by Harry Jones

(June 17, 1999) -- Irv and I hired a stable hand and all-around helper for the summer just a few days after high school got out. The boy is about seventeen-years-old -- a clean-cut looking boy, who agreed to be at the farm five days a week at 5:30 a.m. I offered him breakfast every morning with me if he was willing to be here by 4:50 a.m., but he passed on that offer.

As it turns out, he has passed on the entire deal. On day three, the boy never showed up again. I was left standing by the stable with three horses waiting for him to come waddling over the rise in the dirt road like he did the two days before, looking all sleepy but healthy and young -- young enough that waking up early in the morning truly wasn't difficult, just an inconvenience. Well, he never came waddling.

Irv was out watering crops before the sun rose because watering when it is very sunny is not the best thing for many crops -- the water makes them open up from a "closed against the hot sun" position -- and while he watered and while I waited for the boy by the stable the boy never arrived.

I scratched my head and talked to the horses. "He seemed like a smart boy."

It's about responsibility. When you agree that you're going to do something, you do it, no matter what happens. If you absolutely can't do it, you cover yourself. You explain your reasons and then move on. You don't drop something that you agreed to do and never show up.

I don't know the boy's parents, but Irv knows his mother and he said she's a sweet woman. I'm sure she is. But her boy still has some growing up to do. Being able to keep long-term commitments is the surest sign of maturity.

Who Can Use Index Funds?

by Jeff Fischer (TMFJeff)

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Fool on!

 Recent Harry Jones Portfolio Headlines
  08/26/99  Is it a Nifty 500? Part II
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  07/29/99  The Foolishness of Index Funds
Harry Jones Portfolio Archives »  

06/17/99 Close

Stock Change Close SPY +1 1/4 134.56
Day Month Year History HARRY +0.94% 2.87% 5.44% 5.44% S&P: +0.71% 2.93% 9.59% 9.59% NASDAQ: +1.05% 2.98% 16.03% 16.03% Rec'd # Security In At Now Change 1/4/99 16 S&P Depos 127.63 134.56 5.44% Rec'd # Security In At Value Change 1/4/99 16 S&P Depos 2042.00 2153.00 $111.00 CASH $0.00 TOTAL $2153.00 Yesterday Today Change S&P Depos 133.31 134.56 SPY +1 1/4


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