Wednesday, May 27, 1998
by Tom Gardner
Alexandria, VA (May 27, 1998) -- Every Wednesday in CK-land, we go to the message boards for questions and comments from Fools across the planet. Today, we'll turn to Canadian Jay Walker, who in response to last night's column writes:
Tom, I think you'll enjoy your hockey game tonight. And don't worry, there're even lots of Canadians, like me, who took up hockey after age 25, not even knowing how to skate. It's a great investment - in fun.
Well, the first hockey game of my career began and ended in hollering laughter. Within thirty seconds of my first shift, I plunged forward without any means to break my fall but my facemask. The rest of my game was filled with awkward trips and whirling stumbles, and all the finest qualities of a runaway train... without the force or velocity. More, then, like a runaway bicycle with plastic training wheels. The game headed that way when I did this, and this way as I wobbled that.
And our team, the Patriots -- the only beginners in a league of seasoned veterans -- fell to the Bruins 16-0 before two dozen fans (a handful from Fool Global HQ). The scorer's table pegged us with no more than 7 shots on goal (and probably less) all game. And afterward, one Fool proposed that had the Bruins been forced to sit everyone but their goalie, they probably still would've beaten us.
(Where have you gone, Walter Matthau?)
Ahh, yes, hockey -- the game developed by Micmac Indians and British soldiers in eastern Canada in the 1860s. In fact, the first game with rules was played between student teams at McGill University in Montreal in 1875 (that was my best Cliff Clavin for the evening). Today, a million and a half registered players thwack a slice of vulcanized rubber around an ice rink -- which means that right about now, I'm the 1,499,992nd best player in the world. Or somewhere in that vicinity.
But the game was great exercise, hysterical fun, and it did remind me of the powers of patience and humility.
Turning to investments -- those qualities fit the sort of investor I'd want to find in my investment club. One who enjoyed the mental exercise of screening for and researching businesses. One who labored out of enjoyment. And one who accepted that the public markets, residency of constant change, do consistently force modesty on every investor.
I'd like to spend time with the sort of investor that embraced all three -- mental energy, a taste for Folly, and humility. In fact, tonight, I'd like to turn over the Cash-King message folder to a search for other great qualities of private investors. I'll be shipping off a free Fool ballcap and signed copy of our Fool Investment Workbook to the best post in the folder. Click here to help build our model shareowner: Cash-King Message Folder.
And to close, yep -- yesterday at 10 p.m. in Mt. Vernon, Virginia, the Patriots smilingly limped home -- done in by better athletes, reminded that there is always room for improvement, always a reason to put in a greater effort, and always an opportunity to teach and help others. (Are there any websites that offer free skating lessons?)
Last night's performance will keep me attuned to the fact that just as I can't much skate today, many new Fools are only now learning what mutual funds are, what a share of stock represents, what a P/E ratio is and what it means, how to open a discount brokerage account, and how to share information with others about building a portfolio. It's a great challenge for us to include the rookies while serving those increasingly more sophisticated investors. It's the sort of challenge we love. And it's the sort of game that allows for all levels.
I'll be back tomorrow with a few words on Coca-Cola's business. And I promise nothing more about hockey. All business.
Stock Change Bid ---------------- AXP - 5/8 101.38 CHV + 5/8 79.75 KO + 3/4 78.25 GPS + 1/8 52.56 EK + 1/16 70.38 XON + 3/4 70.38 GM - 11/16 73.50 INTC - 3/8 74.31 MSFT +2 3/8 86.00 PFE +4 7/16 107.56 TROW - 1/8 34.00
Day Month Year History C-K +0.62% -2.50% 5.75% 5.75% S&P: -0.16% -1.76% 9.08% 9.08% NASDAQ: +0.17% -4.67% 7.76% 7.76% Cash-King Stocks Rec'd # Security In At Now Change 2/3/98 22 Pfizer 82.30 107.56 30.70% 2/27/98 27 Coca-Cola 69.11 78.25 13.23% 2/3/98 24 Microsoft 78.27 86.00 9.88% 5/1/98 37 Gap Inc. 51.09 52.56 2.88% 2/6/98 56 T. Rowe Pr 33.67 34.00 0.97% 5/26/98 18 American E 104.07 101.38 -2.59% 2/13/98 22 Intel 84.67 74.31 -12.24% Foolish Four Stocks Rec'd # Security In At Value Change 3/12/98 20 Eastman Ko 63.15 70.38 11.45% 3/12/98 20 Exxon 64.34 70.38 9.39% 3/12/98 17 General Mo 72.41 73.50 1.51% 3/12/98 15 Chevron 83.34 79.75 -4.31% Cash-King Stocks Rec'd # Security In At Value Change 2/3/98 22 Pfizer 1810.58 2366.38 $555.80 2/27/98 27 Coca-Cola 1865.89 2112.75 $246.86 2/3/98 24 Microsoft 1878.45 2064.00 $185.55 5/1/98 37 Gap Inc. 1890.33 1944.81 $54.48 2/6/98 56 T. Rowe Pr 1885.70 1904.00 $18.30 5/26/98 18 American E 1873.20 1824.75 -$48.45 2/13/98 22 Intel 1862.83 1634.88 -$227.96 Foolish Four Stocks Rec'd # Security In At Value Change 3/12/98 20 Eastman Ko 1262.95 1407.50 $144.55 3/12/98 20 Exxon 1286.70 1407.50 $120.80 3/12/98 17 General Mo 1230.89 1249.50 $18.61 3/12/98 15 Chevron 1250.14 1196.25 -$53.89 CASH $2037.63 TOTAL $21149.94 *The year for the S&P and Nasdaq will be as of 02/03/98