Fool Portfolio Report
Thursday, August 21, 1997
by Tom Gardner (

ALEXANDRIA, VA (August 21, 1997) -- The Fool Portfolio walked in step with the S&P 500 today, falling 1.50% versus market losses of 1.52%. The Dow Jones Industrials fell 127 points, occasioning more discussion about the horror of triple-digit point losses.

Given the more proper context, The Dow was down 1.59%, a decline that we've witnessed dozens and dozens of times over the past three years. (Our summer interns are mostly gone now, so we can't number exactly how many times that's happened since August, 1994.)

An increasingly common market moving phenomenon was reported by Reuters News Services this evening. Their market-coverage report read:

A small shiver also went through the
markets in the afternoon amid potentially
inaccurate reports that Warren Buffett - the
billionaire investor known for his buy-and-hold
approach, may have liquidated some of his
holdings - which some investors may have
seen as a bearish signal.

(In the spirit of "Where's Waldo?" can you find the grammatical mistake in the paragraph above?)

Given that few of the recent rumors about Mr. Buffett -- liquidating long-term positions, purchasing Nike in advance of their earnings report, giving birth to a three-headed gorgon (I just launched that one) -- have proven true, yet given how much money they've "moved," The Fool today formally pre-announces its intention to publish a daily tabloid entitled "The Warren Enquirer (WE)."

In it, we'll feature coverage of every Buffett thought, word and gesture that we can dig up. We'll employ Enquiring Fools to track him at local Nebraskan steakhouses, to follow his interactions with Omaha Royals' spunky mascot, Casey, and to sleep on his roof if need be. And we'll draw intelligent conclusions from every data point.

Is Warren still eating oatmeal and bananas for breakfast? Was his evening walk longer or shorter than normal and why did he stroll the banks of the Missouri? How is the baby gorgon doing? And what does it all mean for the value of Coca-Cola's business in the Philippines, or for the price of sorghum in Pecos Valley, or for the fair multiple of the S&P 500?

The Warren Enquirer will give you the skinny on what's happening with "The Man" and why? The tabloid will also feature a careful review of his daily horoscope. Check out what happened today. Buffett was born on August 30th, which makes him a Virgo. At AOL keyword: Astronet, here's the Virgo report for August 21, 1997:

VIRGO (August 23-September 22) New
circumstances make the family more
conscious of finances now. A need to
trim expenses and make wiser choices
comes along.

Ladies and gentlemen, on Wall Street, that's called a sell report (and check the use of the word "wise".) Don't underrate the advance notice that Ouija boards, phrenological readings, magic cards, salt scattering and The Warren Enquirer can have on your savings account. A smidgen of Madame Blavatsky here and there, and you'll be slamming past market returns with consistency.

Once it's released in very early April of 1998, The Warren Enquirer will get you out of stocks at market open on mornings like these. How important is that? Well, all of your savings money would've turned over at 9:40 AM today. With the Dow trading at 8015 then, you'd be more than one percentage point richer this evening.

If you don't think that's consequential, consider that 1% of compounded daily growth generates over 600% returns per year. Them's are some bucks! You figure that one hundred sound astrological calls, some unverifiable gossip about Warren's daily doings, and an update on the status of that gorgon bantling might double your money every few months.

So forget all those pricey seminars. Unlearn the investment principles that prize long-term growth. After all, Fools, in the long-term, you're not here. You won't have access to your discount-brokerage account in 2092, right? So bag all that nonsense about patience and learning. And instead, pick up a lifetime subscription to The Warren Enquirer. Witness every breath he takes, follow every move he makes, and stay ten steps ahead of The Street.

Unfortunately, The Fool Portfolio ignored the suggestions of the Warren Astrotracker today (against advice from the author), and suffered market-matching declines. KLA-Tencor fell 2 1/2, 3Com dropped $1 3/16, Lucent was off $2 1/16, and 3M shrank $1 3/4/. Ouch, ouch, ouch and ouch!

None of our companies offered meaningful news, and none of their declines significantly underperformed the market. Basically, nothing doing in the trees, but the forest took some heavy rain.

And at market close, The Fool Portfolio sits over 25% in cash, as its managers tend to the enormous task of running a start-up business while balancing shrunken social lives, inserting an occasional jog and barbecue, and attempting to lock-in more than five hours of early-morning sleep. Our cash on the sidelines does not represent a market call of any sort, but is a reflection of the common limitations of living, breathing, and overworking. Expect that money to get invested in the weeks and months ahead, without regard for market valuation.

Oh, and, to close. . all of our stocks fell but one. The Donald Inc. rose $5/16. Who knows, The Fool Portfolio may suffer the return to private ownership of this business and at higher cost. If that happens, we'll lose good money on DJT -- the initials of its founder. Maybe we shoulda put that $9,900 on red and watched the spinning wheel.



Fool on,

Tom Gardner

Drip Portfolio -- Intel the first DRP Buy.
Fool Message Boards -- Speak your mind!
Boring Portfolio -- Boring holds Cisco, Oracle.
Fool Four Portfolio -- 23% annually, historically.
Evening News -- All the news, early.
Port Tracker -- Update your portfolio daily.
Daily Double -- Woah... it's flyin'!
Daily Trouble -- Cut in half! A deal?
Fribble -- A fun lesson from readers.

Stock Change Bid ---------------- AOL - 5/16 67.63 T - 5/16 39.94 ATCT - 3/16 4.56 CHV - 9/16 78.94 DJT + 5/16 11.13 GM - 1/2 62.94 INVX - 7/8 34.88 IOM - 3/8 22.56 KLAC -2 1/2 72.88 LU -2 1/16 83.50 MMM -1 3/4 91.50 COMS -1 3/16 53.31
Day Month Year History FOOL -1.50% 1.71% 17.55% 213.71% S&P: -1.52% -3.07% 24.88% 101.80% NASDAQ: -1.31% 0.85% 24.50% 123.19% Rec'd # Security In At Now Change 8/5/94 355 AmOnline 7.27 67.63 830.19% 5/17/95 980 Iomega Cor 2.52 22.56 795.34% 10/1/96 42 LucentTech 47.62 83.50 75.36% 8/24/95 130 KLA-Tencor 44.71 72.88 62.99% 8/11/95 125 Chevron 50.28 78.94 56.98% 8/12/96 110 Minn M&M 65.68 91.50 39.32% 6/26/97 325 Innovex 27.71 34.88 25.86% 8/12/96 280 Gen'l Moto 51.97 62.94 21.10% 8/13/96 250 3Com Corp. 46.86 53.31 13.77% 8/12/96 130 AT&T 39.58 39.94 0.91% 4/30/97 -1170 *Trump* 8.47 11.13 -31.36% 10/22/96 600 ATC Comm. 22.94 4.56 -80.11% Rec'd # Security In At Value Change 8/5/94 355 AmOnline 2581.87 24006.88 $21425.01 5/17/95 980 Iomega Cor 2594.53 22111.25 $19516.72 8/24/95 130 KLA-Tencor 5812.49 9473.75 $3661.26 8/11/95 125 Chevron 6285.61 9867.19 $3581.58 8/12/96 280 Gen'l Moto 14552.49 17622.50 $3070.01 8/12/96 110 Minn M&M 7224.44 10065.00 $2840.56 6/26/97 325 Innovex 9005.62 11334.38 $2328.76 8/13/96 250 3Com Corp. 11714.99 13328.13 $1613.14 10/1/96 42 LucentTech 1999.88 3507.00 $1507.12 8/12/96 130 AT&T 5145.11 5191.88 $46.77 4/30/97 -1170*Trump* -9908.50 -13016.25 -$3107.75 10/22/96 600 ATC Comm. 13761.50 2737.50-$11024.00 CASH $40625.59 TOTAL $156854.78