Fool Portfolio Report
Friday, May 10, 1996

by David Gardner (MotleyFool)

ALEXANDRIA, VA, May 10, 1996 -- The skinny for the week first, before we get into MUCH more important things. The Fool Portfolio closed down the last three days, ruining a promising beginning, and leaving town with a 0.32% loss. Both competing market indices rose about 1.5%. It was a week characterized by almost constant media discussion of "market froth," as if any of these people could actually tell you where the market was going to go next. And it was a best of times (AMER all-time high on Tuesday), worst of times (AMER down $12 since) week. And now it's another week in the books.

Speaking of just today, we watched The Fool Portfolio's narrow lead over the market indices this May narrow further on Friday, as the market skyrocketed (both the S&P 500 and NASDAQ up more than 1%), while the Fool dropped. What it really comes down to, as you all know so well by now, is that we were unable to manipulate the markets well enough to engineer a Fool victory today. Darn.

I mean, it's not like we didn't try. Both Tom and I posted messages in various places in the forum last night, no doubt hoping that we'd twist the United States equities markets around our pinkies once again. Hey, once you take the market for an easy spin, the rush is darned addictive. Just ask MF Boring, whose sell announcement on Zytec earlier this week was wholly credited by media organizations everywhere for a 7-point drop in the stock. Never mind that his previous stock, The Shaw Group (NASDAQ: SHAW) purchased in mid-April, didn't even budge that day. (Last week, the Fool Portfolio announced its sell of Applied Materials; the stock rose the next day). But shucks, let's not be too hard on the media, most of which refers to America Online as "the Internet" and The Motley Fool as a "chat room." After all, they obviously don't understand this stuff, and it's not like their job isn't to get you to pay attention to 'em, using whatever means they choose.

So anyway, Tom and I talked about it yesterday and figured we should make a daily business of moving the market. You know, bag this whole thing with stuff like the Evening News, and those silly little articles in the Fool's School, and answering posts, and e-mail by the hundreds. Ignore what other people are saying altogether. Just go online and post stuff in a vacuum. Go for the glamour. . . it's the market movers who get all the big bucks, right?

Plus, if you're doing it on any other medium but online, people take it for granted and don't ask questions.

So please, go right ahead and argue that we were kinda dumb to try it online. I grant you, we're only broadcasting to a tiny audience compared to, say, your average financial television network. Stepping it down a notch, our audience is still but a small fraction of The Wall Street Journal's (and that doesn't even include THEIR "chat room"). So WHY the heck would we use the online medium to manipulate the markets, as we so earnestly aimed? Gee, I guess because the online medium is the only open, democratic medium. . . the only one that you and I have access to. We only had one option.

So just for starters, we figured we'd work out our cybermuscles by just hanging out on the "Internet" and making up stuff, just to see what Foolishness we could wreak. Start easy by pumping up the NASDAQ one day, then leveling the Dow the next. Start small. Sure, we'll eventually work up to the international markets, once we can get an international "chat room," and achieve total dominion over all known equities by spring 2002. But first things first.

OK, so now I'll share our battle plan. The aim was ACTUALLY to begin this formally tonight. That's why I need to begin by registering disappointment in my brother for jumping the gun last night. . . Foolish sneak that Tom is. To my surprise, he got his feet wet last night by posting a neutral to bearish note on America Online stock in this very space. His note hit the right chords with some, like one particular guy in our America Online message folder who's obviously been listening to the fading old media this week. This fellow (who's a nice chap, so I'm not even going to mention his name because I'm not dumping on him) asked, "Wondering how Gardner's discussion on AMER will impact the stock tomorrow? Any thoughts...."

Beeeee-yootiful. Unsurprisingly to me, he got no response, because he was speaking to people who actually understood the online medium in general, and Fooldom in particular. (However, don't expect the fading old media to pick that fact up and print it.)

America Online rose $3/4 today. We're new at this.

A bit more from our battle plan: the marketing side. One thing we've learned here is that you have to be attractive if you want to be in this market-movin' business. You have to have sex appeal. . . a product with which people WANT to associate themselves. No surprise, I figure, that the photogenic Elaine Garzarelli makes it her aim to move the markets. . . by calling them, of course. That's what gooroos do, and that's what we've learned from them. You gotta breathe sex appeal. Now, we looked at ourselves in the mirror and didn't really like what we saw, so we went to contingency plan B: We rolled out our ace top gun market-mover MF Boring once again last night and had him write about how, in between company jet flights, he was going to stop off and see his "close personal friend" Morgan Fairchild. Sex appeal by association. . . how savvy. Boring Portfolio? Up 1.84% today.

So let me close this rather long explanation of our new goal with Fooldom the only way I really should: a market call.

I hear from a few friends on the Street that the NASDAQ will RISE on Monday, and the S&P 500 will rise too. You heard it here first. Seriously. No, seriously. I'm quite confident I'll be right.

Help me be.

---David Gardner, May 10, 1996

Today's Numbers

Day Month Year History

FOOL -2.09% 2.35% 71.94% 221.05%

S&P 500 +0.10% -1.34% 4.79% 40.80%

NASDAQ +0.39% -0.23% 12.89% 64.93%

*Scroll down or expand screen for full portfolio accounting

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

Rec'd # Security In At Now Change

5/17/95 1005 Iomega Cor 5.04 63.25 1155.47%

8/5/94 680 AmOnline 7.27 57.38 688.89%

4/20/95 310 The Gap 16.28 30.50 87.40%

8/5/94 165 Sears 28.93 50.63 75.02%

8/11/95 95 GenElec 57.91 77.00 32.95%

8/11/95 110 Chevron 49.00 57.25 16.84%

1/29/96 250 Medicis Ph 27.86 24.75 -11.16%

8/24/95 130 KLA Instrm 44.71 30.00 -32.90%

Rec'd # Security Cost Value Change

5/17/95 1005 Iomega Cor 5063.13 63566.25 $58503.12

8/5/94 680 AmOnline 4945.56 39015.00 $34069.44

4/20/95 310 The Gap 5045.25 9455.00 $4409.75

8/11/95 95 GenElec 5501.87 7315.00 $1813.13

8/11/95 110 Chevron 5389.99 6297.50 $907.51

1/29/96 250 Medicis Ph 6964.99 6187.50 -$777.49

8/24/95 130 KLA Instrm 5812.49 3900.00 -$1912.49

8/5/94 165 Sears 4772.65 8353.13 $3580.48

CASH $16434.53

TOTAL $160523.91