Rule Breaker Portfolio Response to the Lamonts

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By Adrian Hawkins
April 12, 2001

Dear Lamonts,

In the business world, there are several different kinds of people. You, Ian, Hannah and Jacob, are entrepreneurs, or smart kids. Then there are the rest of us -- investors, or dumb kids, who have to invest in the smart ones. It's people like us that take our money and give it to people like you. You take that money and innovate, build, market, sell, and profit. In turn, you may reward us in the future -- in the form of dividends, capital appreciation, or maybe just social goodwill.

It sounds like you all have a very successful operation on your hands. If you can take your collective allowance of $9 a week and invest it in yourselves, the Lamont Corporation, you may earn a better return than putting it in someone else's company! You are living the true American dream. You've built up your business operations and now have a cash horde of $80! Do you realize your cash savings is probably more than most Americans, especially if you subtract the debt they owe to plastic cards in their wallet? Congratulations!

But back to your business, if you can take your $9 a week and use it to generate $15 by selling your action-figure-puppet-folk-nutcracking dolls, then that's a pretty nice return. In fact, I'd say it was about a 67% return. There are very few companies out there today that will beat your 67% return. The market as a whole will only give you about 11% a year! Although the companies you listed sound like they are pretty successful, do you think if you give them $9 they will give you back $15? If so, how much time do you think it will take them to give you $15? On the other hand, ya'll (I'm from Texas) probably have a pretty good idea how fast you can turn $9 into $15. Personally, I'd trust myself more than the management of Hannafords (though their produce department rocks!). Who do you all trust more?

Of course, there will be a time when you have so much money sitting in your treasure chest that you don't know what to do with it. That will be a great day. Then you're going to have to come back to this site, these investing experts, like I have to do, and join the rest of us. You're going to have to invest in some smart kids.

When you do make it to the Fortune 500, please send me some product from the Ommegang Brewery - this old man has an affliction.

Best wishes, Adrian Hawkins

Rule Breaker Portfolio

  Ticker Company Price
 Daily Price
 % Change
  AMZN AMAZON.COM, INC. (0.35) (1.06%) 32.60 
  AOL AOL TIME WARNER INC. (0.05) (0.37%) 13.47 
  TREE LENDINGTREE INC (0.17) (0.79%) 21.37 
  EBAY EBAY INC 0.15 0.15% 97.63 
  SBUX STARBUCKS CORP (0.04) (0.17%) 23.10 
  AMGN AMGEN INC 0.35 0.57% 61.85 
 SHORT  GTRC GUITAR CENTER INC (0.35) (1.53%) 22.54 
  SPY SPDR TRUST;1 (0.2) (0.21%) 94.51 
  Trade Date # Shares Ticker Cost/Share Price  Total % Ret  
 09/09/97 1320 AMZN 3.20 32.60  930.29%
 08/05/94 4020 AOL 0.46 13.47  2,964.60%
 06/03/02 916 TREE 13.72 21.37  55.88%
 02/26/99 1145 EBAY 46.54 97.63  109.81%
 09/27/01 2260 MLNM 14.69 14.39  -2.00%
 SHORT 01/24/02 2500 SIRI 6.90 1.35  80.43%
 07/02/98 940 SBUX 13.98 23.10  65.37%
 12/16/98 1160 AMGN 21.44 61.85  188.51%
 SHORT 08/21/02 1000 GTRC 16.49 22.54  -36.77%
 04/24/02 290 SPY 110.16 94.51  -14.16%
  Trade Date # Shares Ticker Total Cost Current Value  Total Gain  
 09/09/97 1320 AMZN 4,220.20 43,032.00  38,811.80 
 08/05/94 4020 AOL 1,860.42 54,149.40  52,288.98 
 06/03/02 916 TREE 12,565.44 19,574.92  7,009.48 
 02/26/99 1145 EBAY 53,294.44 111,786.35  58,491.91 
 09/27/01 2260 MLNM 33,207.00 32,521.40  -685.60 
 SHORT 01/24/02 2500 SIRI 17,258.26 3,375.00  13,866.74 
 07/02/98 940 SBUX 13,138.62 21,714.00  8,575.38 
 12/16/98 1160 AMGN 24,875.50 71,746.00  46,870.50 
 SHORT 08/21/02 1000 GTRC 16,488.00 22,540.00  -6,068.00 
 04/24/02 290 SPY 31,945.00 27,407.90  -4,537.10 

Copyright © 1998-2003 Inc.
Historical and current end-of-day data provided by FT Interactive Data.
Intraday data is at least 15-minutes delayed. All quotes are in local exchange time.
Intraday data provided by S&P Comstock and subject to terms of use.
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The Fool Portfolio was launched on August 5, 1994, with $50,000. It was renamed the Rule Breaker Portfolio in October 1998. The investing strategy began with the first investments of the Fool Port and has evolved with time and experience. In July 2001, the portfolio began adding $12,500 each quarter (We missed Jan. 2002, so we added $25,000 in April 2002). We skip a quarter if we have enough uninvested cash or cash available in stocks we would prefer to sell to make new investments. All transactions are shared and explained publicly before being made, and returns are compared in each week's column to the S&P 500 (including dividends where noted) and the Nasdaq composite. For a history of all transactions, please click here.