October, 2003: 1 13 22
Disclaimer - IMPORTANT - Read this first!
Investor's Journal is a diary focused strictly on investments and personal finance issues, primarily from a contrarian and retiree point of view. Follow along with an average guy's failures and successes as he learns, by trial and error, the fine art of value investing.

10/1/03-As the stock market and our holdings have been down through much of September, yet wanting to remain on schedule for a target of half a million dollars in equities by year-end, I've added five bargain securities to our Essential Value Portfolio in the last couple days:

BISYS GroupBSG9/29/03200$13.22
Duckwall-Alco Stores, Inc.DUCK9/29/03200$14.50
General ElectricGE10/1/0383$29.81
Newell RubbermaidNWL10/1/03115$22.00

Following the stock prices' drop last month and our new investments, the average asset return being lowered by these purchases and their commissions, as of close of business today the portfolio's performance stands at just +0.4%. Total investments in the Essential Value Portfolio, since its commencement in August, have been $23,430. The portfolio's current value is $23, 522.

Nonetheless, our total current holdings participated in the substantial market gains that occurred today. Overall assets are thus already ahead several thousand dollars.

Earlier in the afternoon my wife, Fran, and I checked out some laptop computers at Fry's in north Austin. We found that the Fujitsu N series appears to meet our needs at a not too exorbitant price. More shopping, both online and in physical establishments, may be necessary to refine and nail down the best, most cost effective deal available. Nonetheless, with total costs for the ideal laptop and its accessories in the neighborhood of $2200 or so, this will not be an impulse purchase. (It took us close to six months of careful shopping to pick out our wedding rings, and they wound up costing just $500.)

10/13/03-The Essential Value Portfolio, initiated on 8/18/03, is now up 4.8%. The latest transaction was a purchase of 100 shares of Men's Wearhouse (MW) on 10/6, at $28.01 per share. Altogether, the ten stocks in the portfolio cost $26,261, including $300 in commissions, but are worth $27,528 at the close of business today. The Standard and Poors 500 is up 4.5% since 8/18 and now stands at 1045.

10/22/03-I added to our Essential Value Portfolio shares today, as shown below, to raise our total equities back to the minimum target level, despite the recent downturn.

General ElectricGE10/22/0386$28.56

The total invested in the Essential Value Portfolio so far has been $31,110, including $360 in commissions. Since inception (8/18/03), there has been a 0.8% net total return on the portfolio.

Disclaimer and Disclosure Statement
Much as I'd love it to be otherwise, I receive no payment of any kind for disseminating investment information unless, by some fluke, millions of folks, on the strength of these entries, start buying shares of stock I own, a possibility only slightly less likely than our being destroyed by a large meteorite. Do not follow any suggestions made in Investor's Journal as if I were a professional.

Neither I nor Investor's Journal will be responsible for losses by anyone who obtained ideas from this site.

This diary is intended for personal interest and general information only. You are advised to do your own research (as well as to consult highly compensated professionals) before spending money on anything.

I know of no reason anyone should take my financial musings seriously. At best I am a dedicated amateur providing a bit of investment-related insight and entertainment, at worst an amusing diversion.

My wife, Fran, and I may at times own shares of some of the assets mentioned here. But neither of us receive any benefit from reference to them, unless you count the mutual misery when we get it wrong, or the opportunity to gloat when we get it right.

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