Fool.com: Constructive Advice [Fribble] March 14, 2000

Fribble Constructive Advice

By JimPBuzzy
March 14, 2000

I was at the gym the other day, unfortunately still recuperating from a leg injury. I noticed that the gentleman next to me had a Swiss Army-type knife in his shaving kit. When I commented on it, he said that it came in very handy in his many travels. The part of the knife he used most often in his many hotel rooms was the corkscrew. He boasted that the only place he had not been was Antarctica.

I was amazed at the wonderful retirement this gentleman had been enjoying for the past nine years. Naturally I was curious as to what business had made him so wealthy. So, while dressing in the locker area, I asked him. He was among the "Wisest" I have ever met -- he'd managed a brokerage house in the area. As I nodded appreciatively, I wondered if his clients had retired as well off as he.

That same week, the doctor in my wife's office asked her how I was doing with my stock portfolio. Well, this doctor could buy and sell this construction worker (that is, me) any day or night. He has two portfolios. One he manages himself, the other he allows the Wise to manage. He lives, eats, sleeps, and breathes this stock trading thing, and says that he grossed around 27%. I can just imagine the fees and taxes he pays. What his percentage is after all that, one can only guess.

The managed office portfolio that he pays the Wise to run for him did a whopping 12% for 1999.

Oh, as for my little IRA portfolio: this simple construction worker (we are not considered to be very high on the food chain of the many 'Wise' out there) checked my portfolio at Fool.com after the doc asked and it's up 28.76%. Not bad for a guy who is doing something to control his own IRA, for a change.

Over the years, all the Wise people I've ever dealt with only lost me money. If I had that money back, I'd have more to boast about. But this is one guy the Wise have lost for good.

The Wise are always willing to take, but when it comes to giving and accountability, Fools know best.