Let the Madness Begin!
Thursday, March 12, 1998
by David Forrest (DavidF@fool.com)

ALEXANDRIA, VA (March 12, 1998) -- LET THE MADNESS BEGIN!!!!!

Fools, it's one of those days where, to be perfectly honest with you, I couldn't give a hoot about stock prices or financial statements. I know that so much of what we do here at the Fool is related to finance and investing, but there are times when you have to prioritize. Life isn't all about money. Quality of life also means having a blast with friends, drinking a great bottle of wine, dancing on the dinner table or some other frivolity.

Today begins the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball tournament and many of us here at Fool HQ are really pumped up about it. We have our office pool going strong, and even more exciting, we've created a special stock game that emulates the tournament. It's called Stock Madness and we want everyone to play! Top prize in the game, should you win, is a $2,000 account with National Discount Brokers. Second prize is a sweet set of golf irons from Prince. Other prizes will also be awarded from the great selection in FoolMart. There's only a little over 3 days to enter though, so do it tonight. (We stop accepting entries at 9am Monday morning.) After you enter, get out on the message boards and talk about your favorites to win the tourney!

Well, if you've read this far, hoping for some info on the Fool Portfolio proper, I suppose I shouldn't disappoint you. It wasn't all that exciting today, with the portfolio losing to both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq. Still, it was an up day for the portfolio, gaining 0.06%, which is always a plus. In the news, a Chicago-based law firm named Kahn & Associates issued a press release saying that it has filed a class-action suit against Iomega (NYSE: IOM). The suit alleges that insiders at Iomega violated securities laws by selling stock after releasing bullish news about a massive marketing campaign, but before announcing that the Jaz 2 would be delayed.

This will all be hashed out in court, and I won't offer an opinion about the Iomega suit here. However, as a general rule, class-action suits seem to always pop-up after a company reports disappointing results and the stock gets hammered. If Iomega did something wrong, it should get punished, but it's almost as if people are mad that they lost money and now want to sue to get it back. Every time I read about one of these suits I scratch my head and wonder if these people understand the concept of risk.

There wasn't much other news in the portfolio today, and I refuse to bore you with the details of how Shell Exxon bought the Saga interest in the North Sea Block. What I will do is close out the portfolio report by extending a very, very big thanks to everyone who helped me out last time I wrote here. I asked folks to send me e-mail if they knew any ophthalmologists that might give me some advice about a sick friend. To my utter astonishment, I received more than 88 e-mails from people around the country. It just goes to show you how incredibly powerful this medium is. I had doctors give me private referrals and actual phone numbers to incredibly prestigious eye doctors across the country, including:

1. The Mayo Clinic
2. Massachusett's Eye and Ear Clinic (Harvard)
3. UCLA's Jules Stein Eye Institute
4. John's Hopkins
5. National Eye Institute in Bethesda.

When I explained my friend's situation to the various doctor's, I learned, amongst other things, that the disease wasn't life-threatening (we were worried). We also learned that while incredibly rare, the disease is very treatable. My friend is also now in contact with one of the world's best known authorities on diseases of the orbit. She is feeling much better now, knowing it isn't life threatening and that she is in excellent hands. As it turns out, my "friend" happens to be my mother-in-law, and she is sleeping much better these days because of you. So, to those who helped me out, and wished me well, thank you.

- David

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TODAY'S NUMBERS

Stock Change Bid ---------------- AMZN -1 7/16 78.25 AOL + 5/16 124.25 T --- 64.13 DD - 5/8 63.06 DJT - 5/16 9.44 XON - 1/16 63.88 INVX --- 22.31 IP - 3/8 51.50 IOM + 1/4 8.50 KLAC + 7/16 38.94 LU +3 11/16 115.25 COMS - 5/16 34.94 TDFX - 7/8 24.75 SPY + 13/32 107.50
Day Month Year History FOOL +0.06% 1.81% 7.86% 261.99% S&P: +0.14% 1.96% 10.25% 133.41% NASDAQ: +0.41% -0.36% 12.34% 144.95% Rec'd # Security In At Now Change 8/5/94 355 AmOnline 7.27 124.25 1608.40% 5/17/95 1960 Iomega Cor 1.28 8.50 563.85% 10/1/96 42 LucentTech 47.62 115.25 142.04% 9/9/97 290 Amazon.com 38.22 78.25 104.73% 8/12/96 130 AT&T 39.58 64.13 62.02% 1/8/98 115 S&P Depos. 95.91 107.50 12.09% 2/20/98 270 Int'l Pape 47.69 51.50 7.99% 2/20/98 215 DuPont 59.83 63.06 5.40% 2/20/98 200 Exxon 64.09 63.88 -0.34% 1/8/98 425 3Dfx 25.67 24.75 -3.57% 4/30/97 -1170*Trump* 8.47 9.44 -11.44% 8/24/95 130 KLA-Tencor 44.71 38.94 -12.91% 6/26/97 325 Innovex 27.71 22.31 -19.48% 8/13/96 250 3Com Corp. 46.86 34.94 -25.45% Rec'd # Security In At Value Change 8/5/94 355 AmOnline 2581.87 44108.75 $41526.88 5/17/95 1960 Iomega Cor 2509.60 16660.00 $14150.40 9/9/97 290 Amazon.com 11084.24 22692.50 $11608.26 8/12/96 130 AT&T 5145.11 8336.25 $3191.14 10/1/96 42 LucentTech 1999.88 4840.50 $2840.62 1/8/98 115 S&P Depos. 11029.25 12362.50 $1333.25 2/20/98 270 Int'l Pape 12876.75 13905.00 $1028.25 2/20/98 215 DuPont 12864.25 13558.44 $694.19 2/20/98 200 Exxon 12818.00 12775.00 -$43.00 1/8/98 425 3Dfx 10908.63 10518.75 -$389.88 8/24/95 130 KLA-Tencor 5812.49 5061.88 -$750.62 4/30/97 -1170*Trump* -9908.50 -11041.88 -$1133.38 6/26/97 325 Innovex 9005.62 7251.56 -$1754.06 8/13/96 250 3Com Corp. 11715.99 8734.38 -$2981.62 CASH $11233.54 TOTAL $180997.17