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January 4, 1999

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Subject: Top 10 Predictions for 1999
Author: mhirschey

Here's my "Top 10 Predictions for 1999."

1. Disenchanted with the limited profit potential of the on-line market for books, videos, and CDs, Amazon.com becomes the largest on-line seller of H2O. Sophisticated research by Wall Street Internet Analysts stuns newbie investors with the pronouncement that "life as we know it couldn't exist without H2O."

2. The Motley Fool Internet stock gurus David and Tom Gardner enthusiastically embrace Amazon.com's ability to discard one flawed business model in favor of another. Amazon.com duplicates 1998 performance, operating losses top $500 million, and market cap rises above $175 billion.

3. Wall Street Internet Analysts continue to embrace Amazon.com as an attractive small cap play. Merger discussions between Amazon.com and the State of Michigan, a leading supplier of H2O, are taken as proof positive that Amazon.com's new business model is viable. Merger discussions with the country of Brazil point to dynamic international growth potential.

4. Citing a collapse in customer traffic due to the amazing growth of the Internet, retail giant Sears closes its doors for good. Boeing mothballs production facilities because, in the words of a corporate spokesperson, "Nobody want to fly anymore, they're too busy surfing the WWW."

5. Citing an inability to justify "growth" stock investor enthusiasm for Amazon.com, America Online and Yahoo! become top favorites of "value" investors. "Hey, these Internet stocks have P/E ratios that are real numbers!" becomes a standard refrain.

6. On the heels of accelerating stock prices, America Online and Yahoo! announce the third Friday of the month as the record date for monthly stock splits. Option speculators rejoice.

7. America Online and Yahoo! replace Caterpillar, Goodyear, Sears and Boeing in the newly reconfigured 28-stock DJIA (Dow Jones Internet Average). Editors of The Wall Street Journal explain that they can no longer identify 30 non-Internet stocks with investment merit, and ban use of the word "industrial" as hopelessly pre-Internet.

8. President Al Gore signs legislation eliminating taxes on companies that use the suffix .com. Capital gains tax credits are issued to all investors that buy Internet stocks.

9. The Motley Fool goes public as Fool.com. On the first day of trading, Fool.com pops from $3 to $324, and a market cap of $540 billion. Small investors complain that only 1,492 shares were made available to the public. The CBOE reports significant interest in "Foolish" options.

10. The Motley Fool issues 1,776 nonvoting "B" shares to complete its buyout of Dow Jones & Co. Barron's and The Wall Street Journal staffers don propeller-laden beanies; Al Ableson is warned to laugh uproariously whenever anyone mentions the words "bear market," or else!

Beware, these are only predictions. Some may not come true!

Time will tell.

Best wishes,
Mark Hirschey


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