ALEXANDRIA, VA (Feb. 2, 1998) -- After over three months of studying food companies, forgive me if I take it easy for a while.
It's nice not to be looking for a buy from time to time, but instead to focus on what you already own. One of the mistakes too often made by investors is that of always being eager to buy more and more -- often in the place of taking time to really get to know the companies that they already own. Traders probably have the worst case of "hyper-intensive short attention span investing" (I just made that phrase up)(obviously) which results in high turn-over, as well as high commissions and tax rates. This same disease infects some long-term investors in a different way, the result being the act of buying too many stocks, and then continuing to buy more stocks. Before you know it, you might own shares in over twenty companies and you don't know very much about any of them. We'll probably never own more than eight stocks in this portfolio, and we're not exactly searching for anything to buy right now...
Instead, for the next few weeks we'll look in-depth at the latest earnings reports of Intel (Nasdaq: INTC), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), and our new buy, Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE: CPB). (We'll begin buying Campbell Soup in the next month or two). We're also going to cover some investing fundamentals and thoughts on finding value and quality, as well as offer a few columns that answer frequently asked questions (401Ks and DRPs, IRAs and DRPs, DRPs for minors, etc), while aiming to build up a small collection of articles that can stand as useful, more timeless reference materials.
Speaking of just that, before Randy headed off for his new job he wrote five excellent articles on investing that ran in the last five issues of the Evening News. I suggest the reading of Randy's Evening News "Security Analysis" columns from 1/23/98 to 1/30/98. Randy's investing knowledge has progressed a great deal since his first news article in March of 1995, and as much as anything I believe that it now stands as an example of how, if you're interested, you can Foolishly teach yourself what you need to know about stocks and keep your financial future where it should be best served: in your own hands. And you don't need to enroll in a MBA program to do so. In fact, that might even be detrimental to learning good investment practices.
Since we didn't have touchstone Friday last week, it'll do now to remind that $100 was added to the portfolio on February 1, and that we bought $50 worth of Intel today (the first trading day of the month). We'll also be buying $50 worth of Johnson & Johnson on February 7, that being the company's investment date this month. (JNJ rose sharply today on news of a large possible merger in the drug industry. See this evening's Fool News.) And again, finally, we'll send money for the first share of Campbell Soup in a matter of weeks.
Until tomorrow, I'll be frequenting the Drip Investment (companies) message board, where Fools are talking about the recent buy announcement, other possible companies, and much more.