timing)!

Fools, if I felt any better about these decisions, I'd have to take something for it. Then the IRA, which grew at an annual rate of 3.5% over a 12 year period, increased 35% in the first thirteen months after I decided to take control of my own money. But that's not all. The value of my taxable account increased 57% in just eight months! Beam the boom box up to me Scottie... I want to play that Pointer Sisters song one more time! I'm soooo excited!

Fool on pardnuhs!

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