A Foolish Interview with TMFKopp Add to My Favorite Fools Add to My Penalty Box

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The Fool: Would you rather be remembered as a person, a legend, or a myth?
TMFKopp: Myth for sure. That way my figurative wrassling with stock market bears could somehow turn into a heroic battle with some two ton polar bear in the far reaches of the Yukon.
The Fool: Make a confession.
TMFKopp: Ok, so although I have been on computers since I was two years old (my first was an Apple IIe), I have fried more computers than just about anyone I know. Sure I've learned a lot about the guts and functioning of a PC, but it's been at the price of a heck of a lot of blue screens of death.

Also, possibly worse, I bought AOL stock in 1999. Ouch...
The Fool: Given a second chance, what financial decision would you like to do over?
TMFKopp: Though I started learning about the stock market in my high school economics class, I didn't start investing until I was in college. If I were to do it over I probably would have started earlier. Preferably around the time I leared to walk.
The Fool: If you could use one example from your life to teach a financial lesson, what would it be?
TMFKopp: This is probably cheating since it didn't happen to me, but it's one of the best financial lessons I've learned. I have a friend who built up credit card debt during college and let it simmer for a while. Before he knew it, the debt had gotten way out of control, and his comment to me was, "you'd think as a math major I would've known what the magic of compounding interest can do to you." At 10% or 15%, even a relatively small amount of credit card debt can get pretty crazy pretty fast.

Of course, what's true for the credit cards on the debt side is also true for investments on the assets side. Perhaps the most important thing about investing is to keep the darn money invested! In the long run, that magical compounding interest can do wonders, even if I can't pick stocks like Bill Miller.
The Fool: What's the best product you use that most people don't know about?
TMFKopp: Hands down the shaving brush. The shaving brush is back in a big way. I can do without all the new fancy personal care products for men, but there's no way you're taking my shaving brush from me.
The Fool: What's been your best investment to date, and how did you discover it?
TMFKopp: As sleepy as Duke Energy (DUK) is, that's probably it. I started a dividend reinvestment program (DRIP) with Duke back in early 2003, right when Duke was bottoming from the fallout from the bubble bursting and Enron blowing up.

The stock has been on a pretty steady up-trend since I started the program and the shares that were bought early on have more than doubled. The DRIP automatically draws from my bank account every month so I've been buying whether the stock's up or down. And with the stock's 4% yield I'm getting that nice kicker every quarter.
The Fool: List some of your favorite websites, with commentary where appropriate. (Please provide the URLs, too.)
TMFKopp: Of course, Fool.com is #1, but a few others that I find myself on a lot:

Yahoo!Finance (http://finance.yahoo.com) - this site is great for doing research and pulling up data on stocks.

SEC's Edgar (http://sec.gov/edgar/searchedgar/companysearch.html) - no better place to find company SEC filings... probably because it is the SEC! The docs aren't really great for printing, though, so SECfilings.com (http://www.secfilings.com) is useful for that.

Wall Street Journal (http://www.wsj.com)

New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com) - they have some good business content and their DealBook section is great.

GoogleNews (http://news.google.com) - for raw news can you beat the GOOG?

Last but not least...
Wikipedia (http://www.wikipedia.org) - don't even get me started on Wikipedia, it ranks right up there with my shaving brush as my favorite things. Great resource for research and just general ol' fashioned learning. (try hitting the "random article" link if you feel the urge to learn something new and random)
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