Fool Portfolio Report
Friday, March 21, 1997
by Jeff Fischer (MF BudFox)

ALEXANDRIA, VA., (March 21, 1997) -- The Fool Port lost three percent this week, as did the Nasdaq Composite, while the S&P leaked one percent. A newspaper from early October, 1996 -- six months ago -- shows the Nasdaq at the same level it is today. That's not a long time for a market to flounder, though the Nasdaq is now eleven percent below the high reached in January, so it's more than just floundering. It's sinking.

Sink away. That's only natural now and again.

STOCKS. The most significant event this week was an earnings release from 3COM (Nasdaq: COMS). The company exceeded the lowered estimates by a penny, on a thirty percent rise in revenue to $786 million. Thursday the Fool offered a special 3Com compilation with details. 3Com ended the week one dollar lower.

Meanwhile, AMERICA ONLINE (NYSE: AOL) ended the week $3 lower after announcing a restructuring of its Greenhouse Studios division. 3M (NYSE: MMM) fell nearly $3 this week on nothing significant, and KLA INSTRUMENTS (Nasdaq: KLAC) fell $3 as techs slid.

TEN YEARS FROM TUESDAY AFTER NEXT. Tom Gardner essentially stated in conversation that Fools shouldn't picture the April First gathering as a "Party!" with balloons, noise-makers, and grab-bags stuffed with Tootsie Rolls. It is a celebration, but it's a celebration of things to come, even more than it is a celebration of what has already taken place.

Over the last three years, the progress made for individual investors has been phenomenal. Information which was formerly available only to those paying through the teeth, occasionally through libraries, or to those toiling deep inside the financial industry, is now distributed over the Internet every day. The amount of that information is overwhelming, from conference calls, to earnings estimates, to EDGAR databases, to name three of thousands.

The April Fool's party is a celebration of this and of people. It's a chance to gather with those of similar interests and talk stocks for a few hours, share knowledge, re-live war stories, and make fun of somebody else's bad investments. Sure, there's the food and drink and some boisterous glass raising (which will be more boisterous, the New York or the Beverly Hills party?) but, essentially, this is a gathering to celebrate independence, financial competence, and the community that each of us, together, is working to create, now and especially going forward.

To keep from sounding like a commercial, I want to make certain we all know that the Fool isn't looking to make money on this gathering. Money holds no motivation behind this event and only gets involved as a necessity (an expense) to actually make it happen. All The Fool bookkeepers hope to do is breakeven financially, while in all other measures (memory, friendship, Foolishness) everyone involved comes out that much more ahead.

The celebration is a chance to get away from our computer screens and meet some of the other people who make this online community an important part of our lives. Afterwards, each time we sign on we'll probably feel differently about The Motley Fool and the Internet. Behind each posted word is a person. With each person comes a personality, numerous experiences, and an entire life.

The April First gathering takes place in eight cities across the country, and each will be connected by video to the Internet for those who can't attend, but are curious. Tuesday night, April Fool's day, is a chance to talk stocks, have a good dinner, collectively acknowledge the past, and excitedly discuss the future. What are the next improvements that need to be made for those who invest their own money?

Each of the eight gatherings will be a cornucopia of Fools, from MF Cheeze in Beverly Hills to MF Jeanie in New York. But I expect we'll all gain the most from meeting other Fools, "new" Fools -- those whose names we don't know off-hand, or those whose screennames we may recognize, but as for a face behind that name? It's time we took a break from the glow of our monitors and instead saw the human side of the Internet. This will be a very welcome change, in my opinion, and a night to remember for all the years going forward -- while setting the first stepping-stone in developing more off-line Foolish community events nationwide.

I know many of you are wondering where Tom and David are going to be in this smattering of Foolish festivals. Tom and David Gardner are both very engaging people and a delight to converse with on any level. They offer interesting insights, intelligent thoughtfulness, genuine concern, and responsible feedback, all the while offering two great senses of humor. (Keep stomaching this, I'm serious). The reasons I feel that they are two of the most engaging personalities I've read online or seen on television comes fully to light in every dimension in person. They're at least three times as dynamic in person as they are in other media -- which makes sense. You need to be dynamic to offer an engaging personality through the dilution of a computer screen or a television -- so imagine those dynamics non-diluted, in person.

Some of you probably want to meet the brothers just to beat the hell out of them because you lost money on one of the stocks they bought. Well, no brawls allowed on April First.

If you want to meet the brothers to be awed by them, now, after that great kissing-up I just exhibited, well... that won't happen, either. There's little chance they can live up to my description. Tom will probably have a bit of olive stuck between his teeth when you meet him, and David will have spilled pasta sauce all over his shirt before you even get to say "Hello." Next you'll see their caustic side as they blame both mishaps on The Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile, you need only mention a few of the more dog-like stocks in the Fool Portfolio to see their eyes go down, and their smiles deflate -- for a moment at least.

But you can meet them in their very human and non-diluted forms at two of the eight parties. Tom is going to be drinking Coke and sporting a clean, freshly-shaven face at the New York gathering. David will be conversing about hoops, Ben Franklin, stocks and the Wise... somewhere. He isn't certain yet whether he'll be in Washington, D.C., or Atlanta, or Houston. Or wherever. Where hasn't been decided. He'll know soon, though, and share his intended whereabouts next week. MF Templar -- we call him "the encyclopedia" -- will be in San Francisco, for another example, along with MF Debit, MF CapnWill and others. I could go on, but naming names isn't the point and no specific MF should be attraction enough for anyone else to attend. I believe we're all going to gain much more from meeting many other Fools than from meeting the ones that we already "know." In fact, I all but guarantee this will be the case.

As far as Tuesday evenings goes, a week from Tuesday could be one of the few of the year which actually "ties into" another Tuesday ten years from now. The community we build is for the long-term and isn't online only. It's real-life, and this is just one step in the process of attempting to build something, together, while at the same time celebrating what the Internet has given us, and what we've taken advantage of, by collectively using it for the good.

We hope that as many of us that wish to attend the April Fool's gatherings and may do so, do so, but please note, the space is limited in each city. Please see this link for details -- and of course email any questions -- and have a Foolish weekend.

Weekend Reading
1) FoolWires and Specials
2) Friday's Evening News (Which is Monday's news for papers)
3) Fool's Weekly Industry Reports
4) Story on the "need" to make earnings estimates
5) Fool columns written especially for EE Times.
6) You'll never view those little Easter Bunnies in the same way.

(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 - 5/8 40.13 T + 1/4 34.50 ATCT + 1/8 7.13 CHV +1 3/8 69.25 GM + 3/4 56.88 IOM --- 14.63 KLAC -2 36.63 LU +2 53.13 MMM -1 1/2 87.13 COMS - 1/2 33.00
Day Month Year History FOOL -0.33% -1.31% -10.25% 139.52% S&P: +0.19% -0.85% 5.85% 71.05% NASDAQ: -0.41% -4.20% -2.86% 74.13% Rec'd # Security In At Now Change 5/17/95 2010 Iomega Cor 2.52 14.63 480.59% 8/5/94 680 AmOnline 7.27 40.13 451.71% 8/11/95 125 Chevron 50.28 69.25 37.72% 8/12/96 110 Minn M&M 65.68 87.13 32.66% 10/1/96 42 LucentTech 47.62 53.13 11.57% 8/12/96 280 Gen'l Moto 51.97 56.88 9.43% 8/12/96 130 AT&T 39.58 34.50 -12.83% 8/24/95 130 KLA Instrm 44.71 36.63 -18.09% 8/13/96 250 3Com Corp. 46.86 33.00 -29.58% 10/22/96 600 ATC Comm. 22.94 7.13 -68.94% Rec'd # Security In At Value Change 8/5/94 680 AmOnline 4945.56 27285.00 $22339.44 5/17/95 2010 Iomega Cor 5063.13 29396.25 $24333.12 8/11/95 125 Chevron 6285.61 8656.25 $2370.64 8/12/96 110 Minn M&M 7224.44 9583.75 $2359.31 8/12/96 280 Gen'l Moto 14552.49 15925.00 $1372.51 10/1/96 42 LucentTech 1999.88 2231.25 $231.37 8/12/96 130 AT&T 5145.11 4485.00 -$660.11 8/24/95 130 KLA Instrm 5812.49 4761.25 -$1051.24 8/13/96 250 3Com Corp. 11714.99 8250.00 -$3464.99 10/22/96 600 ATC Comm. 13761.50 4275.00 -$9486.50 CASH $4909.01 TOTAL $119757.76