Archive for Sunday, January 19, 2003

The Motley Fool

January 19, 2003

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Name That Company

I'm the top supplier of first-run syndicated programming in America. Under my roof you'll find "Wheel of Fortune" and "Jeopardy!" (the two highest-rated series in syndication), and "The Oprah Winfrey Show" (the No. 1 daytime talk show), as well as "Hollywood Squares," "Inside Edition," "Martha Stewart Living," "Bob Vila's Home Again" and "CBS Marketwatch Weekend." I also distribute "Everybody Loves Raymond," "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," among other shows you might have heard of. My biggest recent home run is the "Dr. Phil" show. CBS bought me for $2.5 billion in 1999. Who am I? (Answer: King World Productions)

Know the answer? Send it to us with Foolish Trivia on the top and you'll be entered into a drawing for a nifty prize! The address is Motley Fool, Box 19529, Alexandria, Va. 22320-0529. Send questions for Ask the Fool, Dumbest (or Smartest) Investments (up to 100 words), and your Trivia entries to Fool@fool.com.

Buy to hold

I'm an advocate of "buying and holding," but problems can arise with it. Over time, most of my positions have grown threefold to tenfold. Now it scares me to think of selling any of these. Of the three things that can happen, two are bad: 1. Sell, pay the tax, then watch the price continue to soar; 2. sell, pay the tax, then invest in some hot stock that has peaked and falls in value; and 3. sell, pay the tax, then have the stock drop so you can buy again at a bargain price. The odds are against hitting No. 3. So I keep my good performers, donating some to charities and bequeathing the rest to children or charities. This way everybody wins. -- Chet Phillips, Hendersonville, N.C.

The Fool Responds: At least you minimized your taxes by holding for the long term. With buy-and-hold investing, never hang onto stocks blindly for years, since some firms may fall apart. Review them periodically (at least reading annual reports), to make sure they're still firing on most cylinders. We like to think of it as buy-TO-hold investing.

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