Two things that I have long felt to be true came to roost a few weeks ago. A Fool named off2Japan posted a message on the Drip Investing Companies discussion board, listing the companies that he owned in his Drip portfolio and requesting others to post their choices. I decided to tally the results from the responses, partly because my series of Drip columns is examining the Drip company selection process. Over a two-week period, this became more of a challenge than I expected.

The two things to which I referred above are: 1) The tasks that are most difficult and time-consuming can also be the most fruitful, and 2) never ask a question when you cannot handle the answer.

Expecting to see 30-40 responses, I began to tally the results as they poured in. I did not help myself by offering to accept choices through personal e-mail from those who did not feel comfortable making their selections known to the world. I looked on with amazement, as more than 200 people responded with more than 250 companies.

Many companies that Fools own were completely unknown to me. Others were familiar companies I had never stopped to consider. And others I could not imagine considering. Of course, this variety is what makes the world go around.

After a while, the work started to get to me. I laughed when someone mentioned AFLAC (NYSE: AFL) since its commercials (with the talking duck) are among my favorites. I smiled when some folks revealed they owned Mylan Labs (NYSE: MYL), which has a branch in my old hometown of Morgantown, West Virginia. I looked at a ticker symbol like WAG and wondered if the people were just guessing. With all of these symbols, I thought of one of my favorite trivia questions: How did Steinway Musical Instruments (NYSE: LVB) get its ticker symbol? (The answer is at the end of the column.)

Certainly, it was time to stop looking at the information and start compiling the tallies. I counted the selections of everyone who stated that they either owned or had already decided to soon own their mentioned companies. If they were merely considering a company, but not yet certain, it did not get added to the total.

Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) was the most commonly selected company, with a total of 118 people. I believe this made up more than half of the responses.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) came in a distant second with 78, followed by Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) with 60, and Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) at 56. Here's the entire top 10:

Top 10 Holdings by Fool Respondents

Votes Company
118 Intel
78 Johnson & Johnson
60 Pfizer
56 Coca-Cola
36 General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE)
30 Enron Corp (NYSE: ENE)
29 Exxon-Mobil (NYSE: XOM)
27 Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD)
25 PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE: PEP)
23 Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK)

All other companies received 20 or fewer responses.

Of course, there was no way I could provide all the results on this page, so I have created a rather large Web page (larger than 200K) that breaks down all of the responses. It is available at this URL:

I would like to thank the many people who contributed to the "I'll show you mine... if you show me yours!" stock ownership thread. It just goes to show how fruitful participation on the discussion boards can be.

Oh yeah, Steinway Musical Instruments' ticker symbol is LVB because those are the initials of Ludwig van Beethoven.

To discuss the results of the survey, visit us where it all started -- on the Drip Companies discussion board.

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