Tuesday, May 26, 1998
by Tom Gardner
Alexandria, VA (May 26, 1998) -- The Cash-King Portfolio fell with the broader market, down 1.30% today versus S&P 500 losses of 1.48%. Right before the market began its afternoon descent, I tossed a quarter in the air; it landed HEADS; and I put in our purchase of American Express.
The order was filled shortly thereafter. We now own 18 shares of American Express at a cost basis of $103.625 per share. Because today was extraordinarily busy, our Foolish Macro-Mechanical Mathematicians (FMMM) were unable to type the buy data into today's Cash-King numbers. Thus, tomorrow, American Express will make it into our numbers for the first time, again at that cost basis of $103 5/8 with commissions.
Sadly, American Express closed the day at $102, down $1 5/8 from our buy price. Boooooooo!
I want to keep this evening's report short because it's an absolutely beautiful evening here in Alexandria, Virginia (home to Fool Global Headquarters... come and visit us sometime) and probably beautiful where you are as well. I also want to cut things short because tonight marks the first game of my ice hockey career, at 8:45 p.m. Yep, tonight the beginner's summer hockey league begins for me -- as my team (the Patriots) takes on the foul-dog barbaric Visigoths.
Now, I've never skated on ice with pads and a stick, though I've been putting in an hour a day for the last three months. But, never hockey. In fact, I only played broom-hockey once, when I was 8-years-old. For years, I've sulked through the winter season, wishing I had played ice hockey growing up. Through high school, when everyone else on the basketball team grew taller, I didn't. Hockey was my sport. Hockey should have been my sport. Had I started younger, well, who knows what life up in the Summer A-League is like.
It's a bit like investing. I wish I'd been investing when I was twelve years old -- even a tiny bit of money. Just a share of Coca-Cola or General Electric. Or maybe two. I'd be hooting and hollering at my overall portfolio today if I'd been accumulating a fiver here, a ten-spot there, on occasion even an Andrew Jackson right through to today.
But I wasn't methodically saving a bit of money and learning about American business as a budding young Fool. So I had to play catch up through my late-teens and early twenties (bought a penny stock that made money, lost a small fortune on CML Group -- arf -- and didn't figure out Cash-King investing until a few years in.
But, we're always playing catch-up, in some way. We can't get started too soon on new adventures. And so tonight, falling into the boards, sliding into the goal, and inadvertently hitting myself in the face-mask with my stick, I'll be starting something new. I'll be making a new investment. I wish I'd started two decades back; I wouldn't be making all these mistakes on the ice today.
But I'm just thankful to get a chance to start now.
As I skate out past the blue line for the first time, wobbling like a baby calf, I'll be thinking of all the investors out there that have started into the markets, Foolishly, in the last three years. Because with investing and beginning hockey, there are going to be falls. Bumps, bruises, and a wounded ego. A few people will wonder why you're doing it. Most will smile and applaud.
I say: Live it up -- and expect that 15 years from now, you'll be much better off for the effort. (Let's hope I don't break anything.)
Tom Gardner, Fool
Stock Change Bid ---------------- CHV -1 13/16 79.13 KO -1 5/16 77.50 GPS - 1/2 52.44 EK - 1/4 70.31 XON - 15/16 69.63 GM -1 13/16 74.19 INTC + 7/16 74.69 MSFT -1 15/16 83.63 PFE -2 5/16 103.13 TROW - 15/16 34.13
Day Month Year History C-K -1.30% -3.10% 5.10% 5.10% S&P: -1.48% -1.60% 9.26% 9.26% NASDAQ: -1.49% -4.83% 7.57% 7.57% Cash-King Stocks Rec'd # Security In At Now Change 2/3/98 22 Pfizer 82.30 103.13 25.31% 2/27/98 27 Coca-Cola 69.11 77.50 12.14% 2/3/98 24 Microsoft 78.27 83.63 6.84% 5/1/98 37 Gap Inc. 51.09 52.44 2.64% 2/6/98 56 T. Rowe Pr 33.67 34.13 1.34% 2/13/98 22 Intel 84.67 74.69 -11.79% Foolish Four Stocks Rec'd # Security In At Value Change 3/12/98 20 Eastman Ko 63.15 70.31 11.35% 3/12/98 20 Exxon 64.34 69.63 8.22% 3/12/98 17 General Mo 72.41 74.19 2.46% 3/12/98 15 Chevron 83.34 79.13 -5.06% Cash-King Stocks Rec'd # Security In At Value Change 2/3/98 22 Pfizer 1810.58 2268.75 $458.17 2/27/98 27 Coca-Cola 1865.89 2092.50 $226.61 2/3/98 24 Microsoft 1878.45 2007.00 $128.55 5/1/98 37 Gap Inc. 1890.33 1940.19 $49.86 2/6/98 56 T. Rowe Pr 1885.70 1911.00 $25.30 2/13/98 22 Intel 1862.83 1643.13 -$219.71 Foolish Four Stocks Rec'd # Security In At Value Change 3/12/98 20 Eastman Ko 1262.95 1406.25 $143.30 3/12/98 20 Exxon 1286.70 1392.50 $105.80 3/12/98 17 General Mo 1230.89 1261.19 $30.30 3/12/98 15 Chevron 1250.14 1186.88 -$63.27 CASH $3910.83 TOTAL $21020.21 *The year for the S&P and Nasdaq will be as of 02/03/98