Folly Via Audio
Wednesday, June 3, 1998
by David Gardner
ALEXANDRIA, VA (June 3, 1998) -- The Fool Portfolio watched a good day go bad with the rest of the market Wednesday, as our stocks rose, fizzled, and then died starting at about 2:30 PM ET. The end result was the loss of a half percent, vs. drops in the market indices of one percent. So we beat the market, anyway.
America Online (NYSE: AOL) managed to swim against the tide and gain $1 5/16. The "tide" in this case was not just the market itself, but a negative "Heard on the Street" column from The Wall Street Journal which discussed the company's accounting for the sale of its ANS unit and its Excite stock. The market clearly looked past this rather irrelevant story, as AOL shares were bid up from the get-go. The Motley Fool's Lunchtime News briefly but effectively rebutted the Journal's portrayal, pointing out that you can't just isolate one of a company's accounting statements (here, the income statement) and accuse the company of trying to hide something, when there are two others (the balance sheet and the statement of cash flows) which clearly display the actual accounting. AOL closed at a last trade of $78 11/16 today.
(Those darned sixteenths again... let's move to decimals.)
One of our dogs of the day -- one of five investments that lost a dollar or more -- was 3Dfx (Nasdaq: TDFX), which shed another dollar to $18 1/4. The stock continues to be incredibly weak following one of the best earnings reports I've seen from a small-cap company in recent memory. I've said it before but I'll say it again: there are not many investments whose initial earnings estimates at Fool purchase time (50 cents) are exceeded by the company's first-quarter report alone -- and THEN go into the red by 29% for you. But I'm very excited about our Motley Fool StockTalk interview conducted this afternoon with 3Dfx CEO Greg Ballard (haven't heard it yet, myself). In our stock folder for the company at http://www.fool.com, we solicited questions from you, and got back about three times more than we could ever ask! But rest assured, our StockTalk team and Mr. Ballard have knocked off as many as humanly possible inside 15 minutes.
The audio interview is now available, while the transcript should be posted on the Fool tomorrow.
Speaking of audio...
Hey! Yes, that's right, I said HEY.
Hey! Tonight begins the 10-day countdown toward the debut of The Motley Fool Radio Show -- to be heard in Los Angeles and Atlanta to start with. But we should be in 100 cities by the end of the year, so we want you to start helping us plan The Show now, even if we're not on in your area yet. To that end, in our new Motley Fool Radio Show folder on our fool.com message boards we are soliciting and discussing ideas from all comers. The show airs live every Saturday, noon to 3 PM ET -- will be about two-thirds call-in, one-third features -- and in typical Foolish fashion we'll be drawing off the input and requests of thousands of our readers. It's gonna be fun! Help us make it even more fun by clicking in and letting us know what you'd like to see -- er, hear -- on your Fool Radio Network.
That reminds me to mention that yesterday we were on Atlanta's #1 talk radio station WSB -- flagship home of The Motley Fool Radio Show, in fact -- and mentioned about coming to the website and finding out how to pay off one's debt. Credit-card debt is, after all, the largest problem in consumer finance today, as we see it. Just an hour or two after the show aired, we received this message via e-mail:
"While listening to you today on WSB, I got on to your website and got my credit card company to lower the interest rate. All I did was quote the example that you give in the advice column. Thanks. --DTH"
That refers to our own Dayana Yochim's efficacious "Foolish Rate Negotiation Dialogue (tm)," available 24/7 from the debt-killing section of The Fool's School (http://www.fool.com/credit). My friends, if you or anyone you know has credit-card debt of greater than 12%, put that article into play RIGHT NOW and begin improving your financial future.
As I've been away most of the last week working on our next book, this is the first opportunity I've had to share my favorite e-mail of the past month. It arrived on Monday, was posted shortly thereafter on the front door of Fool HQ in Alexandria, VA, and went like this:
"I am a 50-year-old part-time housewife (part-time because my kids are grown and gone so I'm free to be as Foolish as I please), and I have just finished reading Step One of The Motley Fool's Philosophy -- and I find I've been a Fool all my life! Nobody listens to a poor bloody housewife, you know, especially not about serious stuff like finance -- God forbid! Long ago, I used to read the financial papers etc. and make out an imaginary portfolio. But everyone told me my investments were lucky guesses, except my husband who was very supportive but totally uninterested in the stock market. Now, I have time and money to spare and maybe your site will be a helpful guide for investment in my home country, maybe not. But I'll enjoy reading, listening, and learning anyway. Thanks for reading this Fool's life story... and may you ever open up new and wonderfully Foolish ways to your faithful Fools."
Beyond its own lovely message, what makes that e-mail special? Well, it was written by Rajika, "born a Fool and hope to die one and live Foolishly (and richly, I hope) in between," and Rajika lives in India.
The language of Folly, and the people of Folly, are truly international, my dear Fools. The Internet gives me such hope....
Rajika, hope all's well up in your neck of the woods this evening... and yours too, wherever you are.
-- David Gardner, June 3, 1998
DELIVER - Get Fool Portfolio Nightly Reports
delivered straight to your e-mailbox every evening!
Today's FoolWatch: all the latest in Fooldom.
Day Month Year History FOOL -0.42% -3.89% 10.72% 271.59% S&P: -0.94% -0.74% 11.57% 136.20% NASDAQ: -1.11% -2.06% 10.95% 141.93% Rec'd # Security In At Now Change 8/5/94 710 AmOnline 3.64 78.69 2063.86% 5/17/95 1960 Iomega Cor 1.28 5.94 363.72% 10/1/96 84 LucentTech 23.81 69.50 191.92% 9/9/97 580 Amazon.com 19.11 42.25 121.08% 8/12/96 130 AT&T 39.58 59.63 50.65% 2/20/98 215 DuPont 59.83 76.44 27.75% 1/8/98 115 S&P Depos. 95.91 107.88 12.48% 2/20/98 200 Exxon 64.09 69.00 7.66% 4/30/97 -1170*Trump* 8.47 8.56 -1.11% 2/20/98 270 Int'l Pape 47.69 47.00 -1.45% 1/8/98 425 3Dfx 25.67 18.25 -28.90% 8/24/95 130 KLA-Tencor 44.71 28.56 -36.12% 6/26/97 325 Innovex 27.71 17.25 -37.75% 8/13/96 250 3Com Corp. 46.86 25.00 -46.65% Rec'd # Security In At Value Change 8/5/94 710 AmOnline 2581.87 55868.13 $53286.26 9/9/97 580 Amazon.com 11084.24 24505.00 $13420.76 5/17/95 1960 Iomega Cor 2509.60 11637.50 $9127.90 10/1/96 84 LucentTech 1999.88 5838.00 $3838.12 2/20/98 215 DuPont 12864.25 16434.06 $3569.81 8/12/96 130 AT&T 5145.11 7751.25 $2606.14 1/8/98 115 S&P Depos. 11029.25 12405.63 $1376.38 2/20/98 200 Exxon 12818.00 13800.00 $982.00 4/30/97 -1170*Trump* -9908.50 -10018.13 -$109.63 2/20/98 270 Int'l Pape 12876.75 12690.00 -$186.75 8/24/95 130 KLA-Tencor 5812.49 3713.13 -$2099.37 1/8/98 425 3Dfx 10908.63 7756.25 -$3152.38 6/26/97 325 Innovex 9005.62 5606.25 -$3399.37 8/13/96 250 3Com Corp. 11715.99 6250.00 -$5465.99 CASH $11558.06 TOTAL $185795.12