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Marvel Enterprises
The foolish Investor and MVL

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By yodalives
March 18, 2004

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OK, I am going to come clean in the hopes that someone on this board might relate. I like Marvel the company and I love MVL the stock: for obvious reasons stated and re-stated many times over by investors on this board much wiser than myself.

As many of you shake your head at my ill-advised MVL investing approach, I will join you as I type.

I first bought Marvel at around 11 and sold around 13. I bought again around 17 and sold around 20. I bought again around 24 and sold, again, at 26. I bought again at 27 and sold at 34 just before earnings. In the last two weeks I have purchased MVL again 3 times so that my 4000 share position averages at 30.37

Clearly, I would have done a lot better, most of the time, by not attempting to time MVL stock and instead utilizing the Fool's approach: research well, buy, and hold- unless the fundamentals change.

But, early on I realized that MVL was a very volatile stock and as a want-to-be investor, with a traders personality, I was not comfortable watching my MVL gains drift away. So I sold and I sold and I sold. A mistake? In retrospect, clearly.

Here is the problem, each time I sold I was not aware of what I am aware of now, such as: the movies lined up for 2005,6,&7, all of the new licensing deals, the better splits with movie studios, how management would handle the increased cash flow, if Marvel would attempt to buy a movie studio (Artisian at the time was my concern) or would they pay off debt with extra cash or award options to high level employees?-

I simply didn't know then what I know now about the company, the future prospects, and the long term intent of management. I lacked the faith to hold into the unknown and sold.

Now here I am again. I am happy with my holdings in Marvel at 30.37. I feel confident in Marvels earnings, the news of the split, the deals with LGH with Man-thing and Punnisher, and of course Spiderman 2. I feel confidant that Marvels stock price will rise quite a bit between now and the release of Spiderman 2. I know that I will be tempted to take profits many times over, to get out at prices that I feel are based on hyped run up and get back in at lower priced hyped sell-offs. I know these dips and peaks will come and I know that my timing is far from perfect. But I know that I will be tempted to sell.

Last year in June I could never see MVL at 30 or I would have held- Now, I can't see Marvel at 50 or 60. I know that I will be tempted to sell and take my profits, only to await lows that may never come, and end up buying back in at a higher price when I know then what I don't know now.

My investing psychology could be worse- I do seem to make good returns, even in bad years. But, I know that my investing psychology could use some strategic intervention from those much wiser than myself.

I await your thoughts and perhaps similar MVL investing follies and or triumphs.

Best,

Dana


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