Boring Portfolio

Boring Portfolio Report
Monday, April 1, 1996

by MF Rails (Roy Blanchard)

PHILADELPHIA, PA, April 1, 1996 -- It was just a year ago today that Greg Markus, writing under the Fool-onym MF Boring, started the Boring Folder -- genesis of the Borefolio -- inside The Motley Fool. So it's with a great sense of honor that I accepted the invitation to pinch hit for Greg on this Fool of Fools' Day.

Before we get into the day's events, it would be appropriate to remark that I've followed Greg's approach to equity investing with more than a little interest. Railroads, which comprise the focus of my own area, can be more than a little boring themselves, and in a world of hi-tech this and hi-med that, it's not a little comforting to find somebody else applying The Fools Rules to less than go-go companies.

Homework, of course, is key. You can't beat the averages consistently by putting the business of managing your nest egg on autopilot (sorry, Wings) and collecting coupons. No, you've got to decide who you are and why you invest and move accordingly. And what the Borefolio does, in a not so tongue-in-cheek way, is to show how to target less- than-exciting companies for more than exciting results. For a complete work-up of how MF Boring does what he does, read Greg's "Preface."(>> Welcome>>The Approach).

Today's Borefolio is comprised of companies from heavy industry (Texas Industries), retail (Borders Group), finance (Green Tree), medicine (Prime Medical), direct response marketing (LCS Industries), and high tech (Lam Research). Other boring companies where Greg's taken positions include Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan (fertilizer), American Homestar (manufactured homes), and Cabot (carbon black). Not many have been home runs, but they've all gotten our Boring Friend around the bases with singles, doubles, walks, and even a sacrifice or two. And that's how it should be in any truly Foolish investor's portfolio.

How'd we do today? There was no real news on any of Greg's Boring Six, and it was an all up day all day until about 3:30 when BGP lost the +1/8 edge it had on the day to close down 1/4. The winner's circle was shared two issues up by six bits (that's seventy-five cents to you young 'uns). LCS Industries had led the pack , up as much as 1 1/4 until just before the Bell when then second-place money gainer Texas Industries closed the gap. PMSI picked up a quarter toward the close, finishing up 1/2; LRCX and GNT rounded out the proceedings, both up a quarter.

It was particularly gratifying to see LCSI bounce back. It had been the Borefolio's second-worst performer, just ahead of LRCX. Greg warned us, though, in his buy report: "Please bear in mind that even though LCS is in a boring business, the stock has been anything but sleepy. This one merits some monitoring; but the potential for very good gains more than justifies the risk, in my opinion."

And that's what makes The Motley Fool work. Accountability. Fool on.

BGP -   1/4 ...GNT +   1/4 ...LRCX +   1/4 ...
LCSI +   3/4 ...PMSI +   1/2 ...TXI +   3/4 ...

                   Day   Month    Year  History
        BORING   +0.91%   0.91%  -0.64%  -0.64%
        S&P 500  +1.27%   1.27%   5.17%   5.17%
        NASDAQ   +0.47%   0.47%   6.30%   6.30%

    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     28.25    25.50%
  1/29/96 100 Texas Indus    54.52     64.38    18.07%
   2/2/96 200 Green Tree     30.39     34.63    13.95%
  3/25/96 200 LCS Industr    26.14     23.75    -9.14%
  2/23/96 100 Lam Researc    48.02     35.00   -27.11%

    Rec'd  #   Security      Cost     Value    Change
  2/28/96 200 Borders Gro  4502.49   5650.00  $1147.51
   2/2/96 200 Green Tree   6077.49   6925.00   $847.51
  3/25/96 200 LCS Industr  5227.49   4750.00  -$477.49
  2/23/96 100 Lam Researc  4802.49   3500.00 -$1302.49

   3/8/96 400 Prime Medic  4027.49   5300.00  $1272.51
  1/29/96 100 Texas Indus  5449.99   6437.50   $987.51

                             CASH  $17117.60
                            TOTAL  $49680.10