<THE HARRY JONES PORTFOLIO>

Random Nature

by Harry Jones

(June 10, 1999) -- Lucinda and I love this season. The blood gets flowing all over the body again. The work gets busy. The days are long but short at the same time. And nature is random. It shows up in-between the wooden planks on the patio. Weeds or tree saplings. Most of the old trees return to green, but some never do. Over winter, some finally kick the bucket. That happens on an old farm.

Always random, this year nature is choosing to rain little. It has been very dry. You always need a way to get through such random disasters. Since 1921 (as far back as we have written records), our farm has suffered over two dozen drought-like summers. The 1920s were almost the end of the farm, but luckily even before then the family always prepared for bad times. The family has always lived with a paranoid fear circling over our heads like an ugly buzzard. For that attitude we're very lucky -- more lucky than many farmers these days. We've been able to last through the worst of years. But the 1920s almost broke us. It broke at least 2 in 3 farmers.

Anyway, this summer could be a scorcher. We hope we are prepared. In farming, we have a saying: "Bacon's on." It has two meanings. One, you're going to eat. Two, you're going to fry. The two go hand-in-hand. Sometimes you eat, sometimes you fry. You need to accept both the good and the bad and be ready for either. You needn't do much to be ready to eat. It's natural. So you better be ready to fry. That's random.

Index Fund Resources

by Jeff Fischer (TMFJeff)

By the year 200 A.D., the Roman Lutetia region that preceded Paris had grown to include what is currently called the Latin Quarter. The Latin Quarter is now the oldest area of Paris (Roman ruins -- a single bath house -- remain standing, or crumbling, in this area). So, consider this: if you were born in the region in 200 A.D., you had the Latin Quarter and you had the islands of Paris as habitable stomping grounds. If you had arrived earlier, say in 53 B.C. with Caesar, you could only camp on the islands of what would become the center of Paris and you had little else. A tent. Some chickens. Caesar. If you visit Paris now, you have everything that the City of Lights has to offer. There is little work remaining to be done. You needn't build your own house when you arrive in Paris.

The Internet is in the equivalent age of Saint Denis: the age of the 200s in Paris. The Internet is being built. It is being recognized as a strong opportunity. It has a center. It is being created now, so years later much less creation (and opportunity to create) will remain. There will not be a great need. Why repeat what people have already done (unless you can do it better)?

In short order, the world will be at our fingertips online. Knowledge of every sort will be shared online, and it will come to you easily and in abundance. Already today this is becoming true. We needn't create anything new regarding many topics. There is an abundance of information already present.

In relation to Index funds, the Fool has its own full area:

http://www.fool.com/funds/funds.htm

Beyond Foolutetia (to revert back to Roman times), there are other websites spreading over the world regarding index funds:

http://www.indexfundsonline.com

http://www.indexinvestor.com/ (sometimes a slow site)

There are also several index fund books for sale, while the Fool's Motley Fool Investment Guide and You Have More Than You Think books address index funds and investment strategies very Foolishly.

Perhaps the best resource, however, is the Fool message boards. The Fool has two index fund message boards, here, and the Harry Jones board. The following post from our index board demonstrates the type of help that you can obtain:

"They say I'm dumb as a doorknob, but after reading all about index funds, I want to start investing. If I were to start throwing my money into index funds next week, what is my first step? (hey, I'm only eighteen). Is it to look up a broker in the yellow pages?

"P.S. Can't rely on the parental units, they're both dumber than dirt."

Visit the original post and the ensuing thread to read the many responses assisting this Fool.

There is a new world to build online and it is being built quickly and well. With every new piece of information shared accurately among us, we all become stronger -- Foolishly. If you know of any good index fund resources, please post them on Harry's board for everyone. Harry won't mind. He's never online. He's all set with his SPY shares.

Fool on!


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06/10/99 Close

Stock Change Close SPY -1 7/32 130.91
Day Month Year History HARRY -0.92% 0.07% 2.57% 2.57% S&P: -1.19% 0.09% 6.32% 6.32% NASDAQ: -1.38% 0.57% 13.31% 13.31% Rec'd # Security In At Now Change 1/4/99 16 S&P Depos 127.63 130.91 2.57% Rec'd # Security In At Value Change 1/4/99 16 S&P Depos 2042.00 2094.50 $52.50 CASH $0.00 TOTAL $2094.50 Yesterday Today Change S&P Depos 132.13 130.91 SPY -1 7/32

</THE HARRY JONES PORTFOLIO>

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