ALEXANDRIA, VA (Mar. 20, 1998) -- This past week Dale Wettlaufer began to study the Drip Port's fourth industry of interest by starting to explain banks and financial services companies.
Monday Dale provided background information and general thoughts on the industry. He also shared the additional companies that he'll be looking at beyond his initial list, as well as some companies that he won't consider, and why. This day began the long journey!
Dale started to outline his approach for the next two months on Tuesday, beginning with the intriguing and many-sided question of, "What is a bank?" And what are its several functions? And why might this industry be a great one in which to invest for twenty years or longer?
Dale also outlined some of the baking financials that he'll be assessing (some specifics), and he ended the column with a review of return on equity (ROE), a concept that all investors can grasp fairly easily if they give it a look. And it's great background information before Dale starts looking at individual companies, so please give it a read if you haven't already.
Wednesday Dale continued with his outline, reviewing capital efficiency and risk measures, as well as bank mergers and acquisitions (the prices paid and the value received in banking mergers). Dale also touched on the future of banking. This column, as with all of them this week, was important background information for the next few months.
On Thursday the column started discussing the origins and functions of money, as well as the origins of banks. It's an interesting column that speaks best for itself.
There was a lot to follow this week, especially for Fools who are new to the financial services industry, so give the columns a careful read if you haven't already, or print them for later reference.
Drip Port Update. This past week we sent $30 to invest in Intel on the next investment date, April 1, and we're sending $70 to invest in more Johnson & Johnson next month as well. We also sent (finally!) money to buy Campbell Soup (NYSE: CPB) and enroll in its DRP program.
Here are the Campbell details:
On Tuesday we mailed a check for $81 to The Moneypaper for Campbell enrollment. The stock's recent high was $60, so we sent that plus $15 for the whole shebang (the commission to buy the stock and to be enrolled in the company's DRP); plus we sent the obligatory 10% refundable cushion in case the stock rises, which means that we sent an additional $6. Add it up -- whiz, bang, click -- and it comes to $81. Campbell stock has risen to $62, but we'll be getting a few dollars back from The Moneypaper unless Campbell rises to $66 or higher.
By the way, Campbell and Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) have both been hitting new highs and our contest between the two stocks is certainly close (I haven't looked at the exact numbers yet) -- although it's far too early to care. Anyway, Coca-Cola's 1997 annual report is now available to investors and would-be investors. Give the company a call if you're interested. It's another impressive report from Coca-Cola -- no surprise -- and fun to read.
Moneypaper should be buying our initial Campbell share in early April.
Have a Foolish weekend!