Boring Portfolio

Boring Portfolio Report
Wednesday, March 27, 1996

by Greg Markus (MF Boring)

ANN ARBOR, MI, March 27, 1996 -- For the second straight day, the Boring Portfolio easily outperformed the major market averages. This puts the port up just over 3 percent for the month -- more than double the S&P 500's gain, while the NASDAQ has been a net loser so far in March.

Even better, the Borefolio is now showing a profit. It ain't all that much--just under $500 (plus interest and dividends, which have yet to get folded in)--but it's a start. Let me tell you: it's bad enough losing money when it's your own; it's even worse when it's someone else's moolah you're managing.

Our big winner today was Prime Medical Services, which leaped $1 5/8 to a reach new high of $13 1/4, bid. What big news caused all this, you ask? Wish I knew. As of press time, not a peep. All I can report is that 557,000 shares of PMSI electrons crossed the NASDAQ wires, which is more than a typical week's worth of volume for the stock. As soon as I learn anything, I'll post it in the PMSI folder. And if you hear something before I do, please do likewise.

As for the other Borefolio stocks, Borders Group booked another $7/8 today to reach a new high, Green Tree sprouted $1/4, and Texas Industries tacked on $1/8. Losers were Lam Research and LCS Industries, both of which gave back part of yesterday's gains.

I close by noting the passing late yesterday of David Packard, at age 83. Mr. Packard and William Hewlett were, of course, co-founders in 1938 not only of the company that bears their names but of the entire technological complex known as "Silicon Valley."

Although Hewlett-Packard stock is not among the Borefolio holdings (yet), the company has long been one of my personal favorites, not least because of the unique corporate culture -- the "HP Way" -- that Mr. Packard created and exemplified. The essence of the HP Way was "to maintain an organizational environment that fosters individual motivation, initiative and creativity, and a wide latitude of freedom in working toward established goals and objectives."

Mr. Packard--or "Dave," as he was known throughout his company--was a leader not only in business but in public life, as well. He served his country as a senior official in the Nixon and Reagan administrations and pressed those of us in higher education to strive to do better. He did all of this with an utter lack of pretense.

We hear a lot about the shortage of role models in America today. One could do a lot worse than consider David Packard.

BGP +   7/8 ...GNT +   1/4 ...LRCX -   1/2
...LCSI -   5/8 ...PMSI +1  5/8 ...TXI +   1/8 ...

                   Day   Month    Year  History
        BORING   +1.43%   3.02%   0.96%   0.96%
        S&P 500  -0.62%   1.32%   4.39%   4.39%
        NASDAQ   +0.51%  -0.56%   5.08%   5.08%

    Rec'd  #   Security     In At       Now    Change

   3/8/96 400 Prime Medic    10.07     13.25    31.58%
  2/28/96 200 Borders Gro    22.51     28.88    28.28%
  1/29/96 100 Texas Indus    54.52     63.63    16.69%
   2/2/96 200 Green Tree     30.39     35.00    15.18%
  3/25/96 200 LCS Industr    26.14     26.75     2.33%
  2/23/96 100 Lam Researc    48.02     35.75   -25.55%

    Rec'd  #   Security      Cost     Value    Change
  2/28/96 200 Borders Gro  4502.49   5775.00  $1272.51
   2/2/96 200 Green Tree   6077.49   7000.00   $922.51
  3/25/96 200 LCS Industr  5227.49   5350.00   $122.51
  2/23/96 100 Lam Researc  4802.49   3575.00 -$1227.49
   3/8/96 400 Prime Medic  4027.49   5300.00  $1272.51
  1/29/96 100 Texas Indus  5449.99   6362.50   $912.51

                             CASH  $17117.60
                            TOTAL  $50480.10