MIAMI, FL (Oct. 31, 1997) -- Admit it, your neighbor's son Timmy is going to knock on your door tonight in a Tamogotchi outfit a few sizes too big and shout out "Trick or Treat!" That might even be him now. Yet -- and fess up now -- you had to be spooked when the Grim Reaper came a-knocking Monday, grabbed into your goodie bag and snatched away some of your sweetness.
It's been a tough week, but, tonight, manage a smile as you fork over the candy. It's Halloween and even if that little kid is wearing an Alan Greenspan mask, remember that inflation mongering and correction hugging is only skin deep.
As for me, I'm looking for a new house to egg. My annual ritual of cracking yolks at the Alan Abelson manor seems ill-placed after a week like this. Heck, I always missed anyway. The egg would always blow past the bear weathervane and land square on his face.
Okay, I didn't literally egg his house -- it was Ruykeyser's.
Anyway, by now you were probably expecting some serious handholding from Tom, Dave, or Jeff. Unless you start every conversation with your broker with the word "short," odds are you might be a little lighter this week. A Gardner or Fischer shoulder would be awful nice to cry on right now. You are no doubt dealing with legions of costumed posers tonight and here you get the food guy masquerading as a Foolfolio writer.
You've been tricked. I'm no treat. I'm the Fool who went melodramatic in that Fixties Fribble earlier this week and belittled the billions lost on Monday to a football game. But, since you made it this far, I can offer you some timely Halloween stock safety tips at least. First, never bite into any unwrapped equities. Also, when crossing the street, always stay on the median, never go heavy on the margin. That and the fact that you should always wear bright clothing, carry a flashlight, and jot down the houses giving away the Kit Kat bars for next year's route will go a long way in making tonight a raging success.
If anything, once you've run out of candy to hand out and have turned down the lights to fend off angry door knucklers, take comfort in knowing that the stock market did not die. Like Freddy Krueger and Jason, Camp Crystal Lake's favorite citizen, the stock market was left for dead but kept coming back to life. There is money in sequels. Big money.
I knew that Monday's big drop was coming. I did. As a devout Large Marge follower I had the inside track on that market call. Yes, Large Marge, the burly truck driver of Pee Wee Herman fame who once again proved to be the Nostradamus of our time when she nailed Blue Monday.
"Ten years ago, on this same stretch of road," she told a nervous Pee Wee. "I saw the worst accident I've ever seen."
Of course she was reflecting back on October 1987 -- Black Monday. Just as people are rushing to rent Back to the Future down here in Marlins country to hear the professor predict that Miami would win the 1997 World Series, I too see the future in celluloid... even if past results are no guarantee of future box office performance.
Getting back to this past week, and I apologize for the sugar rush, Halloween and all, it did not prove to be the bearish fantasy many had already played out in their brokerage statements. AMAZON.COM (Nasdaq: AMZN) managed to book a new high on Wednesday. BT Alex. Brown reiterated its "strong buy" rating and it further padded the gains of Fool Port's most recent purchase.
I already put in my vote for Abelson's headline tomorrow -- Hang Seng Didn't Hang. Dang!
It's a shame because, as the cliche goes, I figured a broken clock would be right at least twice a day. Oops, not if there's a calendar function.
Now the media will probably also take the weekend to bash the financial services industry. It might point out how the little guy wasn't able to sell out on Monday. It might point out how the little guy wasn't able to buy in on Tuesday. Now, unless I missed something, isn't that a zero sum game? I can't forgive a lack of capacity but, at the very least, isn't it one more reason why we should be long-term investors?
Volatility is a sideshow. Fundamentals are the main event. When all has been said and done you may grow to forget that the Fool Port rose 1.2% today, right there with the S&P 500. And while we may have lost 5.1% this week and 1.4% during this spooky month of October, the Fool Port is still a little better than 24% richer this calendar year.
So bring on November. We won't flinch. It's a brave new month and Large Marge can't hurt us anymore. Just sit back and rip open one of those black and orange wrapped peanut butter chewables you always hated as a child. Dig into the excellent Halloween features here in Fooldom. Get ready for a new and improved website this weekend too.
You might also want to wipe that melted chocolate off your fingers and check out the Industry message boards where I and more respectable sector specialists reside. I think you will be impressed.
Just tell them Large Marge sent ya.
-- Rick Aristotle Munarriz
Day Month Year History FOOL +1.16% -1.42% 24.09% 231.17% S&P: +1.21% -3.45% 23.47% 99.52% NASDAQ: +1.48% -5.46% 23.44% 121.28% Rec'd # Security In At Now Change 5/17/95 980 Iomega Cor 2.52 26.81 963.99% 8/5/94 355 AmOnline 7.27 77.00 958.73% 10/1/96 42 LucentTech 47.62 82.38 73.00% 8/11/95 125 Chevron 50.28 82.94 64.94% 9/9/97 290 Amazon.com 38.22 61.00 59.60% 8/12/96 110 Minn M&M 65.68 91.50 39.32% 8/12/96 130 AT&T 39.58 48.94 23.65% 8/12/96 280 Gen'l Moto 51.97 64.19 23.50% 8/24/95 130 KLA-Tencor 44.71 43.75 -2.15% 6/26/97 325 Innovex 27.71 25.50 -7.97% 4/30/97 -1170 *Trump* 8.47 9.16 -8.14% 8/13/96 250 3Com Corp. 46.86 41.44 -11.57% Rec'd # Security In At Value Change 8/5/94 355 AmOnline 2581.87 27335.00 $24753.13 5/17/95 980 Iomega Cor 2509.60 26276.25 $23766.65 9/9/97 290 Amazon.com 11084.24 17690.00 $6605.76 8/11/95 125 Chevron 6285.61 10367.19 $4081.58 8/12/96 280 Gen'l Moto 14552.49 17972.50 $3420.01 8/12/96 110 Minn M&M 7224.44 10065.00 $2840.56 10/1/96 42 LucentTech 1999.88 3459.75 $1459.87 8/12/96 130 AT&T 5145.11 6361.88 $1216.77 8/24/95 130 KLA-Tencor 5812.49 5687.50 -$124.99 6/26/97 325 Innovex 9005.62 8287.50 -$718.12 4/30/97 -1170*Trump* -9908.50 -10714.74 -$806.24 8/13/96 250 3Com Corp. 11714.99 10359.38 -$1355.62 CASH $32438.81 TOTAL $165586.01