Fool Portfolio Report
Monday, December 18, 1995

The Motley Fool Portfolio was trounced today. Very simple---we won't mince any words. By just about any measure, Foolishness got cut down and left for the buzzards.

But you know what? We're not terribly surprised, because it's been such a great year. Nothing rises indefinitely and forever, and Foolishness is no exception. Even though we had the displeasure of watching our stocks get taken out and repeatedly shot throughout the course of the day, we don't judge ourselves by a day, or week, or even a month. And so to watch our portfolio decline by more than 5 percentage points in a single trading session is a shame, but also part of the game. The market indices are still up 30% for the year, and we're still up 60%, and even if we have a few MORE days just like this one before 1995 slumps to a close, we'll still all remember this as a great year for investors!

As you can see at the bottom of this window, the Fool Portfolio made a bad market look even worse, Monday. With the Dow down more than 100, and our two competing indices off 2% and 3%, we managed to fumble away 5.55% of our overall portfolio IN ONE DAY. Thousands of dollars gone in a brief flash of hideous light. Unfortunate. Then again, we're right back to the same level we found ourselves in October, still up 78% overall. So what we've watched since hitting 100% a couple of weeks ago is two months of good work thrown away for nothing. We went from 78% to 100% back to 78%. And tomorrow or next week we could go to 50%. Who knows? That's part of investing.

There wasn't much news to report today. If you're interested in what happened to the overall market, you should definitely click into our Evening News, for a fine Foolish recap. (You can find our Evening News every night by 6 PM ET by clicking the Daily Fool button on our main screen, and clicking the Evening News button.) But to share with you a few things that came out on our stocks, Chevron jacked up the price of a barrel of oil over the weekend to $18.50 from $18.00. . . and that perhaps explains some of the market's recent interest in this stock. Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette also downgraded these shares to "UNDERPERFORM" along with Exxon and Mobil. Meantime, America Online announced an expanded agreement with the New York Times to do more stuff together in the future. . . nothing specific, though.

So as you can see, despite owning three stocks that dropped three points or more, and owning SIX stocks that dropped at least a point, it wasn't corporate news that did it. Our companies did not screw up today, the market did. If you follow the market closely, you know that a technology problem delayed the open of the New York Stock Exchange for an hour, today. . . but even that can't really be blamed for the drop.

In the end, I have no idea exactly WHY the market dropped---could have been worries that interest rates would rise, could have been year-end tax selling, could have been profit-taking in hot technology issues, could have been all of these. I don't spend a lot of time analyzing WHY the market did what it did on any given day, and I urge you not to trust those (we call them The Wise) who do.

Suffice to say on this somber evening that the market sometimes has bad days where it drops more than one percent. And the market sometimes has YEARS where it drops 10 or more percent. That's the way the stock market works. Those of us invested long in good stocks ain't going to worry about it, because we know in the end that the darn thing has returned 10.5% annually for decades, and we fully expect to beat that. And we don't think either of these will change, over the long run, any century soon.

So stay Foolish!

---David Gardner, December 18, 1995

Today's Moves

AMER -4 1/8
AMAT -3 1/8
CHV -1 5/8
GE + 3/8
GPS -2
KLAC - 3/4
S -1 3/8

Today's Numbers

Day Month Year History FOOL -5.55% -6.80% 60.55% 78.26% S&P 500 -1.55% 0.24% 32.12% 32.38% NASDAQ -2.71% -5.35% 33.33% 39.21% Rec'd # Security In At Now Change 8/5/94 680 AmOnline 7.27 33.63 362.33% 5/17/95 335 Iomega Corp 15.11 41.63 175.41% 4/20/95 155 The Gap 32.55 45.00 38.25% 8/5/94 165 Sears 28.93 38.88 34.40% 8/11/95 95 GenElec 57.91 72.75 25.62% 8/11/95 110 Chevron 49.00 50.50 3.06% 8/24/95 100 AppldMatl 57.52 38.75 -32.64% 8/24/95 130 KLA Instrm 44.71 27.75 -37.94% Rec'd # Security Cost Value Change 8/5/94 680 AmOnline 4945.56 22865.00 $17919.44 5/17/95 335 Iomega Corp 5063.13 13944.38 $8881.25 4/20/95 155 The Gap 5045.25 6975.00 $1929.75 8/5/94 165 Sears 4772.65 6414.38 $1641.73 8/11/95 95 GenElec 5501.87 6911.25 $1409.38 8/11/95 110 Chevron 5389.99 5555.00 $165.01 8/24/95 100 AppldMatl 5752.49 3875.00 -$1877.49 8/24/95130 KLA Instrm 5812.49 3607.50 -$2204.99 CASH $18981.96 TOTAL $89129.46