Fool Portfolio Report
Tuesday, February 20, 1996

by Tom Gardner (TomGardner)

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Feb. 16--It only took two upticks to hustle The Fool greyhound out ahead of its competitors today. The Fool fell fully 0.44%, the NASDAQ slipped 0.68%, the S&P dropped 1.13%.

In the salons of the Wise, this would be termed a losing day for Foolish investors. Heck, seven of our nine stocks LOST us money, and our portfolio fell nearly 1/2%. At that rate of decline, in 157 market days, the $104,610.35 in Da Fool Portfolio would simply vanish. How in the world could a Fool label today's portfolio report: "Yo, We Won Today"?

Well, even as The Wise would have us believe that the next market crash is just around the corner and that THIS crash may well be the grandpappy of them all, a Fool looks back at this century's market returns of 10.5% annually and is always satisfied by market-beating results. . . in good times and bad. So, sorry to jinx everyone but our feeling is: Bring on the market downturn! Fools are in for a penny and a pound, investing monies that we can afford to keep in the stock market for three years---ideally, for five, ten and twenty years. That's investing.

So today's loss, in that it beat the market, is a gain. . . even as 80% of our holdings lost ground. Let's run through some of them.

No news at all on Medicis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:MDRX), which we purchased at $27.86 per share at the end of January. The stock fell $1 1/8 today to $28 1/2. If you've been following our forum for months now, you well know that MDRX sits on the more speculative side of our portfolio. Tremendous growth, strong financials, and savvy marketing on one side. . . competition, questions about their product line, and general market volatility sit on the other side.

The key is to stick near to the quarterly earnings reports, which we will. But we must again emphasize here that truly Foolish investors always support their portfolios with large-cap stocks first (General Electric, Sears, The Gap) then add mid-cap growth stocks (America Online and Iomega) and only then work in some small-cap high-flyers (Medicis, Boston Technology, Sonic Solutions---timber!).

Taking the next step down The Foolish Investment Ladder, our mid-cap Iomega was strong today in the face of market declines. IOMG rose $1/4 to $14 1/2. Last night, Fools across the nation clicked into the Iomega folder to talk about the Company's new advertising campaign dedicated to their Ditto drives. I haven't seen the ads, but it tells me one thing I already thought true---concerns about Iomega's financial status were trumped up. Can't wait for the next round of earnings out of Roy.

On the bottom (entry) rung of our invesment ladder sits a company like Da Gap (NYSE:GPS), which rose $1/4 to $49 1/4. . . and which is now up 51.31% for us, during a period that the broadly-defined retailing group has fallen more than 15%. The Gap is strong financially, was trading at the high-end of its dividend-yield range, is a consumer company in the truest sense of the word, and has crunched the market.

So there you have today's movers and shakers in Fool Port-dom. Yeah, we neglected to mention the $1 drop in Sears today, or to comment on its over 10% drop in the last two weeks, but hey, we're human. We felt like kicking off the shortened work-week with a focus on the upside!

Fool on,

TODAY'S OTHER FOOLISH STUFF: Reviews of The Motley Fool Investment Guide are coming rolling in. Here are portions of two of those reviews.

Barron's, 2/19/96: "In the wiseass, contrarian spirit of the Fool, the brothers skewer Wall Street's so-called "wise men," the financial media and others who shape the dreary conventional wisdom. How successful are they? Well, after their two chapters on actively managed mutual funds, I was hard-pressed to say why I owned the darned things."

Worth 3/1/1996: "The Motley Fool Investment Guide, by Tom and David Gardner, is humorous and breezy, but it has an attitude problem: The Gardners sound like political-talk-show hosts on a mission. . . Their system resembles the newsletters they criticize for promoting rearview-mirror strategies, though, to their credit, they can document their market-beating returns (albeit over a short period)."

There you have it. Both are "worth" a read; we think one more than the other, but you, Fool, you make the call! :)

Today's Moves

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

Today's Numbers

Day Month Year History FOOL -0.44% 5.67% 12.05% 109.22% S&P 500 -1.13% 0.73% 4.01% 39.75% NASDAQ -0.68% 2.21% 2.96% 50.41% Rec'd # Security In At Now Change 8/5/94 680 AmOnline 7.27 51.75 611.55% 5/17/95 1005 Iomega Cor 5.04 14.50 187.82% 4/20/95 155 The Gap 32.55 49.25 51.31% 8/5/94 165 Sears 28.93 42.00 45.20% 8/11/95 95 GenElec 57.91 76.88 32.74% 8/11/95 110 Chevron 49.00 55.63 13.52% 1/29/96 250 Medicis Ph 27.86 28.50 2.30% 8/24/95 100 AppldMatl 57.52 39.50 -31.33% 8/24/95 130 KLA Instrm 44.71 28.00 -37.38% Rec'd # Security Cost Value Change 8/5/94 680 AmOnline 4945.56 35190.00 $30244.44 8/24/95 100 AppldMatl 5752.49 3950.00 -$1802.49 5/17/95 1005 Iomega Cor 5063.13 14572.50 $9509.37 4/20/95 155 The Gap 5045.25 7633.75 $2588.50 8/5/94 165 Sears 4772.65 6930.00 $2157.35 8/11/95 95 GenElec 5501.87 7303.22 $1801.35 8/11/95 110 Chevron 5389.99 6118.75 $728.76 1/29/96 250 Medicis Ph 6964.99 7125.00 $160.01 8/24/95 130 KLA Instrm 5812.49 3640.00 -$2172.49 CASH $12147.13 TOTAL $104610.35