Fool Portfolio Report
Tuesday, March 4, 1997
by Jeff Fischer (MF BudFox)

ALEXANDRIA, VA., (March 4, 1997) -- Yo. Pssst. Over here. Get close.

Lean in, good Fool. I've been let in on a conspiracy of sorts (looking around, looking over shoulder). That's right. You want in? You wanna know? Ya sure?

Excellent. You're in.

First: investing is made to look difficult by focusing too closely on it. Quickly, lean in here. In the short-term -- five years -- of course it appears difficult. Things move all over the place. If you only look long-term the best investments are staring you in the face, each and every day. That's obvious to you? Fine. There's more, though.

(Looking around, looking down the street. Taking a slug of espresso (truthfully)). Ah. (Ow. That's hot). There's more to this conspiracy here, friend. You probably already know this, and I'm going to look trite sharing this, but here's the truth:

Time is limited.

That's right. So the sooner you get on the right path, the sooner the market can work for you. Luckily, your money's time is unlimited. You, though -- you have better things to do. Invest for decades so you can leave the business paper on the door-step. Invest for your kids or your future kids. You're more likely to make good decisions that way. Plus, it's Foolish.

What is a good investment? One that is better than cash. When you buy stock, you're buying paper that represents a company. You should see that paper as more worthy than the cash you're putting up for it. The Foolish Four performs well because it makes an investor buy the paper slips of giants "on the cheap" -- slips backed by billions of dollars in sales, cash and assets. You're often buying "better than cash."

Yo! Pssst. Lean in again. Spring is coming, friend. Some of you live in climates where spring is a non-event. Not so here. We're going to blow the dust out as spring rolls in. Open all the doors and windows and let the sun in. Let the sun shine so brightly it fades the walls of Fooldom.

Despite 2 1/2 years of pleading, we're still the only portfolio in the country that's fully accountable, to the last penny of commissions, to each 1/16th spread, and in letting readers know of trades well before they're made. (Boring issues notice of an impending buy this evening). We're so accountable it hurts. We sold APPLIED MATERIALS (Nasdaq: AMAT) last year and it's now featured as today's Daily Double for doubling in price over the last six months.

Open those doors wide. Let more light in! Spring is a breeze floating over the hills of Tuscany -- "Galileo! the skies!"

What the hell does that sentence mean? I don't know.

Let's see what we have today. The Fool rose 0.56% while the S&P fell that same amount. The Fool wins today.

AMERICA ONLINE (NYSE: AOL) rose $3 (over 7%) as the company confirmed it would put ads within chat rooms. I say "confirmed" because this is hardly news. Upon announcing a flat-rate everyone agreed that AOL had to run like a wolf to catch new revenues quickly, and advertising is the biggest herd of deer. Chat rooms represent perhaps the largest such deer -- now grabbed and yanked to the ground by the neck -- aside from email. I wouldn't be surprised if AOL one day sold ads on email, though I believe the company claimed it wouldn't.

What kind of ads will show in the chat rooms? Probably not "help wanted" ads from Intel. Maybe "My Little Pony" ads.

Aside from that, the Foolish Four stocks tumbled as the Dow fell 66 points, or one percent. GENERAL MOTORS (NYSE: GM) fell $2. Two things: Europe is producing more cars than it can sell, and Ford and French Renault are shutting plants in Europe. Also, GM announced February sales less than those in the same month last year, after doing the same in January. Best to keep in mind that 1996 was a record year for automobiles. Only in 1987 were more cars sold in the U.S. than were sold last year.

AT&T (NYSE: T) fell $7/8 more after yesterday's lowered earnings estimates. The company wants to cut expenses by $2.6 billion in two years, and hopes to earn $5 to $6 per share in the year 2001, after earning $3.47 last year. The stock trades at 6 times the earnings goal for the year 2001. How's that for looking ahead? Management has a lot of work to do. Finally, 3M (NYSE: MMM) fell with the market.

If you've read this far you're an exemplary Fool. It takes time to build value -- be it a relationship, career, or with investments -- and this is also true with reading. Though, no. Not much "stock value" in this recap, but a little quiz for ya, with a prize.

I'll buy and mail a Fool ballcap to the first two Fools to correctly answer this company-related question. These ballcaps are cool. I wear mine and people melt all around me, like jam on toast. Amazing. With spring coming, you not having a Fool ballcap is downright sinful. Yeah, I'm plugging the ballcaps, though I don't know why. Except they are pretty nice, stitched and all. But this picture has got to go! (Pssst. Look out. It's the eye-less, faceless man!).

Quiz for the ballcaps: This week a Fool Four company is celebrating the 150th birthday of a famous man related to its history. It isn't Galileo, of course (1564 - 1642). He's much too old. The first two Fools to send me the correct company and the celebrated man win the ballcaps. If you don't read this by 7:10 pm New Yaawwwk time, my apologies. You're probably too late. Ah. But there will be other chances to win life-changing prizes!

End of obnoxious recap. Fool on!

---March 4, 1997

Pssst. Click here for the answer to the quiz! (yes, it's that easy!)


Stock Change Bid -------------------- AOL +3 43.00 T - 7/8 36.00 ATCT - 3/16 7.44 CHV - 1/2 65.25 GM -2 57.25 IOM - 1/4 15.38 KLAC + 3/8 41.00 LU - 7/8 53.63 MMM -2 3/8 90.13 COMS +1 33.75
Day Month Year History FOOL +0.56% 2.44% -6.84% 148.63% S&P: -0.55% 0.02% 6.78% 72.55% NASDAQ: +0.47% 0.64% 2.04% 82.92% Rec'd # Security In At Now Change 5/17/95 2010 Iomega Cor 2.52 15.38 510.37% 8/5/94 680 AmOnline 7.27 43.00 491.24% 8/12/96 110 Minn M&M 65.68 90.13 37.23% 8/11/95 125 Chevron 50.28 65.25 29.76% 10/1/96 42 LucentTech 47.62 53.63 12.62% 8/12/96 280 Gen'l Moto 51.97 57.25 10.15% 8/24/95 130 KLA Instrm 44.71 41.00 -8.30% 8/12/96 130 AT&T 39.58 36.00 -9.04% 8/13/96 250 3Com Corp. 46.86 33.75 -27.98% 10/22/96 600 ATC Comm. 22.94 7.44 -67.57% Rec'd # Security In At Value Change 8/5/94 680 AmOnline 4945.56 29240.00 $24294.44 5/17/95 2010 Iomega Cor 5063.13 30903.75 $25840.62 8/12/96 110 Minn M&M 7224.44 9913.75 $2689.31 8/11/95 125 Chevron 6285.61 8156.25 $1870.64 8/12/96 280 Gen'l Moto 14552.49 16030.00 $1477.51 10/1/96 42 LucentTech 1999.88 2252.25 $252.37 8/12/96 130 AT&T 5145.11 4680.00 -$465.11 8/24/95 130 KLA Instrm 5812.49 5330.00 -$482.49 8/13/96 250 3Com Corp. 11714.99 8437.50 -$3277.49 10/22/96 600 ATC Comm. 13761.50 4462.50 -$9299.00 CASH $4909.01 TOTAL $124315.01