A Passion for Investing
A Moratorium on Taxes for Internet Commerce
by Barbara Eisner Bayer
(TMFVenus@aol.com)

WOODSTOCK, NY (July 17, 1998) -- I made a startling discovery today as I sat by a stream, succumbing to the cool, caressing breezes of the rippling water. No, I didn't fall in love with my reflection (I'm Venus, NOT Narcissus) -- but rather, I realized I had developed a passion for investing.

Passion? Investing? Since when are those two words used in the same sentence? Passion conjures up images of Romeo and Juliet, or Mother Theresa, or Michelangelo hanging upside down from the Sistine Chapel fulfilling his artistic vision. Hitchcock and filmmaking, Groucho Marx and comedy, Bill Clinton and... oops... now that's another story.

In the past, investing was a responsibility delegated to someone else, someone with an MBA who wore conservative suits and didn't smile much, and knew what was best for me. Someone who excited me as much as a pot of brussels sprouts.

But as I ventured into Foolishness, the discovery that investing was fun, profitable and relatively easy after some education unleashed a wild passion in me that heretofore had been reserved for more traditional pleasures like love, music, and chocolate.

But why NOT investing? I'm not advocating emotional investing -- that wouldn't be very Foolish now, would it? Falling in love with a stock can be destructive. It can disable your vision, leading you to lose all perspective, to see only the beauty, and not the potential beast that may lie within those financial statements.

The passion to which I refer is not directed towards an individual stock, but rather to the process of investing. I have a desire to manifest as much wealth as possible in my lifetime so I can celebrate all of life's wonders. So why not enjoy the process? I can achieve my goals by applying my passion to the art of investing.

Questing to find other passionate investors, I searched the web for like-minded individuals. There were sites for people whose passions included dance, fashion, mycology (mycology?), traveling, quicksand, mud-related material and (oh horror!) passion for hairy chests and the men who wrestle with them. But nothing for investing. Perhaps Fooldom is the only place the individual investor can indulge his investing fervor by learning all the necessary techniques to become successful.

Sometimes, the original idea to investigate a particular stock evolves out of a fervent desire. It was TMF Jeff's ardent adoration of coffee that led the Fools to investigate Starbucks. And they liked what they saw. Speaking of Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX), we enjoyed a gain of $1 1/2 on the news that the first Starbucks retail location opened in Thailand.

Chairman Sudhitham Chirathivat of Coffee Partners Co., Ltd. (Starbucks licensing partner in Thailand) said today "With its passion for quality and excellent customer service, Starbucks will become the market leader in the specialty coffee industry in Thailand."

It's nice to know that our management is as passionate about the product as we are.

Our enjoyment of the products of America Online (NYSE: AOL) and Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) has helped us stay passionate in the wake of the market's continuous attack on the valuation of Internet companies. Today, AOL was up $5 1/4 and AMZN up $6 9/16 on the announcement that the Clinton administration is joining forces with internet companies to enact a moratorium on new taxes on Internet commerce. "We would not want duplicative, discriminatory or inappropriate taxation by thousands of different state and local tax jurisdictions to stunt the development of what President Clinton has called `the most promising new economic opportunity in decades,' '' Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary Joseph H. Guttentag told the Senate Finance Committee today.

The most promising new economic opportunity in decades. Music to my ears.

And just as exciting is the bill in the House of Representatives, which also orders the U.S. to work in international bodies for the establishment of a worldwide moratorium on Internet taxes, creating what supporters called an ``Internet free trade zone.''

Anyone else breathless?

Yesterday, as reported in the Fool Portfolio, Iomega (NYSE: IOM) posted a loss of $0.13, in line with analysts expectations. But there was some good news. New President and CEO Jim Sierk informed investors that they expect to save approximately $50 million in total operating expenses in the second half of 1998 as the result of the company's reorganization, and return to profitability in the fourth quarter. In general, Fools were impressed with the honesty and openness of Iomega's new management team, a long-overdue change we've been requesting for quite some time. You can read the transcript of the Iomega conference call by clicking here. By the way, in the Fool's conference call area, Intel's quarterly summary is now also available, among others.

And now the weekend calls, when Fools all over the world indulge their non-investing pleasures and take a break from digesting all the news of the week. Enjoy your weekend, Fools, and stay passionate about the way you choose to spend your time.

Barbara Eisner Bayer
A Passionate Investor

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07/17/98 Close

Stock Change Bid ---------------- AMZN +6 9/16 119.81 AOL +5 1/4 127.88 T - 9/16 59.00 DJT + 1/16 7.94 DD - 1/8 68.06 XON + 15/16 72.38 INVX + 11/16 15.69 IP + 7/16 45.25 IOM --- 6.06 KLAC + 1/4 27.69 LU +2 1/2 95.13 SBUX +1 1/2 56.63 COMS - 3/16 29.50 TDFX - 13/16 16.56
Day Month Year History Annualized FOOL +3.11% 11.99% 59.81% 436.32% 53.02% S&P: +0.23% 4.66% 22.28% 158.88% 27.24% NASDAQ: +0.41% 6.02% 27.92% 178.92% 29.67% Rec'd # Security In At Now Change 8/5/94 710 AmOnline 3.64 127.88 3416.49% 9/9/97 580 Amazon.com 19.11 119.81 526.94% 5/17/95 1960 Iomega Cor 1.28 6.06 373.48% 10/1/96 84 LucentTech 23.81 95.13 299.55% 8/12/96 130 AT&T 39.58 59.00 49.07% 2/20/98 215 DuPont 59.83 68.06 13.75% 2/20/98 200 Exxon 64.09 72.38 12.93% 4/30/97 -1170*Trump* 8.47 7.94 6.27% 7/2/98 235 Starbucks 55.91 56.63 1.28% 2/20/98 270 Int'l Pape 47.69 45.25 -5.12% 1/8/98 425 3Dfx 25.67 16.56 -35.47% 8/13/96 250 3Com Corp. 46.86 29.50 -37.05% 8/24/95 130 KLA-Tencor 44.71 27.69 -38.08% 6/26/97 325 Innovex 27.71 15.69 -43.39% Rec'd # Security In At Value Change 8/5/94 710 AmOnline 2581.87 90791.25 $88209.38 9/9/97 580 Amazon.com 11084.24 69491.25 $58407.01 5/17/95 1960 Iomega Cor 2509.60 11882.50 $9372.90 10/1/96 84 LucentTech 1999.88 7990.50 $5990.62 8/12/96 130 AT&T 5145.11 7670.00 $2524.89 2/20/98 215 DuPont 12864.25 14633.44 $1769.19 2/20/98 200 Exxon 12818.00 14475.00 $1657.00 4/30/97 -1170*Trump* -9908.50 -9286.88 $621.63 7/2/98 235 Starbucks 13138.63 13306.88 $168.25 2/20/98 270 Int'l Pape 12876.75 12217.50 -$659.25 8/24/95 130 KLA-Tencor 5812.49 3599.38 -$2213.12 1/8/98 425 3Dfx 10908.63 7039.06 -$3869.56 6/26/97 325 Innovex 9005.62 5098.44 -$3907.18 8/13/96 250 3Com Corp. 11715.99 7375.00 -$4340.99 CASH $11876.47 TOTAL $268159.78

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