Almost a Buy
Plus, the value of just one share
by Jeff Fischer (JeffF@fool.com)


ALEXANDRIA, VA (Sept. 15, 1998) --Dale wrapped up an epic banking study yesterday, concluding that if he had to choose between Norwest (NYSE: NOB) and Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC), our combined first finalist, and Mellon Bank (NYSE: MEL), our second finalist, he'd choose Mellon. Yesterday's column goes to great lengths to explain why.

During my review of Dale's five finalists, I also narrowed the list to Norwest/Wells Fargo and Mellon. Still digesting Dale's last three columns on our two possibilities, tomorrow we'll announce the Drip Port's fourth buy.

After the banking buy is decided, we'll discuss the possibility of a food and beverage investment to replace our regular investment in Campbell Soup (NYSE: CPB), though we're not necessarily abandoning the soup guy. An argument can be made for simply changing our investment habit with the company (investing once or twice a year and keeping the fee to a minimum each time, below 2.5% of the total investment) as long as the business merits it. We will address the fees with Campbell, though. The fees (all of them, but especially for dividend reinvestments) are unquestionably too high to keep buying stock regularly and have dividends reinvested.

But for the next 20 years we're of course keeping our $420 investment in Campbell, and we'll likely roll its dividend into a different DRP that doesn't charge fees. If you question why we'd keep just eight shares, a fine article (that I keep meaning to point to!) on the issue was in The Washington Post one month ago. James Glassman typically writes excellent stock investing columns for the Post twice a week. This column involves the story of a single share of stock held for decades.

To close, if you want to try to win a gift certificate from Amazon.com, check out tonight's Fool Port column. Hope to see you tomorrow... Fool on!

--Jeff Fischer

FoolWatch -- It's what's going on at the Fool today.


9/15 Close

Stock Close Change CPB $50 13/16 - 7/8 INTC $85 15/16 + 1/8 JNJ $78 1/16 - 15/16
Day Month Year History Drip (0.67%) 11.83% 12.17% (4.48%) S&P 500 0.77% 8.37% 6.93% 9.07% Nasdaq 0.74% 11.93% 6.86% 5.29% Last Rec'd Total # Security In At Current 09/02/98 8.027 CPB $52.867 $50.813 07/01/98 9.724 INTC $80.239 $85.813 08/07/98 6.543 JNJ $70.138 $78.063 Last Rec'd Total # Security In At Value Change 09/02/98 8.027 CPB $424.36 $407.87 ($16.49) 07/01/98 9.724 INTC $780.21 $834.40 $54.19 08/07/98 6.543 JNJ $458.92 $510.76 $51.85 Base: $1900.00 Cash: $186.05** Total: $1939.09

The Drip Portfolio has been divided into 81.201 shares with an average purchase price of $23.399 per share.

The portfolio began with $500 on July 28, 1997, adds $100 on the 1st of every month, and the goal is to have $150,000 in stock by August of the year 2017.

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