Let's just enjoy this

I’d like to sincerely thank Saul and other contributors for providing such a wealth of knowledge to us on this board. I’m not as active on the board as I’d like to be, but it’s more because the few times I have an astute view on a topic, someone has posted something significantly more eloquent than I could create. On behalf of the many people who check the board several times daily for its great ideas, I’m hoping the the “fact-checking” can be tempered down.

If I was Saul, discussions like those which have taken place several times already this year would turn me completely off from sharing anything at all. I’m certainly not trying to stop opposing dialogue, which everyone can learn from. If someone makes outlandish statements, by all means question and clarify what they mean. If you’re convinced that Saul’s investing philosophy doesn’t work for you, of course you should do what you’re comfortable with.

But to have the continued fact-checking is pretty much impossible to not take personally. I’ve had pretty good returns since I’ve started investing 2.5 years ago (about 20% annually, thanks in large part to the fundamentals I’ve learned here), but no one has asked me to prove myself when discussing it with them. And if they questioned me consistently, I’d be much more hesitant to share what knowledge I have.

More important than the actual performance (which I believe is accurate anyway, as he has no reason to lie about it), is the basics of how to select good companies to own. If you believe he’s lying about the numbers, and don’t learn anything about selecting promising companies on this board, then this might be the wrong place for you.


I wish I could recommend the above post like 10 times. I completely agree, that the process to analyse the companies is more important to me than the actual performance of the total portfolio returns of Saul or any other member. Saul and others on this board provide immense service by posting quantitative and qualitative methods to analyse companies.




Saul has a certain “swagger” which he has earned but does seem to rile some up. I have followed Saul since his days on the Westport board. He saved me from a huge loss and that kind of advice doesn’t always show up in performance stats. He has also turned me on to a few companies that have been a successful addition to my portfolio. But it is clearly not just about his portfolio or his buys or about learning what to look for to get out of a company early, a skill that is totally lacking in much of the TMF world.

I am a big fan of TMF but this board and the many wise voices that post here have helped me think about investing in a much more focused manner. I even appreciate the occasional challenge to the board status quo because it forces me to consider whether or not I’m thinking for myself or just drinking the kool aide (be that from TMF, Saul, or even, god forbid, Tom E/tmf1000).



I just came across the opening paragraphs that Neil selected to start the FAQ/Knowledgebase. They say it all:

## About This Board

  • I visualize the board as a tool for people improve their investing skills, to share information and ideas, to learn how to choose stocks for themselves, and to learn how to invest intelligently. I certainly expect people to make their own investing decisions and not to try to copy every stock I have, although it’s nice when others on the board are interested in some of the same stocks as I am because we have great discussions about them. Please remember to make your own decisions about what you buy and sell, and feel free to disagree with me as I certainly make bad purchases at times. The only thing I have ever guaranteed is that I make mistakes at times and that everything I buy doesn’t go up. [Post 2913]

  • Now if anyone actually wants to learn to invest the way I have done, the way to do it isn’t for you to just blindly copy the stocks I invest in, but to learn the method, which I have explained at length, and learn how to find the stocks for yourself, and find out what part of it suits your personality and financial situation. I’m an old guy and may not be around much longer. If you are just following the stocks I’ve chosen, what will you do when I’m gone? It’s best to learn how to do it yourself! – Hell, I’ve never considered my stocks to be the best possible ones to invest in. They are just the ones I’ve found. Consider my information about them as one of the sources of information you use, but if you find a better stock somewhere else, go for it! And please let me know so that I can evaluate it for myself as a possibility. That’s what the board is about. Discussion of investing and stocks, not how my portfolio does for the next six or twelve months. [Post 5735]


They say it all

It helps to post a reminder every so often, even if it results in a brief dustup. That’s because the investing world is filled with Charles Glasgows.

Who is Charles Glasgow?

By Ianthe Jeanne Dugan Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Updated Oct. 15, 2004 12:01 a.m. ET

Charles Glasgow has idolized Peter Lynch since the early 1990s, when he read his investment book “One Up on Wall Street.” So when the 66-year-old former college professor heard of a stock Mr. Lynch had bought with his own money, he jumped at the chance to invest alongside him.

A regulatory filing in August 2003 showed that Mr. Lynch, the celebrated former skipper of Fidelity Magellan Fund, owned 1.8 million shares of tiny SafeScript Pharmacies Inc.

“He is the most brilliant investor ever,” says Mr. Glasgow, of Denton, Texas. “I would not have touched this little company with a 10-foot pole except for his involvement.” But “if it was good enough for Peter Lynch, it was good enough for me,” Mr. Glasgow says, adding that he plowed nearly $498,000 into the stock and his relatives invested, too.

They were among hundreds of fans of Mr. Lynch following him into SafeScript stock. By late January this year, SafeScript had a stock-market value of $125 million. Mr. Lynch owned nearly 8%.

Then the roof fell in. In February, the company announced regulators were investigating its accounting. The chief executive and two other managers quit. Soon, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. This month, the Securities and Exchange Commission revoked its stock registration and sued the company and four former officials, alleging it had inflated revenue and profit.

Mr. Lynch says he was baffled. “It was a total surprise, out of left field,” he says. “It’s a terrible tragedy.”

Back then I almost became a Charles Glasgow. Here is my write up posted on TMF about five months before the WSJ article was published.




But “if it was good enough for Peter Lynch, it was good enough for me,” Mr. Glasgow says, adding that he plowed nearly $498,000 into the stock and his relatives invested, too.

Peter Lynch (among many others) also advised not to buy on tips. Is buying a Lynch (TMF, Saul, etc.) stock without doing your own research any better than buying a tip? I don’t think so.

This Glasgow feller only learned half (or less) of a lesson. Once you research and approve of a stock, no matter who introduced you to it, it becomes “your” stock. This has an upside as well as a downside. You can congratulate yourself if it goes up but you can’t blame anyone but yourself if not. :wink:

Denny Schlesinger


But “if it was good enough for Peter Lynch, it was good enough for me,” Mr. Glasgow says, adding that he plowed nearly $498,000 into the stock and his relatives invested, too.

Do you think that was more than 5% of his portfolio? More than 10%? Almost everybody on this board wouldn’t recommend investing in that way.