Fool Portfolio Report
Friday, March 29, 1996

by David Gardner (MotleyFool)

ALEXANDRIA, VA, March 29, 1996 -- Well, Friday was the final trading day of March, finding the Fool Portfolio splitting the difference on the market indices today. Our unWise portfolio tossed up a .25% return, failing to rival the NASDAQ (up .60%) but well outshooting the S&P 500 (off .53%).

We're extremely unhappy that March had to end. The month started poorly, as you may remember, with the Fool Portfolio down 6.84% by the 8th. Our historic return at market close that week was EXACTLY 100.00%, and we were staring at the frightening prospect of dropping below triple digits. Ah, but then a new week brought the dawning of a glorious day: March 11, 1996. The Fool spazzed out. Up 5.38%. And as if that hadn't already made us rotten spoiled kids, a week later to the day---awestruck---we watched the portfolio post its single greatest day ever. Up 6.71%. And so March comes to an anticlimactic close with a strong double-digit gain (11.06%), vs. gains of less than one percent for our competing indices.

Looking things over, what took us there---ONCE AGAIN---was our two great stocks, America Online and Iomega. Both rose seven points, now becoming a seven-bagger and a five-bagger, respectively. Not much else in our portfolio did anything, like the rest of the market. But what we've learned and demonstrated for a couple of years now is that if you buy winners and hold them through thick and thin---so long as nothing has fundamentally changed about the companies or their industries---you'll do very well. And we have no plans to part with ANY of our AMER or IOMG shares anytime soon.

Of course, it is amusing to note that both these stocks have had some of the highest short interest on the NASDAQ in recent memory. For newcomers, "short interest" is the number of shares that have been "shorted," i.e. played by bearish investors to drop. In other words, these stocks have consistently been among the most hated on Wall Street. You gotta love that.

We continue to learn much about the psychology of the Wise, do we not?

So please notice, dear reader, how little short interest indicates about good stocks. New investors might think, "Hey, wait. . . everyone seems to hate these stocks. I read negative stuff in Barron's and The Wall Street Journal about them just a couple weeks ago, then I saw Dorfman torch'em, AND they have more shares shorted than just about any other stock in America. Why would I want to own those?" Answer: scroll down through our Today's Numbers field below and check the returns. And please, please, please. . . learn from that.

Speaking of the Wise, it behooves us to mention that America Online today announced that some mutual-fund trading will be available directly to AOL subscribers as early as next week. That's kind of a neat service, but um. . . I personally wouldn't recommend using it too often.

OK, let's change subjects to a place on AOL where you MAY want to start spending time: Port Folly. D'y'know about Port Folly? It's The Motley Fool's stockpicking contest and it's just about to debut on Monday. Port Folly was created for the purpose of giving you a useful and amusing way to compete against your fellow Fools to see who can rack up the best returns. But to make the game more fun, we've lain a fourteenth-century theme over top of the contest, complete with Nobles (top stock mavens you can follow) running Houses (their portfolios) that you as a commoner can sneer at or join (selecting one whose returns you'll receive). That makes the game a great way to find stock picks for your own portfolio. But in a new wrinkle for the game, you can NOW pick your OWN portfolio, selected from the Nobles' stocks, and compete against all other players that way.

Port Folly is a three-month contest, and you can change your portfolio every week on your quest for the greatest returns. Complete with easy-to-read rules (download and read'em offline), fun prizes, and daily reports of the results, we think we've got the best investment game in cyberspace happenin' right here. The stocks start trading Monday (April Fool's day), which means you need to click in this weekend, read over the stocks, and select a House or your own portfolio.

And if you have any further questions about the game, you can e-mail Duke Swagman, who's in charge ( And oh. . . how do you find it? Easy. Just click the Games button at the bottom of our main screen or any of our secondary screens.

On a closing note, with the recent redesign of our area we will probably continue to receive questions from long-time readers asking, "Where the heck is X, Y, or Z?" That's fine; we completely understand. The Motley Fool packs a wallop of information, and we believe its new organization vastly improves the logic of that info's presentation. But some old familiar standby features (our Fribbles, for instance) can be hard to find. In fact, we've even gotten some e-mails saying that THIS very report is too hard to find.

That's why I want to make sure you know about our Index button. The Index button is a new feature in Fooldom, and sits at the bottom of many of our screens. It contains an alphabetical listing of ALL editorial features in Fooldom, giving you instant one-click access. Just scroll down that list and double-click any of the items to go right to it. (This report, for example, is listed under "F," as "Fool Portfolio.") Try out the Index! It's a great way instantly to locate features you were looking for, AS WELL AS scroll down alphabetically to find new ones you weren't even aware of!

May your weekend be spent extremely unWisely, and may April be even better than March.

Today's Numbers

AMER + 7/8 ...AMAT - 1/8 ...CHV -1 1/4 ...GE - 1/4 ...GPS -1... IOMG - 1/8 ...KLAC + 1/8 ...MDRX + 5/8 ...S - 1/8 ... Day Month Year History FOOL +0.25% 11.06% 27.10% 137.33% S&P 500 -0.53% 0.79% 4.80% 40.82% NASDAQ +0.60% 0.12% 4.68% 52.93% Rec'd # Security In At Now Change 8/5/94 680 AmOnline 7.27 56.13 671.70% 5/17/95 1005 Iomega Cor 5.04 25.63 408.64% 4/20/95 155 The Gap 32.55 55.38 70.12% 8/5/94 165 Sears 28.93 48.75 68.54% 8/11/95 95 GenElec 57.91 77.88 34.47% 8/11/95 110 Chevron 49.00 56.13 14.54% 1/29/96 250 Medicis Ph 27.86 24.00 -13.85% 8/24/95 100 AppldMatl 57.52 34.75 -39.59% 8/24/95 130 KLA Instrm 44.71 22.50 -49.68% Rec'd # Security Cost Value Change 8/5/94 680 AmOnline 4945.56 38165.00 $33219.44 8/24/95 100 AppldMatl 5752.49 3475.00 -$2277.49 5/17/95 1005 Iomega Cor 5063.13 25753.13 $20690.00 4/20/95 155 The Gap 5045.25 8583.13 $3537.88 8/5/94 165 Sears 4772.65 8043.75 $3271.10 8/11/95 95 GenElec 5501.87 7398.13 $1896.26 8/11/95 110 Chevron 5389.99 6173.75 $783.76 1/29/96 250 Medicis Ph 6964.99 6000.00 -$964.99 8/24/95 130 KLA Instrm 5812.49 2925.00 -$2887.49 CASH $12147.13 TOTAL $118664.01