In my final “Fool Revisited” post this week, I will be finishing off my mini-series on the Dow with the remaining seven components of the Dow (at least at the time). The previous three entries of this group covered the oldest members of the Dow, the newest members, and a group where each company had at least 20 years as a member of the Dow Jones. This final article talks about the remaining seven companies, and as mentioned in my article, all these companies were added on two separate days in the late ‘90s: March 17, 1997 and November 1, 1999.
Remember how I’ve spent some of this “Fool Revisited” breaking down some regional banks? (Southwest, Midwest, Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast and Pacific in case you missed them). My next article was me further laying the foundation of regional banks being better than the “too big to fail” banks that everyone knows and loves – in this context Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo.
In one attempt to find a niche as a financial writer, I decided that there might be hay to be made among these “lower-tier” banks. Everybody and their mother covered the day-to-day happenings at the big banks (I even did it for a while towards the end of my Foolish tenure), but the regionals seemed to be a relatively untapped market aside from a few of the larger ones or merger/failure news. This article was the first brick that I laid my foundation as a “regional bank expert,” and was a theme that I would come back to in the future when looking for opportunities in the financial sector. Continue reading →
The first “Fool Revisited” piece today was yet another article written about Under Armour (NYSE: UAA). It is pretty obvious from some of my first articles that I wrote for the Fool that I had an affinity for the company, and this was a further expansion of that with a discussion on CEO Kevin Plank’s compensation received for shepherding the company through a period of seemingly never-ending growth.
This was an attempt to expand on the idea of qualitative investing versus quantitative investing. While it is important to point to whatever metrics make sense to you as you are choosing a company, numbers often don’t tell the whole story. A company – like Under Armour and thousands of others – can be doing exceptionally well, and sometimes the numbers are just hard to put into context all things considered, so it can be important to take a step back from time to time to examine the entire picture. Continue reading →
My final “Fool Revisited” piece today was a “response piece” to my colleague Alex Planes’ article on The Luck of the 1%. At the time, the Occupy movement was happening, and Alex used very poignant examples of how reaching the upper echelon of wealth in this country is often more about when you happen upon something – like meeting Bill Gates before he founded Microsoft – or simply being able to take advantage when opportunities present themselves. His article also uses a very prescient quote from our current president, back when he was just a flailing New York real estate developer and reality television host, proving that the idea of luck may not be as farfetched as we think.
In my article, I acknowledge that there is some luck to the vast success of the 1%. Using the Forbes 400 list as a guide, however, I tried to identify three people from that list who combined luck with perseverance and found a place on that esteemed list. The three people I profiled – Larry Ellison of Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL), Sheldon Adelson of Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS) and Michael Dell of, well, Dell – each overcame some level of adversity on their way to the upper reaches of wealth, showing that while luck is important, there are other factors that contribute to the success of some of our most prosperous businesses. Continue reading →