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Subject:  The Best Stock on the Board Date:  1/22/2002  4:55 PM
Author:  enzey Number:  9 of 265

When you walk into a Wal-Mart, you are immediately caught in a world where everyone wants everything to turn out right. From the denture-supported smile of the Wal-Mart greeter to the substantial woman behind the counter in the electronics department, it seems like everyone is trying hard to make the American Dream come true.

These employees are not the smart set, or the dot-com high flyers of the world - they are your neighbors, and they understand what their customers need and want - quite apart from selling any merchandise.

It is the feel-good emporium for those of us who do not order chocolate from Belgium, but still appreciate a warm smile and wry comment from the check-out lady.

I bought Wal-Mart because it made me feel good, even if I had to go buy dental floss. When the crash came, guess who stayed nearer the top than any other stock.

Numbers are dangerous for me. I bought some stocks based on their numbers, and guessed wrong. A stock that represents something I can understand, such as customer satisfaction, filling a need that most people have, and having that almost undefinable sense of being at home makes more sense. When I read about the founder of Walmart, it re-enforced what I felt.

Feelings are often a dangerous indicator, but when you start with a gut feeling that is backed up by the company gestalt and the numbers, you've got a winner. I just wish I'd had that much sense with my whole portfolio.

Wal-Mart is my favorite stock because it represents the middle America that I love, and miss so much from the top of my mountain in Wales.

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