What Happened to Fool Port?

Romancing the Port
Love is in the air

by Rick Aristotle Munarriz (TMF Edible)

MIAMI, FL (Dec. 17, 1998) -- Today my parents are celebrating their 37th wedding anniversary. You probably don't know them. You probably don't want to know them. Your loss, really. They're great and I love them and all, but don't worry, I won't be going into a series of personal anecdotes here. The timeline is all you need to know. That's right, the theme for tonight is long-term commitments -- in equity and in love.

Relationships are an awful lot like investing. I don't mean this in the obvious ways that they can both enrich you or break your heart. No, I mean that the approach to both arts is pretty similar. Short term. Long term.

What color is your polyester leisure suit? That will reveal plenty at the day trading lizard lounge. There you will find folks going from one unknown entity to another, never really taking the time to know what they're getting into or sticking around long enough to find any kind of ultimate appreciation. It's immediate gratification often in lieu of taking the time to reflect on the transaction costs of emotional churning. The in. The out. The novelty. It eventually wears thin to all but the perpetual amateur with an acute fondness for disco and the Huggy Bear approach to high fashion.

By now you might be ready to toss your watered down drink at me, slap my face, yell out "Hypocrite," and walk away. Oh, memories. How dare I belittle the short-term traders when we are here, trading day after trading day, to break down current events. If we are long-term investors why reflect, sometimes with neon ablaze, on what happened today?

Why? Because today is a portrait. This is a vibrant snapshot that, strung together with other daily photographs, produces a dramatic moving picture. This is breathing fiscal celluloid where the stars are perseverance and accountability. Vision has a nice little cameo, too. So, with that, let's pose for today. Okay, crunch in together. Iomega (NYSE: IOM), stop making bunny ears behind 3Dfx (Nasdaq: TDFX). Nice smile there Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN). Is everybody here? Oh, wait, let's make room for the new guy. Come on Amgen (Nasdaq: AMGN) say "splice!"


You see, no flash. Just another day in the Rule Breaker Port. Not the best of days in the Rule Breaker Port actually as it fell 0.52% while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite rose 1.55% and 1.72%, respectively. The culprit of today's underperformance? Amazon.com gave back some of yesterday's stellar gains. So, if shares of Amazon.com want to climb only 34 points over the next two days, so be it. Again, yesterday David gave some sage refinancing advice when he pointed out that its the percentage, not the points, that matter.

The fundamentals couldn't be better for Amazon.com and its e-tail peers. Yesterday America Online (NYSE: AOL) announced that over the past two weeks 750,000 of its subscribers had done some online shopping -- for their first time! If toys and apparel are selling well on AOL's tenant stores, you can imagine how well Amazon.com must be doing, right?

So, what kind of investor are you? Will you wake up tomorrow morning with a portfolio full of strangers? Will they buy you breakfast? Will you kiss them goodbye at the open? Or will you feel the romantic urge to be selective and find more sustainable affiliations? The potential in any relationship, be it fiscal or physical, increases in direct proportion to the effort used in seeking out a worthy candidate and in the time invested thereafter. Day traders are from Mars. This Recap may have come from Venus. Fools are from Earth. Planet Earth. Our feet firmly on the ground. Even if we all stare at Polaris, few will venture that way, no?

That is why, with jaded romanticism, I await tomorrow's opening of You've Got Mail. I want to know if our own America Online flubbed its only line. I want to know if they finally edited out the two hours of busy signals. But, more than that, I'll be justifiably amused at the offline masses who will suddenly flock online to find a mate. The women won't look like Meg Ryan. The men, well, maybe they will look like Tom Hanks. In the end they'll think that they found happiness in an online e-mail relationship when the real dancing takes place here, on the financial forums like ours. No, really.

Think about it. In the ink-stained world, lonely folks thumb through the love classifieds in the local paper when the real heartbeat skipping ads appear daily, in the thousands, in the business section. Wanted. SWRB's. Spin-offs okay. Pennies and deadbeats need not apply.

It's lovestock. Why do you think they call them ticker symbols anyway? Of course, I'm not suggesting anyone should fall in love with a stock. Equities make no vows. Leave the love stuff for the Tom Hanks and Meg Ryans of the world.

But if two aimless souls should meet romantically. If they connect. If they stumble across a purpose and fall in love. If they get married. Here's hoping, 37 years later, their son winds up scribbling some portfolio recap with nothing more to say than, mom, dad, I love you both. Happy Anniversary.

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12/17/98 Close
Stock  Change    Bid 
AMZN  -12 1/4 276.75
AMGN  +  5/16  86.06
AOL   +2 7/8   99.13
T     +2 3/16  71.81
ATHM  -2 1/8   66.50
DJT   -  1/8    3.94
DD    +2 1/2   54.25
XON   -  7/8   74.88
IP    +  1/8   41.50
IOM   -  1/4    7.31
LU    +4       98.69
SBUX  +1 1/4   51.25
TDFX    ---    12.19
                   Day   Month    Year  History  Annualized 
      R-Breaker  -0.52%  17.28% 142.81%  714.88%   61.67%
        S&P:     +1.55%   1.40%  21.59%  157.41%   24.17%
        NASDAQ:  +1.72%   4.84%  30.15%  183.80%   26.98%

    Rec'd    #  Security     In At       Now      Change
   8/5/94  1100 AmOnline       1.82     99.13    5353.32%
   9/9/97   440 Amazon.com    19.74    276.75    1302.14%
  5/17/95  1960 Iomega Cor     1.28      7.31     471.11%
  10/1/96    84 LucentTech    23.81     98.69     314.51%
  8/12/96   130 AT&T          39.58     71.81      81.45%
  4/30/97 -1170*Trump*         8.47      3.94      53.51%
  12/4/98   450@Home Corp.    56.08     66.50      18.58%
  2/20/98   200 Exxon         64.09     74.88      16.83%
 12/16/98   290 Amgen         85.75     86.06       0.36%
   7/2/98   235 Starbucks     55.91     51.25      -8.33%
  2/20/98   215 DuPont        59.83     54.25      -9.33%
  2/20/98   270 Int'l Pape    47.69     41.50     -12.98%
   1/8/98   425 3Dfx          25.67     12.19     -52.52%

    Rec'd    #  Security     In At     Value      Change
   9/9/97   440 Amazon.com  8684.60 121770.00  $113085.40
   8/5/94  1100 AmOnline    1999.47 109037.50  $107038.03
  5/17/95  1960 Iomega Cor  2509.60  14332.50   $11822.90
  10/1/96    84 LucentTech  1999.88   8289.75    $6289.87
  4/30/97 -1170*Trump*     -9908.50  -4606.88    $5301.63
  12/4/98   450@Home Corp. 25236.13  29925.00    $4688.87
  8/12/96   130 AT&T        5145.11   9335.63    $4190.52
  2/20/98   200 Exxon      12818.00  14975.00    $2157.00
 12/16/98   290 Amgen      24867.50  24958.13      $90.63
   7/2/98   235 Starbucks  13138.63  12043.75   -$1094.88
  2/20/98   215 DuPont     12864.25  11663.75   -$1200.50
  2/20/98   270 Int'l Pape 12876.75  11205.00   -$1671.75
   1/8/98   425 3Dfx       10908.63   5179.69   -$5728.94

                              CASH  $39332.55
                             TOTAL $407441.36


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