FR: It’s More Than Just Luck for the 1%

Article: It’s More Than Just Luck for the 1%

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

FR: Decades of Great Performance from 9 Dow Stocks

Article: Decades of Great Performance from 9 Dow Stocks

My next “Fool Revisited” piece is the third entry from my mini-series on the Dow Jones (you can read Part 1 and Part 2 at those links). Like the previous articles, I broke the 30 components of the Dow into 4 groups based on how long they have been assigned to that garbage index (you’re weekly reminder that I really hate the Dow Jones Industrial Average), and the group below had been on the Dow for at least 20 years at the time of article publication. And unlike the previous articles, all nine stocks profiled are still in the DJIA.

The intent of this series was to introduce the members of the Dow, and the next logical step was to discuss whether or not a company’s placement on the Dow affected stock performance. Unlike the members of the S&P 500 – which find homes in a LOT of institutional funds – the number of Dow funds and ETFs out there are pretty limited.

This is often why you’ll see above average gains in a stock when it is added to the S&P 500, since there are hundreds – if not thousands – of stock funds and ETFs that must purchase shares in the company. The inverse is true as well; when a stock is removed from the S&P 500, it tends to be sold off a bit and lose some value. This doesn’t appear to be the case with the Dow, but it is definitely something that I want to look at in a bit more detail in the near future. Continue reading

FR: Don’t Go Nuts Over Diamond’s Recent Fall

Article: Don’t Go Nuts Over Diamond’s Recent Fall

My next “Fool Revisited” piece is a look back at how we covered the news while working for The Motley Fool, this time on the occasion of a massive fall for Diamond Foods, a seller of delicious snack foods that has since been acquired by Snyder’s-Lance (Nasdaq: LNCE).

While The Motley Fool has been known to break news from time to time, they default to taking a long-term view of the market, not really covering the day-to-day price movements of every single stock out there. This doesn’t mean that they don’t report on daily moves, however. They had a group of writers that would write articles when any of the stocks recommended by their services went up or down over 5% in a single day, and they also started publishing articles about the end of the market day news from the Dow Jones and S&P 500. Continue reading