Fool Portfolio Report
Wednesday, February 12, 1997
by Jerry Thomas (MF Cheeze)

LOS ANGELES, Ca. (Feb. 12, 1997) -- NCR CORP. (NYSE: NCR) finished the day down $1/8. The Fool Portfolio, which holds a mere eight shares of this recent AT&T spin-off, therefore absorbed a loss amounting to one full dollar as a result of this decline.

One dollar, gone.

Fortunately, the rest of the portfolio made up for this laggard, charging ahead 4.37%, for a net value gain in our holdings of $5,238.25 since yesterday --another stark lesson in the importance of portfolio diversification.

The whole market was up big today. This was one of those 100-point upsurges in the Dow that lifts all the boats and carries the market to record-setting highs. Somehow all those tech stocks, which had everyone worried as recently as Tuesday, now suddenly seem undervalued.

Go figure.

Look at KLA INSTRUMENTS (Nasdaq: KLAC), for example. Up better than 17% in one day. Apparently somebody important grinned during a quarterly conference call over at APPLIED MATERIALS (Nasdaq: AMAT) yesterday, and the whole chip sector surged today in sympathy, KLAC included.

That surge in turn helped lift all the tech stocks, and then the rest of the market said, okay, we'll pile on too, and they made a party of it, moving the whole market forward to uncharted heights. The talking-head analysts on television are suddenly licking their chops for a DJIA above 7,000, when they were telling us the market was on the brink of collapse as recently as last week.

So there it is: the anatomy of a buying frenzy. The bell rings, and the herd charges in. The switch is flipped, and the disco lights start flashing over the NYSE trading floor. The Fool Port rose with the rest of the party, making up more than a third of the steep losses it had been showing so far this year.

And it feels good... real good. With all the usual Foolish caveats reminding us to keep thinking for the long-term, we'll do the human thing and indulge in a bit of satisfaction for a performance like today's.

But still, there's that dollar from NCR, nagging us from the backs of our brains. One dollar of might-have-been. One dollar of dreams evaporated.

Poof, it's gone.

Sure, you may laugh at our concern for that dollar. But remember, that's one dollar in real money, friends. This ain't no hypothetical portfolio. This is the real deal, and we put our money on the line here every day. Each dollar is like a separate child to us, and when we lose one, we feel it. It cuts deep, like a harpoon in the sternum.

Compare the performance of NCR to some other Foolish stocks today:

GENERAL MOTORS (NYSE: GM) was up $1 1/8, despite fears that a workers' strike at one of its major part suppliers could halt its production.

AT&T (NYSE: T) gained $3/4, despite reports of layoffs and further restructuring.

AMERICA ONLINE (NYSE: AOL) rose $3 3/8, despite the fact that it wouldn't send my email last night.

Hey, it's not even like we chose to invest in NCR. Nope, those eight shares were handed to us, spun off from stalwart AT&T at the beginning of this year. Those eight shares have been hanging in the portfolio ever since, like lint on our Foolish lapels, like the oatmeal that has been drying on my chin since breakfast. It's not something we thought about, it's something that just happened. You can hardly blame us for that lost dollar, can you?

Well, yes you can. A Fool can never think irresponsibly. We own the stock, so we must the assume responsibility for holding it. That's Foolish accountability. We cannot make excuses for our failing here today. Today's dollar lost must be accepted, however much it eats away at our hearts.

Sorry, I'm getting all misty-eyed here.

Yes, we are joyful for those 5,238 dollars we brought home today. But our thoughts will always be with that one dollar we left behind.

(c) Copyright 1997, The Motley Fool. All rights reserved. This material is for personal use only. Republication and redissemination, including posting to news groups, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of The Motley Fool.


Stock Change Bid -------------------- AOL +3 3/8 37.13 T + 3/4 39.63 ATCT --- 6.81 CHV +1 3/4 69.13 GM +1 1/8 57.75 IOM + 1/4 16.63 KLAC +6 7/8 43.75 LU +2 1/8 57.25 MMM +2 1/8 86.25 NCR - 1/8 35.63 COMS +2 3/8 39.88
Day Month Year History FOOL +4.37% -7.98% -6.19% 150.37% S&P: +1.67% 2.11% 8.37% 75.12% NASDAQ: +2.05% -1.51% 5.26% 88.70% Rec'd # Security In At Now Change 5/17/95 2010 Iomega Cor 2.52 16.63 559.99% 8/5/94 680 AmOnline 7.27 37.13 410.46% 8/11/95 125 Chevron 50.28 69.13 37.47% 8/12/96 110 Minn M&M 65.68 86.25 31.33% 10/1/96 42 LucentTech 47.62 57.25 20.23% 8/12/96 280 Gen'l Moto 51.97 57.75 11.12% 1/2/97 8 NCR 33.63 35.63 5.95% 8/12/96 130 AT&T 39.58 39.63 0.12% 8/24/95 130 KLA Instrm 44.71 43.75 -2.15% 8/13/96 250 3Com Corp. 46.86 39.88 -14.91% 10/22/96 600 ATC Comm. 22.94 6.81 -70.30% Rec'd # Security In At Value Change 5/17/95 2010 Iomega Cor 5063.13 33416.25 $28353.12 8/5/94 680 AmOnline 4945.56 25245.00 $20299.44 8/11/95 125 Chevron 6285.61 8640.63 $2355.02 8/12/96 110 Minn M&M 7224.44 9487.50 $2263.06 8/12/96 280 Gen'l Moto 14552.49 16170.00 $1617.51 10/1/96 42 LucentTech 1999.88 2404.50 $404.62 1/2/97 8 NCR 269.00 285.00 $16.00 8/12/96 130 AT&T 5145.11 5151.25 $6.14 8/24/95 130 KLA Instrm 5812.49 5687.50 -$124.99 8/13/96 250 3Com Corp. 11714.99 9968.75 -$1746.24 10/22/96 600 ATC Comm. 13761.50 4087.50 -$9674.00 CASH $4639.01 TOTAL $125182.89