Fool Portfolio Report
Monday, August 11, 1997
by Paul Larson (TMF Parlay)

CHICAGO, IL (August 11, 1997) -- The Fool Portfolio was dropped like a neglected package today. While the Fool portfolio is still top dog for the month, the portfolio was beaten handily by the S&P in today's heat by giving up little more than one percent of its value. The race that we really care about, the annual performance, is still far from over. I think being down less than 5% and 8% to the Nasdaq and S&P respectively with less than five months left in the year is what we call "striking distance."

There was a void of news from the Fool portfolio stocks today, but one piece of news has grabbed my attention this past week. The more I think about it, the more I believe that the current teamsters strike of the United Parcel Service may really be affecting the business community. It is almost scary to think how ingrained in our economy are the little brown trucks with the brown uniformed drivers. For instance, I have a sizable package sitting in my living room waiting to go to a friend in Nevada. In addition, my parents bought a rather large picture while vacationing in Colorado that is still in Colorado because UPS has not picked it up yet. Furthermore, I have another friend who ordered a computer through one of the hundreds of mail-order companies and he has no idea when his purchase will arrive.

Am I alone in observing such things? I think not. Just ponder for a moment the modern business models of DELL (Nasdaq: DELL), GATEWAY (Nasdaq: GTW), and AMAZON.COM (Nasdaq: AMZN). They are all heavily dependent on getting packages from the company to the customer in a timely fashion. If there is a slowing in that pipeline, I've got to wonder how this basket of companies is faring during this strike. I've also got to wonder to what smaller effect the strike is having on other businesses around the country since UPS plays a sizable part in delivering inventory, too. Could the UPS strike be the pin to blowing up a bull-market bubble?

While I think that this strike is one of the few news stories that might actually have a true influence on businesses in this country, I'm far from shouting, "Sell everything! Put your entire portfolio in FEDERAL EXPRESS (NYSE: FDX)!" You see, part of being a Fool is to desensationalize the often blown-out-of-proportion pieces of news. Is it time to sell Iomega because my mail-ordered zip drive will be two or three days late in arriving? While a short-term pain in the rear, the long-term effect is a different story. I'm keeping the effect in Foolish long-term perspective. The strike is indeed a problem, but it is transient in nature. Regardless, let's all hope the strike is resolved swiftly.

I'm sure you did not tune in here to read some Fool rambling about Big Brown, so how about we turn and focus on the companies in the portfolio. About the only chunk of news that even half caught my eye today was the announcement that America Online and the Cartoon Network have expanded their online relationship. AOL said of the deal, "It generates a high amount of the usage on AOL's Kids Only Channel, and is one of the most creative in demonstrating how an online presence can leverage the value of branded programming content." Cartoon Network added, "Because more kids are online with AOL than anywhere else in cyberspace, this partnership gives us the best possible opportunity for distribution." Sounds like a jolly good deal for both parties to me.

Not much else happening with the Fool port stocks today to account for the southward turn. Curiously bucking the trend were three of the Foolish Four stocks -- Triple M, Ma Bell and Chevron. Only General Motors, which sounds like it might have its very own strike problems, was left out of the gainer quartet.

Speaking of the Fool Four, it's that time of year again where the Fool portfolio looks to examine its holdings in the mechanical Foolish Four method. The past Foolish Four stocks have done rather well for the Fool Portfolio. Holdings in years prior included Merck, Sears, American Express, and General Electric -- all of which gained at least 30% in the year the portfolios held the stocks. This says nothing of the outstanding performance that current holdings Chevron, AT&T and Lucent have shown recently. I can tell you this; the gang at Fool HQ has not lost a wink of sleep in deciding to hold their Foolish Four stocks.

Tomorrow, David will cover in depth exactly what is going on with the current Foolish Four stocks. Make sure to tune back in for the full Foolish Four scoop!

Have a great week everyone.

--Paul Larson, Fool

Drip Portfolio -- Criteria for long-term buys, part 2.
Fool Message Boards -- Speak your mind!
Boring Portfolio -- TMF Boring returns!
Fool Four Portfolio -- 23% annually, historically.
Evening News -- Risk v. Reward.
Port Tracker -- Update your portfolio daily.
Daily Double -- Grupo Radio Centro.
Daily Trouble -- TRO Learning, Inc.
Fribble -- A fun short lesson from readers.

Stock Change Bid ---------------- AOL -115/16 68.00 T +1 9/16 42.00 ATCT - 5/32 4.88 CHV +2 3/8 80.06 DJT - 1/16 9.94 GM -1 3/8 61.38 INVX - 5/8 33.88 IOM - 11/16 23.44 KLAC - 13/16 61.31 LU -1 7/8 83.50 MMM + 1/4 95.06 COMS -1 1/16 54.56
Day Month Year History FOOL -1.18% 2.63% 18.61% 216.54% S&P: +0.37% -1.81% 26.50% 104.41% NASDAQ: -0.74% -0.44% 22.90% 120.33% Rec'd # Security In At Now Change 8/5/94 355 AmOnline 7.27 68.00 835.35% 5/17/95 980 Iomega Cor 2.52 23.44 830.06% 10/1/96 42 LucentTech 47.62 83.50 75.36% 8/11/95 125 Chevron 50.28 80.06 59.22% 8/12/96 110 Minn M&M 65.68 95.06 44.74% 8/24/95 130 KLA-Tencor 44.71 61.31 37.13% 6/26/97 325 Innovex 27.71 33.88 22.25% 8/12/96 280 Gen'l Moto 51.97 61.38 18.09% 8/13/96 250 3Com Corp. 46.86 54.56 16.44% 8/12/96 130 AT&T 39.58 42.00 6.12% 4/30/97 -1170 *Trump* 8.47 9.94 -17.34% 10/22/96 600 ATC Comm. 22.94 4.88 -78.75% Rec'd # Security In At Value Change 8/5/94 355 AmOnline 2581.87 24140.00 $21558.13 5/17/95 980 Iomega Cor 2594.53 22968.75 $20374.22 8/11/95 125 Chevron 6285.61 10007.81 $3722.20 8/12/96 110 Minn M&M 7224.44 10456.88 $3232.44 8/12/96 280 Gen'l Moto 14552.49 17185.00 $2632.51 8/24/95 130 KLA-Tencor 5812.49 7970.63 $2158.14 6/26/97 325 Innovex 9005.62 11009.38 $2003.76 8/13/96 250 3Com Corp. 11714.99 13640.63 $1925.64 10/1/96 42 LucentTech 1999.88 3507.00 $1507.12 8/12/96 130 AT&T 5145.11 5460.00 $314.89 4/30/97 -1170*Trump* -9908.50 -11626.88 -$1718.38 10/22/96 600 ATC Comm. 13761.50 2925.00-$10836.50 CASH $40625.59 TOTAL $158269.78