Fixing Most Appearances
by David Forrest (Workshop@fool.com)
Alexandria, VA (June, 24, 1999) -- Have you ever made an amazingly boneheaded play and then later scratched your head and said "How could I have made such a stupid mistake?" This pretty much describes my Most Appearances update last week. I made at least three mistakes in last week's update, all of which are detailed below:
1. First, I told you that the Most Appearances screen called for us to sell Gap (NYSE: GPS) and Lexmark (NYSE: LXK). WRONG. Actually, we should have only sold Gap. Lexmark Int'l. is a stock we bought last August and one we won't sell until this August, along with Recoton (Nasdaq: RCOT) and Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS). So, for proper tracking purposes, only Gap would have been sold this month. This leads me to mistake two, an old one.
2. In my original Most Appearances research, I concluded that we should have bought both Gap and Lowe's Cos. (NYSE: LOW) last June. Because of my mistakes last week, I went through all of my research again and noted that in June of last year, Gap appeared 5 times and Lowes only appeared 4 times. Thus, Gap would have been bought exclusively. Lowe's made it into the Most Appearances portfolio, but not until July. So this July we'll be selling Lowe's.
3. I also told you that we bought shares of Schwab (NYSE: SCH) for the month of June. I must have been smokin' something, because we bought Schwab in May. I'm not sure where my head was last week, but it clearly wasn't here. Instead of Schwabby, the purchases for this month would have been split up amongst Tellabs (Nasdaq: TLAB), Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM), and VISX (Nasdaq: VISX).
To those who wrote me to point out the two major discrepancies, I very much appreciate it. I make no excuses for the spacejob I did on the column last week, but if nothing else, this further solidifies the notion that you should always check the work of others and rely on yourself to make investment decisions. My mistakes certainly don't call the validity of Most Appearances into question, but I'm hoping that people are double-checking on their own before doing anything with their investment portfolios. That applies not only in the Workshop, but in all of our writings as well as those of the rest of the financial media.