(FOOL GLOBAL WIRE -- Friday, January 9, 1998)
by Jerry Thomas (

SHERMAN OAKS, CA (Jan. 9, 1998) -- If you had money invested in stock equities today, you probably have a bit less than you did yesterday. But even so, you might have more than you think.

Hmmm... catchy phrase.... More on that thought shortly.

Today every stock in the Fool Portfolio was down. Every one. Even plucky 3Dfx (Nasdaq: TDFX), our new holding which was one of the few stocks to show a modest gain at one point in today's trading, finished down $1/4.

To be fair though, let's also point out that every stock in the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down, too. Every single one.

Panic! Carnage! Blood in the streets!

Luckily the malaise included Trump Hotels (NYSE: DJT), which we've shorted, or it would have been a complete wipe-out for Foolishness today. DJT showed a decline of $3/8 per share.

Despite the losses, it was a great day to be fully invested in stocks. Fools love to point out the truth that seems a paradox, and that's one right there. In a day that saw our portfolio drop by almost 4%, in a week that saw our investments evaporate by 7%, we are still excited to be up to our scalps in equities, because that day and that week belong to a century that has seen stocks rise nearly 11% per year.

Ten years from now, twenty years from now, nobody will remember that the DJIA was down 222.20 points one nervous Friday way back in January, 1998. (By then we'll be too busy driving our electric cars to the sheep-cloning factory to care.)

"It's your time horizon, really," said Co-Founding Fool Tom Gardner in a CNBC appearance yesterday. "We concern ourselves with 15 and 20 year returns. And the market has often focused just on the next 15 to 20 minutes." (For the complete transcript of CNBC's interview with Tom & Dave, click here.)

Should you be fully invested like the Fools? Maybe not. If you're struggling to overcome debt, especially credit card debt, definitely not. Today we debut a new feature in the Fool School focusing on debt and how to get out of it. If you've got more bills than you know what to do with, you, um, "owe" it to yourself to look it over.

Oddly enough, there was no news on any of our companies to speak of. Thursday AT&T (NYSE: T) shook hands with Teleport Communications Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: TCGI), in a merger deal that is only the latest of many in that industry. In other words, stocks did not decline on their own merits, but in response to global tremors a world away: the Asian markets are in collapse, and our own markets are declining in sympathy.

Call it Revolving Anxiety: ten years ago, we were all scared to death that Asia would out-compete American industry and leave us eating their dust. Now the concern has flip-flopped: the worry is that Asia's current decline will bring us down with them. By the same token, three months ago the bugaboo was the word, "inflation." Today, our knees are shaking over the prospect of its exact opposite, deflation.

In other words, if you don't like the current doomsday scenario, wait five minutes.

Meanwhile, that swanky jet-setting duo, Mssrs. David and Thomas Gardner, are busy with their whistlestop campaign to promote sales of their two new Foolish books. Monday the boys will be in Detroit... Tuesday they roll into Chicago. Get the complete book tour schedule here. And hey, if you're a Fool looking for a quick thrill, try checking out the Hot 100 list at In an instance of chart monopolization reminiscent of The Beatles, Foolish tomes now hold three of the top four positions:

1. You Have More Than You Think: The Motley Fool Guide to Investing What You Have

2. Cold Mountain

3. The Motley Fool Investment Guide: How the Fool Beats Wall Street's Wise Men and How You Can Too

4. The Motley Fool Investment Workbook

Of course, it is gratifying to see that kind of success, but the real thrill comes in knowing that the Foolish approach to financial management is changing peoples' lives for the better. I'd like to close out today's report by sharing a message that appeared on our newly created You Have More Than You Think message folder at our website. A contributor who goes by the clever screen name "oldphart" has read the book already, and he offers the comments below. Even at times that look as bleak as they might today, there are options open to you. When your priorities are right, when you think long term, when you invest with the interest of your children in mind, you truly do have more than you think.

Subject: One for the Rest of Us
Author: oldphart    Date: 1/7/98 6:56:35 PM (ET)

Just a note of thanks, guys.

I'm a boomer, with a classic negative net worth until 2 years ago. Your new book is an important bridge for me, from the savings account & CD world to the Foolish universe.

In particular, your early focus on when not to invest clarified some specific questions for me. Your book has helped me formulate our strategy for the coming year, and started me teaching my son about savings. He gets $3/wk allowance, split as 1 for now, 1 for something big, 1 for retirement: the first time I put your $1 savings example into Excel for him, he got the point right away.

We are totally rid of credit card debt, consumer loans, and car loans, and even look to pay off our mortgage early. My wife especially likes doing a year of paper investing while letting the index fund grow, so that she can work with me without splitting our real investment.

God bless you for saying, in plain words, that anyone can learn to save. I am living proof that is true, and I hope to go on to prove anyone can learn to invest Foolishly.


living proof that anyone can learn, even an oldphart

Have a Foolish weekend,

Jerry Thomas

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Buy a Book and Get It Signed! -- Book Tour '98


Stock Change Bid ---------------- AMZN -4 9/16 50.81 AOL -3 15/16 85.25 T -1 15/16 60.81 CHV -2 1/4 71.13 DJT - 3/8 7.06 GM - 13/16 56.31 INVX - 13/16 20.25 IOM - 1/2 11.88 KLAC -1 3/4 34.75 LU -3 15/16 74.75 MMM - 11/16 82.63 RTN.A -2 1/16 45.88 COMS -2 11/16 30.13 TDFX - 1/4 24.50 SPY -3 3/16 92.31
Day Month Year History FOOL -3.67% -7.04% -7.04% 211.96% S&P: -2.97% -4.40% -4.40% 102.38% NASDAQ: -3.36% -4.27% -4.27% 108.73% Rec'd # Security In At Now Change 8/5/94 355 AmOnline 7.27 85.25 1072.16% 5/17/95 1960 Iomega Cor 1.28 11.88 827.44% 10/1/96 42 LucentTech 47.62 74.75 56.98% 8/12/96 130 AT&T 39.58 60.81 53.65% 8/11/95 125 Chevron 50.28 71.13 41.44% 9/9/97 290 38.22 50.81 32.94% 8/12/96 110 Minn M&M 65.68 82.63 25.81% 4/30/97 -1170 *Trump* 8.47 7.06 16.61% 8/12/96 280 Gen'l Moto 51.97 56.31 8.35% 1/8/98 115 S&P Depos. 95.91 92.31 -3.75% 1/8/98 425 3Dfx 25.67 24.50 -4.55% 12/19/97 17 Raytheon 53.21 45.88 -13.79% 8/24/95 130 KLA-Tencor 44.71 34.75 -22.28% 6/26/97 325 Innovex 27.71 20.25 -26.92% 8/13/96 250 3Com Corp. 46.86 30.13 -35.72% Rec'd # Security In At Value Change 8/5/94 355 AmOnline 2581.87 30263.75 $27681.88 5/17/95 1960 Iomega Cor 2509.60 23275.00 $20765.40 9/9/97 290 11084.24 14735.63 $3651.39 8/12/96 130 AT&T 5145.11 7905.63 $2760.52 8/11/95 125 Chevron 6285.61 8890.63 $2605.02 8/12/96 110 Minn M&M 7224.44 9088.75 $1864.31 4/30/97 -1170*Trump* -9908.50 -8263.13 $1645.38 8/12/96 280 Gen'l Moto 14552.49 15767.50 $1215.01 10/1/96 42 LucentTech 1999.88 3139.50 $1139.62 12/19/97 17 Raytheon 904.57 779.88 -$124.70 1/8/98 115 S&P Depos. 11029.25 10615.94 -$413.31 1/8/98 425 3Dfx 10908.63 10412.50 -$496.13 8/24/95 130 KLA-Tencor 5812.49 4517.50 -$1294.99 6/26/97 325 Innovex 9005.62 6581.25 -$2424.37 8/13/96 250 3Com Corp. 11715.99 7531.25 -$4184.74 CASH $10740.46 TOTAL $155982.02