Fool Portfolio Report
Wednesday, May 29, 1996
NOTE: Our policy regarding Fool Portfolio trade announcements has changed...Click HERE for details (Foolish e-mail list subscribers have a copy in their box, as well). Interested readers should make a point of reading this document.
by David Gardner
ALEXANDRIA, VA, May 29, 1996 -- It was a down day for the market, Wednesday, but an up day for The Fool Portfolio, thanks to a rebound in shares of Iomega. Having dropped to an intra-day low of $34 3/4---37% below its high of LAST WEEK---Iomega rallied smartly, closing back above $40 ($43, to be exact, up $4 1/4 on the day). That buoyed the sinking Fool Portfolio, providing our first up day in a week. One week ago, as you may recall, the Motley Fool Portfolio had its greatest day ever, up 11.39%, taking our historic FoolPort return (nearing its second complete year) over the 300% mark. Despite today's rise, we remain far away from that lofty peak.
As any long-time reader knows, we prefer the long-term outlook for our investment portfolio---you should for yours, too. Thus, a Fool might be interested to learn for perspective's sake that one month ago Iomega closed at $24 3/4, slightly more than half what it is today.
Pass your eyes over Wednesday's Fool Portfolio otherwise and you'll find most of the others down on no news. Today was a quiet day for Foolishness. No press, either. Incredible. . . no mentions of The Fool anywhere on the wires.
A welcome sign.
You see, as a financial weekly, Barron's can only bash Iomega once a week. (Last weekend, our favorite declining financial weekly resorted to quoting Fool favorite contrarian indicator Michael Murphy, who's---yes!!!!! yessssss!!!!---negative on the Iomega.)
Joking aside, we have come across other journalists in the past week who seem to think The Motley Fool is about "hype," "touting," "penny stocks," and "market manipulation." Would that some of them actually signed on and:
a) Started, as all newcomers should, at our "Getting Started Investing" area, where our Fool's School articles teach thousands of investors every week to think for themselves, do their own homework, scorn hype, and look to buy shares for the long term in great companies, based upon fundamentals.
b) Checked out our message boards, where you can find the steadiest stream of the best investment information I have ever come across. . . and that's even including all the bad with the good. No surprise any analyst worth her salt is plugged in and reading regularly, these days.
c) Read through our Stock Research area, chock-full of online tools you simply can't get and use offline, and stuff from our nationwide staff teaching how to analyze different industries, let alone individual stocks.
d) Etc. You know The Fool, so I'm conscious I'm preaching to the converted, to those who (novel idea!) have actually signed on and tried out this new medium's amazing advantages for investors. . . but maybe some new journalists will tonight, so yeah, I'm speaking to them.
We've gotten some recent notes from readers to the effect that, "Hey, you guys don't need to defend The Motley Fool, or the online medium, from constant cheapshots from people who are being undercut by it! Of COURSE that's what they'll do. Just keep on analyzing, teaching, and making jokes, and don't worry so much about defending." Fair enough. . . we don't want to get dull. And to that end, I'd like to turn things around tonight and provide some of my own "hype" to "tout" some of my favorite print journalists. There are some excellent writers and thinkers among our financial press who humor us, inform us, excite us, teach us, and keep us coming back day to day, and week to week.
Let's start with Walter Mossberg. Walter is my favorite. His "Personal Technology" column in The Wall Street Journal every Thursday is a true pleasure. Pick it up tomorrow: it's worth the price of the paper alone. (Walter's stuff is also seen monthly in SmartMoney, under the title "Smart Machines.") For years now, in a patient and bemused tone, Walter has shared his on-the-mark insights about the increasing spate of new gadgets, how they'll affect our lives (if at all), and therefore how they might affect our stock portfolios.
Another fave of mine is John Dorfman, who for years with The Wall Street Journal has emphasized accountability, with a light, Foolish sense of humor. Writing the Darts columns (somewhat silly, but still right-on with its emphasis), as well as tracking the performance of brokerage-house model portfolios and analyst recommendations, we're talking about someone you'd like to clone and spread around the financial press.
I'm also an unabashed Louis Rukeyser fan. I once worked for his newsletter, with which I had some fairly strong disagreements (leading to my resignation, and, ultimately, to the birth of The Motley Fool), but you have to look past a few things to really appreciate Lou. Let's face it, his TV show is kinda cheesy and Wisdom-heavy, populated as it is with "Wall Street insiders" who are always forecasting the market (supposing such a thing were possible). But you can tell from his skepticism about technical analysis and market timing that he sees through most of his guests. Further, his commentaries at the beginning always exhibit wit, are written impressively quickly by himself on deadline, and emphasize long-term investing, always keeping your head about you when others are losing theirs and blaming it on you. Most important of all, he always reinforces the wonderfully enriching (in so many ways) benefits of the constantly bullish mentality.
Adam Smith of Adam Smith's Money World, Robert Krulwich of PBS, Wayne Harris at Individual Investor, Chris Anderson at The Economist, Robert Seidman of Seidman's Online Insider (yeah, we're tossin' in an onliner), and numerous others are terrific for the financial world, you, me, society at large, you name it. They are all characterized by earnest efforts to SERVE (not lecture) their readers, maintaining an open mind, celebrating the good things, and never taking themselves too seriously. Good prose, too.
To you all, I tip my belled cap.
---David Gardner, May 29, 1996
Day Month Year History
FOOL +4.47% 17.04% 96.60% 267.11%
S&P 500 -0.64% 2.10% 8.44% 45.71%
NASDAQ -0.86% 2.95% 16.49% 70.18%
*Scroll down or expand screen for full portfolio accounting
AMER - 1/2 ...CHV - 7/8 ...GE - 3/8 ...GPS - 1/8 ... IOMG +4 1/4 ...KLAC - 3/4 ...MDRX - 5/8 ...S + 1/2 ...
Rec'd # Security In At Now Change
5/17/95 2010 Iomega Cor 2.52 43.00 1607.05%
8/5/94 680 AmOnline 7.27 53.50 635.61%
4/20/95 310 The Gap 16.28 32.00 96.62%
8/5/94 165 Sears 28.93 51.13 76.75%
8/11/95 95 GenElec 57.91 82.25 42.02%
8/11/95 110 Chevron 49.00 59.63 21.68%
1/29/96 250 Medicis Ph 27.86 33.00 18.45%
8/24/95 130 KLA Instrm 44.71 25.63 -42.69%
Rec'd # Security Cost Value Change
5/17/95 2010 Iomega Cor 5063.13 86430.00 $81366.87
8/5/94 680 AmOnline 4945.56 36380.00 $31434.44
4/20/95 310 The Gap 5045.25 9920.00 $4874.75
8/5/94 165 Sears 4772.65 8435.63 $3662.98
8/11/95 95 GenElec 5501.87 7813.75 $2311.88
1/29/96 250 Medicis Ph 6964.99 8250.00 $1285.01
8/11/95 110 Chevron 5389.99 6558.75 $1168.76
8/24/95 130 KLA Instrm 5812.49 3331.25 -$2481.24