Alexandria, VA (May 15, 1998) -- Dale continued stepping up his investigation of America's banking world this week, narrowing his focus to specific companies for possible investment. This past week Dale introduced four new candidates, one per day, and we shall now name them again.
On Monday Charles Schwab (NYSE: SCH) stepped into the ring. Schwab is a leading discount brokerage company. Will the Drip Port soon begin buying old Charlie for the next 19 years? We'll see. There's tough competition for our dollars. On Tuesday First Tennessee National Corp. (Nasdaq: FTEN) was introduced. Dale calls this company the "little beauty" and admits that he has a bias in favor of this filly (or "Tenny," I should say). Biases are good. We want to love what we own, and to respect what we own.
On Wednesday BankBoston (NYSE: BKB) was introduced and, amazingly, "clam chowdah" was never mentioned in the column, or even made fun of. We just did that now, though, so all is right in the world. On Wednesday Dale also offered The Fool's recent 13 page Industry Snapshot product for $5.40. It's a comprehensive issue on mid-size banks. Finally, on Thursday Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) joined the list, becoming our seventh possibility. This California stalwart is enjoying a booming decade, while Asian business promises growth for Wells Fargo over the next two decades as well (yes, Asia will eventually recover).
For all for these companies, as with the original three, Dale provided some 100 performance criteria. I find the best way to study these columns of numbers is to print them and compare each company side by side. If you need help understanding what you're seeing, the two glossaries linked at the top right of this page will aid you. Finally, if you need more help beyond that, the message boards are linked at the top right of this page as well.
For those who are interested in looking at this past week's data in spreadsheet form, click here (http://www.fool.com/dripport/1998/WeekReview95.xls) to access a downloadable spreadsheet (an Excel spreadsheet formatted for the 95 version so everyone can access it). The Wells Fargo column in the spreadsheet has the formulas for calculating the various performance measures.
And all of this is free! Are we crazy at the Fool? Nah.
Recent Buys. If you own Johnson & Johnson or Intel in a DRP account, as the Drip Port does, you recently received your purchase records for early May. I just updated the Drip Port transaction page to reflect our most recent purchases. We bought 0.3649 shares of Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) at $82.2152 (that's $30 worth) on May 1. We now own 9.3796 shares of Intel. We also bought $70 worth of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ). This was done on May 7 at $69.984 per share.
You know, I've noticed something with J&J almost every month: the stock purchases are not exact with the dollar amount. We just bought exactly one share of Johnson & Johnson with $70, but at $69.984. So where is the other $0.016 pennies? Sure, that's less than two cents. But where is it? That adds up if you have thousands of buyers. Of course, this goes both ways. Some months we've gotten a few extra fractions of a share. It's odd that this hasn't always been exact, and it makes our number tracking here at the Drip Port slightly more difficult, if only by pennies. Anyway, we now own 5.099 shares of Johnson & Johnson.
I'll share where we're sending our June investments next week. One Fool wrote to share that he's sending $70 to Campbell Soup (NYSE: CPB) and $30 to Johnson & Johnson in an effort to balance his portfolio, a portfolio that looks like the Drip Port does now. This sounds like a good idea and will be the likely step that I'll take, too. We can give Harris Trust and Intel a break for a month or two, perhaps, and bulk up some on the Soup and Health Kings. Again, a definite decision next week. I haven't thought much beyond the email yet.
Net Buyers. If you're going to be a net buyer of stock over the coming five, ten, or twenty years, then you should be hoping for lower stock prices. In the Drip Port, as long as we're buying all of our companies at reasonable prices to begin with, in the end -- all things being equal -- all of our investment dollars will work hard for us. But having invested only about $1,100 of an eventual $24,500 over the next 19 years, of course we're net buyers of stock, and so we should hope that prices remain reasonable or even decline for the remaining $23,400 that we plan to invest.
I sometimes find myself cheering when the market rises. Then I stop and think... hmmm. The ideal day is when all of my monthly DRP investments decline, while my other conventional investments (which I don't plan to add money to) rise. That doesn't happen frequently, of course, but when it does -- well, talk about a good stock market!
But who's looking. It's spring and I'm out the door. Oh, but I'll see you on the message boards when it rains outside!