Boring Portfolio

Here's to Good Friends
...a Fool says farewell

by Mark Weaver

SPRINGFIELD, IL (Sept. 24, 1998) -- Today the market declined yet again. The S&P 500 was down 2.19%, the Nasdaq lost 2.27% and the Borefolio dipped 0.89% as small companies fared better than large.

Today I wanted to take a break from the ins-and-outs and ups-and-downs of our stable of stocks and say a few good-byes. This will be my last Borefolio report and my last official column as a member of the Fool writing corps. Regular readers are already aware that Greg and I are stepping aside at the end of the month.

It doesn't seem that long ago that, in October of 1994, the Motley Fool icon appeared on my "main page" inviting me in for investment chat. It was one of the infamous "promo nights" of the early days of the service. When I stepped inside the chat room I found a truly novel situation, investors trading ideas and sharing ideas about investing in general and stocks in particular. That evening began an experience that I count as one of the highlights of these past four years.

I have served in a diverse set of roles here in Fooldom, first as a late night chat host where I got to know several Fools from the West coast that I still count as friends. Then to board sweeper where I had the fortune of participating, at least passively, in one of the more interesting investing stories of the past few years, the Iomega board. In this stint I was fortunate to learn from many savvy investors who followed numerous stocks.

After that, I spent more than a year coordinating the Healthcare Industry area (as MF Uptrend) and had the good fortune of interacting with the other Fools in the Industry arena. Again the interactivity and the education were invaluable. That experience taught me stock valuation and analysis I could not have learned in any other "laboratory".

In the fall of 1996, I was a charter member of the Daily Double and Daily Trouble writing staff. That gave me the opportunity to look at some intriguing investing booms and busts. Any investor with a hankering to learn about the things that make stocks tick would do well to read those columns. That was simply a tremendous experience.

In 1997 I was blessed with the chance to work with Greg Markus, freeing him for one day a week from writing this column. Perhaps it is my scientific background or just my basic nature, but watching an intellectually honest investor work day in and day out has been an inspiration to me. If I could count the number of stock ideas Greg and I have tossed back and forth over the past months and turn them into dollars I would have a pretty nice paycheck. Greg has tolerated my bad ideas and has refined my good ones. We have learned some valuation tools side by side. I have counted my experience here as the zenith of my Fool career.

Before I get into the process of thanking my colleagues, I want to take time to thank the readers of this and the many other Foolish forums in which I have participated. The readers of these columns have provided me with stimulating criticism (I learned never to mess with Pfizer!!), and ego building compliments. They have also taught me much more than I have ever been able to bring to them. For this I am very, very grateful.

I want to give special thanks to Tom and David Gardner who took a fool and made him a Fool. It has been a blast. Thanks to Randy Befumo for well placed criticisms and comradeship. Thanks to Jeff Fischer and Brian Bauer whose editing has made my stuff readable for the rest of you. Thanks to Robert Sheard for many hours tossing around ideas and putting them to the test of history. Thanks also to the rest of the folks at Fool HQ who have assisted me from time to time through the years.

Finally, thanks a million to Greg Markus for including me in his adventure. I have been honored to be a part of it. Greg's wisdom is now a part of my investment psyche. His friendship has been a joy.

See all you Fools on the message boards! The fat lady is singing.

FoolWatch -- It's what's going on at the Fool today.

09/24/98 Close

Stock  Change    Bid 
 ANDW  -  5/16  13.19 
 CGO   +  1/16  27.81 
 BGP   -  1/4   26.50 
 CSL   -  1/4   37.56 
 CSCO  -1 5/16  64.94 
 FCH   -  5/8   24.88 
 PNR   +1 1/4   30.88 
 TBY     ---    6.06 
                   Day   Month    Year  History 
         BORING   -0.89%  14.07% -11.36%  11.54% 
         S&P:     -2.19%   8.90%   7.45%  67.74% 
         NASDAQ:  -2.27%  14.75%   9.55%  65.26% 
     Rec'd   #  Security     In At       Now    Change 
   6/26/96  225 Cisco Syst    23.96     64.94   171.08% 
   2/28/96  400 Borders Gr    11.26     26.50   135.43% 
   8/13/96  200 Carlisle C    26.32     37.56    42.69% 
    3/5/97  150 Atlas Air     23.06     27.81    20.62% 
   4/14/98  100 Pentair       43.74     30.88   -29.42% 
   11/6/97  200 FelCor Sui    37.59     24.88   -33.83% 
   5/20/98  400 TCBY Enter    10.05      6.06   -39.65% 
   1/21/98  200 Andrew Cor    26.09     13.19   -49.45% 
     Rec'd   #  Security     In At     Value    Change 
   6/26/96  225 Cisco Syst  5389.99  14610.94  $9220.95 
   2/28/96  400 Borders Gr  4502.49  10600.00  $6097.51 
   8/13/96  200 Carlisle C  5264.99   7512.50  $2247.51 
    3/5/97  150 Atlas Air   3458.74   4171.88   $713.14 
   4/14/98  100 Pentair     4374.25   3087.50 -$1286.75 
   5/20/98  400 TCBY Enter  4018.00   2425.00 -$1593.00 
   11/6/97  200 FelCor Sui  7518.00   4975.00 -$2543.00 
   1/21/98  200 Andrew Cor  5218.00   2637.50 -$2580.50 
                              CASH   $5750.59 
                             TOTAL  $55770.90