Buy Announced
...the winking lion joins Drip Port
by Jeff Fischer (JeffF@fool.com)


ALEXANDRIA, VA (Sept. 16, 1998) --It's not often that the Drip Portfolio announces a buy, and it's going to become an even less frequent event in 1999 and the following years. As is the Drip Port's policy, we analyze all of our possible buys in a specific industry in "real-time" in the Drip columns, essentially reaching a decision over many months in the analysis that is published daily.

Regular readers have been with us since March, learning about the financial and banking industry and then studying leading companies for a potential investment. After months of steady and long-coming progress, we finally spent the past weeks focusing on finalists Norwest (NYSE: NOB), Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) and Mellon Bank (NYSE: MEL). In the end, Dale and I agree on Mellon Bank.

The Drip Port aims to invest in leading companies that match or exceed our investment criteria and present good value as well. Mellon qualifies in both regards. So after fifteen months in action, the portfolio will begin its fourth investment relationship with Mellon Bank Corp.

It's customary of the real-money portfolios in the Motley Fool to offer complete "buy reports" whenever they make an investment. These buy reports are conveniently given on one page, explaining the company in detail for the reader. The Drip Port has never done this. It's not our prerogative to make buying any specific stock easier for you. We don't want to take anything from, or give too much direction to, any Fool's decision process.

Instead, for each industry (the most recent being the food and beverage industry), we build collections of all the columns of study that led to the buy decision. The banking industry collection shows why Mellon is being purchased. That is our banking buy report. It holds all of our financial industry analysis and our Mellon discussion. It's not an easy or quick read -- and deciding to buy a certain company for years shouldn't be an easy or quick decision -- but it is educational.

In the past, many Fools have decided differently from the Drip Port following the studies we've done. Many choose Philip Morris rather than Campbell. Or Pfizer over Johnson & Johnson. And now perhaps many will buy something other than Mellon. We hope that everyone now understands the financial industry and companies in it enough to invest comfortably in whatever they choose. Or not invest in it at all.

We're proud to be adding Mellon Bank to the Drip. I thank Dale for his many months of hard work and Foolish generosity in this endeavor. Again, for the purchase decision articles, click here. For more information from Mellon itself, visit http://www.mellon.com (site of the winking Mellon lion).

We'll send our check to Moneypaper's "Temper of the Times" service next week. Temper will buy our share of Mellon in early October, and then enroll us in the company's free dividend reinvestment plan. You only need one share to start. Once you're a shareholder and enrolled in Mellon's DRP, you can make optional investments free of charge in a minimum amount of $100. (Moneypaper doesn't list Mellon as available for enrollment, but its literature merely needs to be updated. You can indeed enroll in Mellon's DRP through Moneypaper's service.)

Fool on!

--Jeff Fischer

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


9/16 Close

Stock Close Change CPB $51 7/16 +5/8 INTC $85 1/16 -7/8 JNJ $76 7/8 -1 3/16
Day Month Year History Drip (0.52%) 11.25% 11.58% (4.97%) S&P 500 0.76% 9.19% 7.73% 9.90% Nasdaq 0.70% 12.72% 7.61% 6.03% Last Rec'd Total # Security In At Current 09/02/98 8.027 CPB $52.867 $51.438 07/01/98 9.724 INTC $80.239 $85.063 08/07/98 6.543 JNJ $70.138 $76.875 Last Rec'd Total # Security In At Value Change 09/02/98 8.027 CPB $424.36 $412.89 ($11.47) 07/01/98 9.724 INTC $780.21 $827.11 $46.90 08/07/98 6.543 JNJ $458.92 $502.99 $44.08 Base: $1900.00 Cash: $186.05** Total: $1929.04

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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