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Author: psuasskicker Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 47750  
Subject: Finally! My Big Red Star! Date: 5/29/2001 9:07 PM
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Recommendations: 25
Well, here it is. I'd say that big red star looks pretty next to my name, but I don't know yet cause I haven't seen it, and won't till this is permanently up there and I can't edit it to say “Man does that thing just look ugly!” You know, if it does… This thing really got a lot more long and involved than I thought it would originally. But there were some great questions (RAZ I'LL KILL YOU I SWEAR I'LL KILL YOU!!!) thrown out, and I actually think the post is a genuinely good post instead of just being filled with meaningless “Why's the sky blue” stuff.

So, I've really written a small novel here, so I'm not gonna talk any more. I think some … okay, many … people will have trouble making it to the end of this one. Hmmm…wanna take bets on who makes it and who doesn't? Might be an interesting pool! :-) Anyway, I hope you guys/girls enjoy it and maybe actually learn something from it. Mostly I hope you make it to the end so my writing it wasn't a total waste!

'Nuff said…enjoy!

BRational's questions…

I'm going to take a lot of just excerpts of anyone's questions which are fairly long, as this post is already long enough…

1. Could you explain, in your 1000-th post, the whole Rule Maker, Rule Breaker syndrome, and make the case that QCOM is both a Rule Maker and a Rule Breaker.

I'll start off with this…
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=14257318&sort=recommendations
A big thank you to Wildcat for making it easy to dig it up. This post received 53 recs, which put it on the second page in the most highly rec'ed list. It was back in early February, but not too much has changed. I haven't run some of the financials based on new earnings, but I'm sure they're not much better, and not much worse. But I do make the argument for why Qualcomm falls in both categories in that post.

The real question is more “Are these evaluation methods relevant anymore?” I think this is the biggest question that really has to be answered. The “syndrome” …BR, I'm not really sure about what you mean here. I think there's been a large backlash against TMF with the market's downturn. The RM and RB returns aren't nearly as impressive anymore, and could be very concerning, because you get two very different pictures when looking at them. This is coming in the next few questions. So let me go on with them…

2. Could you also document the TMF track record in their selection of RM's and RB's? and how much faith one should place in (1) the concept, i.e. do RM's and RB's indeed outperform the market over the medium to long term?, and (2) the particular selections made by the TMF of companies hey deemed were RM's and RB's, i.e were these selections appropriate, in hindsight? Of course, the latter might also include identifying companies that were not included that should have been included.

Well, there's a simple way to do this…..
http://www.fool.com/portfolios/rulemaker/2001/rulemaker010524.htm
http://www.fool.com/portfolios/rulebreaker/2001/rulebreaker010525.htm
Let me bring forward the most telling statistics here:
Rule Maker
RM Gains since inception (1/6/98) - <11.99%>
S&P500 Gains since inception – 32.35%
Nasdaq Gains since inception – 43.15%
Annualized RM IRR - <5.05%>
Annualized S&P500 IRR – 6.78%
Rule Breaker
RB Gains since inception (8/5/94) – 512.81%
S&P500 Gains since inception – 193.03%
Nasdaq Gains since inception – 212.56%
Annualized RB IRR – 36.05%
Annualized S&P500 IRR – 16.69%

Perhaps more telling though, is to go back to March of last year, which was the real start of the market's downturn. How 'bout we use March 15 as the benchmark. We see the following numbers…
Rule Maker
RM Gains since inception (1/6/98) – 73.13%
S&P500 Gains since inception – 42.01%
Nasdaq Gains since inception – 182.99%
Rule Breaker
RB Gains since inception (8/5/94) – 1515.49%
S&P500 Gains since inception – 203.70%
Nasdaq Gains since inception – 536.32%
(IRR numbers weren't calculated back then.)

Really, these numbers are quite amazing to look at! You see the unbelievable success compared to the rest of the market that these portfolios had during the bull run. And you see the absolute debacle they have proven to be since the market's downturn. The Rule Makers have proven to be a bit more stable than the Rule Breakers. But the RM portfolio is in negative territory since inception now. The RB portfolio has absolutely been demolished though, losing 2/3 of its gains in a little over 14 months! Even the Naz hasn't been hit that hard! But the S&P500 has looked to be a “pillar of stability” in that time compared to these two.

So we see a phenomenon not unlike what we all should already know about. Check out the companies in the RM and RB portfolio… They're VERY tech heavy! And as we all know, techs outperform the market in bullish times, and under perform it in bear times. It's especially evident in the RM portfolio where you see that other than Microsoft, mostly the techs fall in the negative total returns area and mostly non-techs are in positive numbers.

I've often felt this was a fault in these portfolios, especially the RM portfolio. The RB portfolio is extremely biased toward techs. It's easy to see. They have virtually no financial criteria; it's almost all subjective. And no one will give you the returns they look for except a tech in a bull market. But the RM portfolio is very subtly biased toward techs. “Sustainable competitive advantage” favors technology where it's easy to hold due to patents. To get it without patents requires growing loyalty, which is incredibly difficult to do at the same time as dominating the market. “Gross margins of at least 50%” heavily favors companies with little to no inventory and/or manufacturing; again, techs. “Net profit margins of 10% or greater” parallels gross margins. Need I continue? I always felt that to have one tech-favored portfolio was okay…good for the high risk/high reward investor. But to have a second tech-favored portfolio, and mask it as though it's unbiased I feel is a great fault of the Fool. I don't like the RB portfolio because I don't agree with the principles. I hate the RM portfolio because it could be very deceiving to newer investors.

That said, I follow more of a Rule Maker philosophy. As long as you're experienced enough that you know you're looking at a tech-favored portfolio, you can succeed fine with it.

I always thought Capital One (since about Jan 2000 when I first interviewed with them) would make a great RM fit. Obviously I think Qualcomm fits both categories.

3. If brought out by your analysis under (2), could you make the case that the RM, RB dichotomy may have outlasted its usefulness, and that some other typology may now be called for. Specifically, could one introduce the notion of continual innovation, or the ability to shape the future in one's domain on a continuing basis. ...

I feel that this is one of the Fool's biggest shortfalls…their inflexibility and resistance to change! In Corporate America, there is one basic concept that is drilled into your head, and must be followed as a law or you're destined for failure…
If you do not move forward, you stand still. Everyone else will be moving forward. If you remain still, the rest of the pack gets ahead. By default, if you remain still, you are actually moving backwards!
Capital One measures itself in four major categories. One is our flexibility. We know we must be innovative, or we will fail. The Fool doesn't follow this theory, which is a huge shortcoming, at least with these portfolios. (To the Fool's credit, since their “wake-up call” of the lay-offs, they are being very flexible in changing their business model. Hopefully it's working.) Since I've become a Fool about two years ago, I've seen very minimal changes to these portfolios. I've watched one year of bull market where they flourished, and one year of bear market where they've looked horrific. It's the perfect example of the above basic principle. They haven't evolved their portfolio to fit the times, and they've suffered badly because of it.

How would I go about doing it? Well, there's one heck of a question!!! How 'bout I touch on this really quickly, and I can follow up with more detail later if there's interest…
Let's look at the Rule Maker criteria first…
Sustainable competitive advantage
Great management
Expanding possibilities
Sales growth of at least 10%
Gross margins of at least 50%
Net profit margins of 10% or greater
Cash no less than 1.5x total debt
Foolish Flow Ratio below 1.25
Cash King Margin of at Least 10%
A valuation that allows for 2x/5y


First, I'd scratch most of the financial stuff all together. I'd say something closer to the following on everything that requires financial calculation…
Is in the 90th percentile in their industry in sales growth.
Change it from 90th percentile as needed. 85th? 95th? Best in class? This nearly completely eliminates any bias towards tech, because you evaluate the company against its competitors instead of against every other company. This is what I've always felt the essence of the RM portfolio has been about...to grab the best companies in each industry. Then and only then can you stack up things against each other, by doing an industry comparison. The problem is, you can't just evaluate the industry on numbers alone. I'd say that's more an evaluation of the size, growth, and stability. I really feel that for the RM portfolio to be able to deliver on what it seems to say it is, the Fool needs to give this method of evaluating companies serious consideration.
Disclaimer: Padavona was the Fool I originally got this idea from. I developed it in my own way as I'm sure he did his, but he planted the seed.

Now the RB…
Be in an important, emerging industry
Be the top dog and first-mover with gusto in that industry
Have a sustainable advantage
Have good management and smart backing
Have strong consumer appeal
Have a relative strength of 90 or better
Have the potential to appreciate 10-fold in 5 years
Have been called overvalued by a significant constituent of the financial media


Really I feel this does well for the RB portfolio. They consider their last three criteria to be “stock criteria”. Really, I think it's “sHock criteria”. I really like how they evaluate the industry stuff. I even agree with the “relative strength” criteria. But I have problems with the last two.
10X/5Y is just a dream world. I think it's hypocritical, because I have received many letters from TMF staffers saying that I shouldn't expect to get 40% per year returns. Yet the Fool has a permanent portfolio set up that claims to look only for stocks that will almost double that 40% yearly gain?!?!? Sorry guys, get real.
I've always though the “being called overvalued” criterion was just asking for trouble. We all laugh at analysts and their biased opinions. Most of them deserve it. However, company analysts can usually get it right. And if they're reporting their numbers right, and if the media reports them right, and doesn't go out of control, they're not going to call a stock “overvalued” and be wrong very often. MAYBE 50%. But I really think that criteria, especially in a time when many investors feel everything is overvalued, should be scrapped.

*PHEW*!!! Okay…still going…

Okay, on to warrenlynch's questions…

1. Where can I find more info about the Econ game? They didn't have things like this when I was in high school. (i.e. I went to the college book store and asked for a "copybook" the woman behind the counter looked at me like I had 3 heads...finally she figured out that I meant "note book") I go to school with a lot of 19/20 yr old business majors that might want to do the game for fun.( well... that's my story and I'm sticking to it...I am really not into the game...really...I mean it...ok so I am.)

For clarification, the Econ game being referred to is the stock market game which I mention in my interview in my profile.

I'm actually not sure where to go exactly to get information about it. This is a game that's pretty popular in high school economics classes these days. Unfortunately, it sometimes teaches kids the wrong lesson at a very important time…when they're going out into college, just turning 18, and able to take control of whatever finances they have. You may have seen reports of kids that earn in the thousands of percents in a matter of months by day trading. I assure you things like this never really happened before the late nineties. Like I said, we earned 35% in two or three months, and we came in 33rd in the state. And it's a big state! It worries me that too many young investors could get bad ideas that anyone can do that, especially in this market. Of course, we came up big with Intel, but at least I took an investing strategy out of it.

I also got to participate in one during my last year in college. One of the semesters (I forget which) I was in a finance (intro) class. For half the semester we played the same sort of game. Only it was against only our classmates. There were about 100 people in that class. He split us into something like twelve teams of eight or nine, or something like that. He awarded prizes for the biggest individual winner, best team, and worst individual and worst team. I won best, and our team won as well, thanks to Qualcomm, which gained about 40% in that time period.

I heard in that class that there are games set up like that on the internet. I think www.sandbox.com has one at least similar to it. But I haven't checked them out, so you'll have to look around and see the conditions and rules and what-not. I'd also suggest you speak with some finance professors, especially in courses related to the stock market, to see if they do anything like that. You'll likely find that sort of game in a raw form in some intro finance classes, and probably a much more complicated and deep thinking form in some upper lever stock market classes. It's something you'll have to talk to people at your school about.

2. My plan was to get out of college, work for the local John Bogle, pass the series 6& 63 and become a securities rep.While working as a rep fielding calls from prospective clients, I was going to study for my series 7 and become a broker … My original plan was to become an assistant analyst, then an analyst, then get my MBA and become a mutual fund … So, my question is do Financial analysts have to pass the above mentioned tests? I am still sticking with the rep plan, I was just wondering if those tests opened up any other opps.

I guess it really depends on what the company wants out of their analysts. If you're going to do the type of work you're talking about for any company, I can almost guarantee you're going to have to pass at least all three of those tests if not get your MBA. But if you're looking at the kind of FA work I'm in, I haven't even thought about those tests (though I'm giving very serious consideration to getting an MBA in another 3 to 5 years). Most FA's in Capital One deal specifically with the budget. I am a definite anomaly in the company. I do a lot of contract analysis and RFP/RFI analysis. This involves setting up TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) models and Should-Cost models. Lots of cost/price analysis. It basically involves my being able to do research on what companies do, being able to put dollar values on it, and saying if it's appropriate to be charged what we're being charged for. It's actually a great job. No one's done it in our company before, and we're doing great things that are high visibility. However, like I said before, most FAs are involved in budget and earnings forecasting and variance work. To me, this is the same thing as accounting. I suggest if you're interested in this, go for an FA position in a company. However, if you're interested in the type of analytical work I'm doing now…finance or business related…I would present yourself more as an Operational Analyst. I'd say it's pretty rare in most companies to get an FA into a really business analyst roll like I'm in.

3) Do you actually USE calculus,Matrixies,Spanish? You probably use courses like Economics and Statistics, but algebra??? Graphs and functions??? Imaginary numbers???

I never do, really. Actually, I use more algebra than anything else. “Hey, if I know that company X is going to charge us Y, and I know that internally we can do A, B, and C to get it done, what does A, B, and C have to cost to determine if we give the contract to company X?” This is simpler than what I do, but that's the general idea. Lots of algebra. Lots of statistics. Not a lot of anything else you mentioned. Well, graphs for illustrative purposes…but I don't scientifically set them up. You'll be amazed at how little of what book knowledge you learn in college is useful in Corporate America. It never ceases to amaze me! Be warned of two things…this isn't true of all jobs. Some will require your book knowledge. Also, in college the most important skill the classroom can teach you is HOW TO LEARN!!! If you don't learn how to learn, you can't continue to expand your mind, which is absolutely essential to advance yourself in Corporate America.

Ironic how in the government it often seems to be the other way around, isn't it? :-)

4) Where did you start in the financial world?

Right where I'm at pretty much. No joke. I was a biochemistry major for two years. Then I went into administration of justice. I did an internship in Harrisburg PA at the Dauphin County CID two summers ago. It was a lot of fun, but I also figured out I didn't want to do that for a living. So I took a hard right turn into an econ minor to compliment my business minor and shot for any position in the business world.

I came into Capital One last June as an FA knowing nothing. I was put into a department that was just fleshing itself out. It was a great situation for me cause seeing the department go through growing pains taught me a lot about how to survive and then how to thrive. My boss (who's still my boss) said in my first week “You're not going to be left out on a limb. We've got a vested interest in you succeeding. You'll find that you feel helpless for a long time…probably 6 to 9 months…and have to come to someone else for a lot. Then you'll find someone comes to you one day for something big and complex, and you handle it without blinking. And it won't be till a little later that you realize what you've done, and that you've become independent and successful.” Truer words were never spoken. It happened exactly like that. I've been fortunate enough to have him as my boss for a long time. Now, he's reporting to a woman who's absolutely amazing. I'm one of about 16 or 17 people in her group, and she's the most incredible manager I've ever seen. She's a lawyer with an MBA, she heads the Contract Management group. She attacks things she wants, and has amazing negotiating skills, and she absolutely goes out to the very end of every limb to help out her reports. And she's one of the funniest people I've met. I honestly couldn't be in a more perfect situation, working where I work.

5) I have a 3.72G.P.A… I am treasurer of student government, treasurer of PTK … Treasurer of FBLA/PBL … and a special population student … Do you think when it's time to hire in the Financial/investment world, that they take into account extra curricular activities? Or do they base hiring more on G.P.A.'s and past work experiences. I ask because I sometimes wonder if I wasn't in all these clubs, would my G.P.A. be higher?

Your GPA gets a company to look at you. Everything else you do gets the job. They're both important. My overall GPA was about a 2.9, but I had a 3.5 if you looked at my in-major/in-minor (3.4/3.6) GPA. Guess which of those two numbers went on my resume! I think that I would have been passed over for a lot of the interviews I got if I put the 2.9 on my resume. I also have no doubt in my mind that my RA (Residents Assistant) job taught me the skills that got me hired. I highly suggest to every college student to attempt to be a Residents Assistant for at least one year in college. I learned so much about people skills, projecting myself, selling myself, dealing with people, working collaboratively…the list goes on and is seemingly endless.

Here's the thing. You can stick any monkey with a brain in nearly every entry-level position in Corporate America because they'll be trained to do the job they're going to be doing. But companies don't want some monkey that will do the same job adequately and in a monotone fashion the rest of their lives and never go anywhere or do anything. And really, if they do, I highly suggest you avoid them like the plague. Most companies look for people that they feel can climb the corporate ladder quickly. Everyone they hire should be a future CEO in their mind. That takes a lot of skills that you'll never learn in any book. You can only learn them by doing them, and working with others. The fact that you participate in extra-curricular activities alone says that you're an outgoing person. Your treasurer position indicates you're special in some way to your “club”. Both will look stunning on a resume.

But in my opinion, the best thing you can ever put on a resume coming out of college, is your demonstration of leadership abilities! Companies want future leaders. If you can demonstrate you're a leader, you become infinitely more attractive to a company than anyone else who can't demonstrate that. No joke…ANYONE. I don't know enough about your extra-curricular activities and what they involve. But if they lend themselves to be leadership positions, I highly suggest you stress that on your resume.

I had a mediocre GPA. I had only a few extra-curricular activities. None of them were honors things. But I have a black belt, which gave me teaching experience…running a class of 15-30 students, both adults and children. And I had an RA job that taught me to lead over 30 students, and work on a team of 14 other RAs to enhance the community. And I got offers from four of the nine companies I interviewed with, and only interviewed in one semester.

You've got a great GPA. Please don't give up your other activities to get it up. If anything, take on a few more (can I hint “RA” any more? :-). Don't let it slip under a 3.6, and you're in a great position. But your GPA only gets the company to look your way. It doesn't get you the job.

In my humble opinion, nothing is more valuable than your leadership ability.

Here's a few from LJBeachBum…

1. Where did you first hear about QUALCOMM?

I was in my senior (fifth) year at Penn State. I was snooping around for jobs in the business community, especially something to do with the stock market. Any broker positions caught my attention, and likewise, any little forums or whatever where a brokerage would send in a rep to talk to students about what they do and job opportunities also caught my eye. I don't even remember her name, but she was a VP at Paine Webber. She talked for a while on job opps and whatnot. She also got a lot of questions on how she analyzed the market. She described pretty much what I had been doing. She looks at technology, and what she feels will be the next big technological breakthrough, then looks at the dominant player in that industry, and buy accordingly. She gave examples along the way. She said one of her favorites right now (at the time) was Qualcomm, cause it would be dominating the wireless industry with their CDMA technology. I knew I liked wireless, but had yet to find a real dominant player other than Nokia. I went home and literally all night researched the company because I could see how fast it was moving. It was around the $197 range that day. I researched forever, hoping I could make an informed decision and not miss another upswing. I did a little bit. I pulled the trigger the next day at $201. This was of course pre-four for one split. I haven't looked back since…it's maintained a 65% or more chunk of my portfolio ever since that day.

2. When did you first invest in QUALCOMM?

Well, I guess I just answered that, didn't I? :-)

3. Do you consider yourself a "True Believer", (ala Morg)?

This one's a little tougher. If by the words “True Believer” you mean someone who has absolute faith that Qualcomm will be the dominant company in the wireless industry for the next ten years, then yes, I am. If by “True Believer” you mean someone who thrusts my hips in ways which make women melt and men turn green with jealousy at each landmark price, then no, I am not. I admire Morgie's enthusiasm. I think he adds nothing but positive energy if not comic relief to the board. I'm also sure that he's not as emotionally attached to the stock as he leads people to sometimes believe. He's a smarter investor than that.

I have a lot of faith in this stock. I really believe that at this risk level, there isn't another stock that will perform as well as Qualcomm will over the next five to ten years. If I believed there was, I wouldn't have over 70% of my portfolio invested in it. In fact, if you remove my Capital One stock, which is due to a stock purchase program, it's 90% of my portfolio. Granted, it's not exactly by choice that it's that high…all my other companies other than QCOM and COF have done terribly. But then again, that's the way I played it…most into my one sure bet, and the rest into riskier, higher reward stocks.

I also don't have illusions of grandeur. I don't believe this stock will be over $100 by years end. I don't believe it will see $250 in two years. I don't think it will be a ten bagger in five years. If I'm lucky, I'm wrong and it will be all those things. But I get the sense that some people get a little overanxious about these things. If this stock gained the market average of 12% yearly for five years, and we start it at $70, it would be at $123 at the end of those five years. Now, while we can all say that we don't think it will only move 12% (and I'll run different numbers in a second), keep in mind we're starting out in an extremely bearish period. If it gains 20% yearly for five years, starting at $70, it'll make it nearly to $175 in that time. If it gains 25%, $213 is what we'll see. Given the poor market, and no one knowing when the turnaround will be, I'd be thrilled with 25% annualized. If we're lucky, we'll see low growth figures in the beginning, higher towards the end, and the higher numbers will continue for a while. Maybe something like this…
5%, 7%, 14%, 25%, 35%, 35%, 25%, 14%, and so on and so on.
This would present a nice growth bell curve which would coincide with an economic pickup as well as the true advent of 3G. I think people should expect to see growth in this area. If you're expecting something more like this…
5%, 15%, 25%, 35%, 50%, 50%, 35%, 25%, and yadda yadda…
I really think you're fooling yourself.

It's all a matter of keeping it in perspective.

And as for Raz…You asked for it, you got it…

1) Between Morg and I, who's really the buffest?
a)Morg
b)Raz


Neither…that would be me.

2) Who is better looking?
a)Morg
b)Raz


Again, me..

3) Who's has the most metal in their buns of steel?
a)Morg
b)Raz


Gotta be Raz cause let's face it…could Morgie really gyrate those hips with such intensity with so much metal? It's obviously all the real deal.

4)Who would you least like to meet in a dark alley?
a)Morg
b)Raz


I'd like to meet both of you, any time, anywhere.

5) If you had a teenage daughter...
JP, stay out of this one, you know your parole stipulations!!
a)Morg
b)Raz


I'll say I'd like her to with both of you cause let's face it…she won't do what I say, she'll do the opposite, so maybe this will keep her out of trouble. :-)

6)If your house was on fire and you could only take one thing, would it be Morg or Raz?
a)Morg
b)Raz


Melanie.

7)If you were stranded on a desert island, who would you like to be stranded with? Remeber me in my cheerleader skirt ;-)
a)Morg
b)Raz


See above. Although the though of you, Raz, in a short skirt, is oddly very appealing…

These are the basic questions, I also want you to answer these ones;




If a cow laughed real hard, would milk come out her nose?
Sure, why not?

Before they invented drawing boards, what did they go back to?
They usually wiped the slate clean…

Aren't all generalizations false?
True…

Can atheists get insurance for acts of God?
Yeah, but they refer to it as “acts of something out there we don't understand”.

Do you need a silencer if you are going to shoot a mime?
Yeah, cause even though the mime goes quietly, the gun is still loud.

Can I get arrested for running into a Fire House yelling Movie! Movie!?
Ask Morgie…he's more qualified to answer that one.

How can you tell when your out of invisible ink?
Doesn't matter…if you're out, just pretend you're not.

Why is there an eject button on the VCR remote?
Sometimes I just like ejecting the tape to make sure I don't do something stupid like hit “record” accidentally. But I'm too lazy to get up to do that, so I want the button on the remote.

Don't you have to get up to get to the tape?
I generally try to avoid it…Melanie's legs work just fine. :-)

Could someone ever get addicted to counseling?
Sure, why not?

If so, how could you treat them?
Doctors would say more counseling would be in order. I'd go with drugs.

Did Adam and Eve have navels?
I heard once that Adam's biggest turn-on was Eve's bellybutton ring. Go figure…

Did the early settlers ever go on a camping trip?
Their camping trips were trips to the city.

Did you ever notice when you blow in a dog's face he gets mad at you?
I have the scars on my fingers to prove it.

But when you take him in a car, he sticks his head out the window!
No one ever said dogs were smart…

Do fish get cramps after eating?
They get used to it.

Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery?
I don't have the experience to relate the latter, but I sure enjoyed infancy. I still do (maturity-wise)!

Do Lipton employees take coffee breaks?
They're probably so sick of tea they do it twice as often as every other worker.

Do one legged ducks swim in circles?
They're more often served up for dinner.

Do Roman paramedics refer to IV's as 4's?
Not sure. Now I'm also wondering if they hand each other a needle whenever someone calls out the number four.

Does anybody ever vanish with a trace?
Jlepark did it for a while. ::-)

Does the little mermaid wear an algebra?
No, it's made of shells…duh!

Does the Postmaster General need a stamp of approval?
He needs a whole lot more than that with all the Post Office's problems these days.

Have you ever imagined a world with no hypothetical situations?
Hypothetically, no.

How can overlook and oversee be opposites, while quite a lot and quite a few are alike?
Hunh?

How can someone "draw a blank"?
Check it out…look closely or you'll miss it…






How can the weather be hot as hell one day and cold as hell another?
Two days in the middle of the summer. Cold as hell is still pretty hot…

How come Superman could stop bullets with his chest, but always ducked when someone threw a gun at him?
Kevlar vest. They always threw the gun at his head. He didn't want people to find out the truth.

How come you press harder on a remote control when you know the battery is dead?
Cause you want to get up to get new batteries about as much as you want to get up to change the channel.

How do they get a deer to cross at that yellow road sign? How do you know when yogurt goes bad?
You've never trained a deer before? It's easy!
Yogurt is always bad.

How do you know when you're out of invisible ink?
Asked and answered.

How does a shelf salesman keep his store from looking empty?
The shelves are all stacked with shelves, duh…

How does the guy who drives the snowplow get to work in the mornings?
It's a hellish walk, but someone's gotta do it.

How fast do you have to go to keep up with the sun so you're nerver in darkness?
1000 MPH

How is it possible to have a civil war?
Ask the Army Intelligence that one.

If a mute child swears, does his mother make him wash his hands with soap?
She makes him spread food all over them.

If a mute swears, does his mother wash his hands with soap?
See above.

If a synchronized swimmer drowns, does her partner also have to drown?
Obviously they all do.

If a turtle doesn't have a shell, is he homeless or naked?
Both.

If a woman can be a meter maid, can a man be a meter butler?
If not, that's discrimination, and he can sue.

If all the world is a stage, where is the audience sitting?
The aliens are watching us. And laughing their butts off at us…

If all those psychics know the winning lottery numbers, why are they all still working?
For the good of the people obviously!

If an orange is orange, why isn't a lime called a green or a lemon called a yellow?
Obviously someone screwed up in the naming of the “orange”. How bout we call it the “squange” from now on?

If Fed Ex and UPS were to merge, would they call it Fed UP?
Maybe they're take the other three letters and put them together. Everyone would buy it then…

If God dropped acid, would he see people?
AND HOW!!!

If a parsley farmer is sued, can they garnish his wages?
His wages would be the garnish.

How many people thought of the Post-It note before it was invented but just didn't have anything to jot it down on?
At least 3000.

How much deeper would the ocean be if sponges didn't grow in it?
Not much. We'd just have a whole lot less land.

If 7-11 is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, why are there locks on the doors?
Everyone needs a bathroom break now and then.

If 75% of all accidents happen within 5 miles of home, why not move 10 miles away?
George Carlin says it best…
Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half the people are stupider than them!
My accident was more than five miles from home, but not by much.

If a bus station is where a bus stops, and a train station is where a train stops, why do I have a work station on my desk?
You actually do work at your desk?

If a case of the clap spreads, is it then considered a case of the applause?
Yes, and it drives the people with the clapper nuts.

If a cat always lands on its feet, and buttered bread always lands butter side down, what would happen if you tied buttered bread on top of a cat?
It would hit the ground and roll.

If a chronic liar tells you he is a chronic liar do you believe him?
If he were a chronic liar, he wouldn't tell you he was now would he?

If a dog sweats through his tongue, why does he have armpits?
For the same reason we have tongues even though we don't sweat through them. They taste with their armpits!

If a jogger runs a the speed of sound can he still hear his walkman?
Planes travel faster than the speed of sound, and we can still hear inside them, so I'm gonna guess yes.

If a man speaks and their is no woman there to hear him, is he still wrong?
Men are never wrong. Women just think we are.

If a mute child swears, does his mother make him wash his hands with soap?
Asked and answered.

If a mute swears, does his mother wash his hands with soap?
Asked and answered.

If a stealth bomber crashes in a forest, will it make a sound?
Not if no one's around.

If a synchronized swimmer drowns, does her partner also have to drown?
Asked and answered. I'm gonna start deleting the repeats from now on…

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to see it, do the other trees make fun of it?
Trees are so cruel! *sniff*

If a tree fell on a mime in the forest, would he make a sound and would anyone care?
No and no.

If inert is to be stationary, what is ert?
The envelope.

If it's zero degrees outside today and it's supposed to be twice as cold tomorrow, how cold is it going to be?
Negative fifty.

If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why does he keep doing it?
Jimmy's special. Just let Jimmy do whatever he wants as long as it doesn't hurt anyone…

If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?
Lust is very not blind.

If nothing ever sticks to TEFLON, how do they make TEFLON stick to the pan?
It's an illusion. You try to get it off the pan, and everything slides off before it can be slid off the pan. Air included.

If olive oil comes from olives, where does baby oil come from?
Obviously babies.

What would a chair look like if your knees bent the other way?
Probably a lot like the hospital bed cause dude, you just broke both your knees.

If people from Poland are called Poles, why aren't people from Holland called Holes?
Cause I said so.

If pro is the opposite of con, is progress the opposite of congress?
Isn't this question rhetorical?

If quitters never win, and winners never quit, who came up with, "Quit while you're ahead"?
A loser.

If soap is used to make you clean, why does it leave a scum?
Where do you think the dirt goes when you rub it off?

If someone has a mid-life crisis while playing hide and seek, does he automatically lose because he can't find himself?
It also makes him a winner for not getting found.

If someone invented instant water, what would they mix it with?
Milk.

If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill herself, is it considered a hostage situation?
Yes.

If superglue is so good, why doesn't it stick to the iside of the tube?
The inside has Teflon.

If the #2 pencil is the most popular, why's it still #2?
Number one is buffer.

If the cops arrest a mime, do they have to tell him he has the right to remain silent?
Yes. He still has the right.

If the Energizer Bunny attacks someone, is it charged with battery?
Only if it hits them.

If the folks at the psychic hotlines were really psychic, wouldn't they call you first?
Then they don't get the money for your calling them.

If the funeral procession is at night, do folks drive with their lights off?
Lights on. Always.

If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth beeth?
It isn't?

If vegetarians eat vegetables, what do humanitarians eat?
Cannibals in disguise.

If women ran the Pentagon, would missiles and submarines be shaped differently?
No, but they'd probably be bigger.

If you ate pasta and anti-pasta, would you still be hungry?
Oh yeah!

If you bear a child, why do you have a cow?
Oh deer!

If you can read the marking, isn't that end already up?
What if you're reading upside down?

If you dive into a pool of dry ice, can you swim without getting wet?
I think you'd rip your skin off if you tried to move. ew…

If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?
I'd call you just plain odd…

If you have a friend who works for the Psychic Friends Network, should you plan a surprise birthday party for them?
Sure. Make sure to invite another psychic though, so they can block the birthday psychic's waves of catching on that there's a party.

If you have an open mind why don't your brains fall out?
Cause your brain is what's open…not your skull!

If you have your finger touching the rearview mirror that says -- "objects in mirror are closer than they appear", how can that be possible?
Cause your finger obviously looks like it's still far away!

If you keep trying to prove Murphy's Law, will something keep going wrong?
Always always always…

If you play a blank tape at full volume and have a mime for a neighbor, will he complain?
Probably, but at least you won't have to hear him gripe about it.

If you put freeze-dried coffee in the microwave, will you go back in time?
I don't drink coffee. I didn't know it had such magical powers!

If you spend your day doing nothing, how do you know when you're done?
Speaking from experience, you fall asleep. :-)

If you steal a clean slate, does it go on your record?
Yes. You have to steal a dirty slate, and then wipe it clean. Then you're fine.

If you take a shower, where do you put it?
The bathroom I hope.

If you throw a cat out a car window does it become kitty litter?
No, it becomes flat.

If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?
A good job.

If you're cross-eyed and have dyslexia can you read correctly?
I think you're just in trouble.

If you're in a vehicle going the speed of light, what happens when you turn on the headlights?
At least the people behind you will know you did.

Instead of talking to your plants, if you yell at them would they still grow, only to be troubled and insecure?
Yes. They'll do things like shy away from light, and cringe when you walk in the room.

Is a castrated pig disgruntled?
I would say so!

Is it progress if a cannibal learns to eat with a fork?
Gotta learn the knife too. Then you're getting somewhere.

Is there a Dr. Salt?
I'm sure there is somewhere.

Isn't hot water already hot?
Yes, but not for long.

Isn't it a little scary that a doctors work is called practice?
Very, but I think it's appropriate.

Can you grow birds by planting birdseed?
Never tried. Let me know how it comes out.

Just before someone gets nervous, do they experience cocoons in their stomach?
Obviously!

Should crematoriums give discounts for burn victims?
Only if it takes less time in the big oven.

Should vegetarians eat animal crackers?
Yeah. They should eat meat too.

Shouldn't it be called a "near hit"?
Not if you actually hit but almost missed.

Shouldn't it be some things in moderation?
Moderately, yes.

Shouldn't there be a shorter word for "monosyllabic"?
Yes.

Since cats always land on their feet and jelly bread always lands jelly-side down, what happens if you tie jelly bread to the back of a cat?
Same as would happen with the butter piece.

There are 24 hours in a day, and 24 beers in a case. Coincidence?
I THINK NOT!

What came first the chicken or the egg?
The chicken. Don't argue with me. Just accept it.

What color is a chameleon on a mirror?
Silver and shiny…they become reflective, you'd never know it's there.

What did we do before the Law of Gravity was passed?
They were up in the air on that for quite a while.

What do little birdies see when they get knocked unconscious?
Midgets.

What do sheep count when they can't sleep?
Humans.

What does Geronimo say when he jumps out of a plane?
EASTWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!!!

What does it mean if you break a mirror with a rabbits foot?
Your ever try doing that? It's near impossible!

What hair color do they put on the driver's license of a bald man?
“Clear”.

What happened to the first 6 ups?
They didn't taste so good.

What happens if you get scared half to death twice?
Say goodbye…

What happens when you call a 1-800 number collect?
You pay for the call.

What is a free gift?
No such thing…

Aren't all gifts free?
Have you ever received a free gift? Something where the giver didn't expect SOMETHING back? I didn't think so…

What part of the monkey do you use a monkey wrench on?
Do you really want me to answer that question?

What was the best thing before sliced bread?
Sex. Still is.

What's another word for synonym?
Leave me alone…I only got a 500 on my SAT verbals.

When blind people go to the bathroom, how do they know when they are
done wiping their butt?

Good question. You should ask. When you have the answer, come back and we'll swap, cause I know whether or not gay people can get excited by checking themselves out.

When people lose weight, where does it go?
To someone else.

When vultures are on their deathbed, are they ever tempted to eat themselves?
I'm sure.

When you choke a smurf, what color does it turn?
Flesh-colored.

When you're sending someone styrofoam, what do you pack it in?
A box.

Who invented accents?
The first traveler.

Who named everything?
Me.

Who tows the tow trucks when they break down?
Another tow truck! Sheesh…

Whose cruel idea was it for the word "lisp" to have an "s" in it?
Someone smart with a good sense of humor.

Why are builders afraid to have a 13th floor but book publishers aren't afraid to have a Chapter 11?
Eleven isn't an unlucky number.

Why are the cabs from the Yellow Cab Company painted orange?
The owners are color-blind.

Why are there never any artist's materials in a drawing room?
They're all out.

Why are there flotation devices under plane seats instead of parachutes?
The illusion of safety. Ever see Fight Club?

Why are there interstate highways in Hawaii?
Are you sure there are?

Why are they called 'stands' when they're made for sitting?
Whoever named them wasn't so smart, now was he/she?

Why are we afraid of falling?
You know you're dead when you hit the ground.

Shouldn't we be afraid of the sudden stop?
You're dead then, so really you've got nothing left to be afraid of. Take it from someone who knows from recent experience…anticipation of death is worse than death itself.

Why aren't there bullet-proof pants?
No idea…I think they're more important than the vests!

Why didn't Luke Skywalker tell Darth Vader to turn to the light side of the Force?
You ever see those movies? Luke wasn't a very bright guy.

Why do airlines call flights nonstop?
Airlines have always been jacking us around.

Won't they all stop eventually?
Cheap b*st*rds!

Why do bars advertise live bands?
Good for business.

What does a dead band sound like?
Jerry Garcia.

Why do fat chance and slim chance mean the same thing?
You know what kind of chance you have to get an answer for that?

Why do guys wear underpants?
You wanna walk around holding them in place all day?

Why do people who only eat natural foods drink decaffeinated coffee?
See the previous answer about George Carlin and stupid people.

Why do they call it disposable douche?
You know what they call it?

Is there a kind of douche you keep after using?
Dude, let it go. There are some things you just don't need to know.

Why do they call them "apartments" when they are all stuck together?
Good question.

Why do they report power outages on TV?
So you can laugh at the people who are missing the big game.

Why do they sell a pound cake that only weighs 12 ounces?
They're trying to cheat you. Don't let them!

Why do 'tug'boats push their barges?
They're obviously doing it wrong.

Why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways?
You do? I like parking on parkways and driving on driveways.

Why do we have hot water heaters?
Sometimes it's not hot enough.

Why do we play in recitals and recite in plays?
I like to play all the time.

Why do we put suits in a garment bag and garments in a suitcase?
Whatever suits you.

Why do we sing 'Take me out to the ball game', when we are already
there?

Maybe you're watching the Orioles playing the Devil Rays, and want to watch a real one.

Why do we wash bath towels?
Because…..

Aren't we clean when we use them?
…..maybe you don't do a good job cleaning yourself off.

Why do you need a driver's license to buy liquor when you can't drink and drive?
Life's little ironies.

Why do you weep and sniffle over a TV program and the imaginary Why does "cleave" mean both split apart and stick together?
Some people are crazy whoever named the word “cleave” wasn't too bright.

Why does "slow down" and "slow up" mean the same thing?
You're going slower no matter which way you're headed.

Why does an alarm clock "go off" when it begins ringing?
Cause we're all really quick to hit “snooze”.

Why does bottled water have an expiration date?
Maybe it's artificial water and it will separate.

Why does flammable and inflammable mean the same thing?
Why not?

Why doesn't "onomatopoeia" sound like what it is?
What is it?

Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle?
Again, Teflon.

Why doesn't superglue stick to its container?
I never knew there were so many uses for Teflon!

Why don't you ever see baby pigions?
They're shy.

Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist, but a person who drives a race car not called a racist?
Pianists don't drive their pianos.

Why is a women's prison called a penal colony?
Sick joke to torture them.

Why is it called a "building" when it is already built?
Construction never ends.

Why is it called a bust, when it stops right before the part it is named after?
Hunh?

Why is it called 'after dark', when it is really after light?
Cause it's already dark too, so it's technically after dark also. And the dark was happened more recently than the light.

Why is it so hard to remember how to spell MNEMONIC?
It's not if you've seen the movie with Jonny (another quality acting job by Keanu Reeves).

Why is it that when you transport something by car, it's called a shipment, but when you transport something by ship, it's called cargo?
Maybe the cars carry ships and the ships carry cars?

Why is it that when you're driving and looking for an address, you turn down the volume on the radio?
Don't want to disturb the neighbors.

Why is it when a door is open it's ajar, but when a jar is open it's not adoor?
Maybe it is.

Why is it when two planes almost hit each other it is called a "near miss"?
See above…

Why is it, whether you sit up or sit down, the result is the same?
Cause you're sitting.

Why is lemon juice mostly artificial ingredients but dishwashing liquid contains real lemons?
Why not?

Why is Mickey Mouse bigger than his dog Pluto?
He's a mutant.

Why is the alphabet in that order?
It's less confusing than the way the keyboard has it laid out.

Is it because of that song?
See above.

Why is the word "abbreviate" so long?
To cause confusion.

Why is there an expiration date on SOUR cream?
Maybe it turns sweet when it expires.

Why is there only ONE Monopolies Commission?
It put all the others out of business.

Why isn't "palindrome" spelled the same way backwards?
.wonk t'nod I

Why isn't phonetic spelled the way it sounds?
I done't no.

Why isn't there mouse-flavored cat food?
Have you ever eaten it? Maybe there is.

You know how most packages say "Open here". What is the protocol if the package says, "Open somewhere else"?
Go into a different room to open it.

Can fat people go skinny-dipping?
Only by losing weight.

After eating, do amphibians have to wait an hour before getting out of the water?
Their moms force them to, but it's only a half hour for them cause they're little.

You know that little indestructible black box that is used on planes, why can't they make the whole plane out of the same substance?
Airlines are ALWAYS trying to screw you! Even in a crash!

Are there seeing eye humans for blind dogs?
No, seeing eye cats.

Have ex-bankers become disinterested? Yes.
Have ex-civil lawyers been distorted? Lawyers have always been distorted.
Have ex-locomotive engineers been derailed? Why not?
Have ex-mathematicians become dysfunctional? Yes.
Have ex-punsters been expunged? They got the boot.
When you open a bag of cotton balls, is the top one meant to be thrown away? There's a pill layer covering it.
Since light travels faster than sound, isn't that why some people appear bright until you hear them speak? Obviously!

Since Americans throw rice at weddings, do orientals throw hamburgers?
They throw french fries.

Why do people without a watch look at their wrist when you ask them
what time it is?

Wrist envy…

Why do you ask someone without a watch what time it is?
Maybe they can judge the sun's position.

Who is general failure and why is he reading my disk?
That guy's annoying, isn't he? Gotta find a hacker to get rid of him.

The light went out, but where to?
It saw a pretty fluorescent and took her to dinner and a movie.

Why do banks charge you a "non-sufficient funds fee" on money they already know you don't have?
I don't know, but it's really annoying.

Does the reverse side also have a reverse side?
Always.

If the universe is everything, and scientists say that the universe is expanding, what is it expanding into?
Everything else.

If you got into a taxi and the driver started driving backward, would the taxi driver end up owing you money?
You can try arguing that he does.

Sooner or later, doesn't EVERYONE stop smoking?
Amazing how the quitting rate eventually goes to 100% isn't it?

Isn't the best way to save face to keep the lower part shut?
Not when you're as charming as I am.

War doesn't determine who's right, just who's left.
Right.

Can you be a closet claustrophobic?
If you're scared of closets, yes.

If a book about failures doesn't sell, is it a success?
Only if it helps people fail further.

Do cemetery workers prefer the graveyard shift?
I suppose so since they want to work and they're all graveyard shifts.

What do you do when you discover and an endangered animal that eats only endangered plants?
This is what the beauty of cloning is all about.

Do hungry crows have ravenous appetites?
Ask Ray Lewis.

Is it possible to be totally partial?
A little.

What's another word for thesaurus?
Dictionary.

If it's tourist season, why can't we shoot them?
Some people do.

Why do they sterilize the needle for lethal injections?
Do you want to be responsible for giving a person AIDS before they die?

Why do kamikaze pilots wear helmets?
They do? That's only in the movies…maybe in real life they don't.

How do you know when it's time to tune your bagpipes?
When they sound good.

Is it true that cannibals don't eat clowns because they taste funny?
It's the makeup.

Do they have reserved parking for non-handicap people at the Special
Olympics?

Yes, all the way in the back.

Why do they call it a TV set when you only get one?
They want you to buy more.

Do radioactive cats have 18 half-lives?
Yes. If they get scared half to death, there goes one.

How can they tell that twin lobsters are really twins?
Check their birth certificates.

How does a thermos know when to keep something hot, hot... and something cold, cold?
Lucky guess.

What is the speed of dark?
Very very slow.

Why are there Braille signs on drive-up ATM's?
Fear of discrimination suits.

If women wear a pair of pants, a pair of glasses, and a pair of earrings, Why don't they wear a pair of bras?
Doesn't give them a very natural look.

How come you never hear about gruntled employees?
Cause they always feel dissed.

If white wine goes with fish, do white grapes go with sushi?
I don't eat either, so I don't know.

When sign makers go on strike, what is written on their picket signs?
They're blank.

Where do forest rangers go to "get away from it all"?
The city.

How can there be self-help groups?
Illusion of getting better.

Why are cigarettes sold in gas station when smoking is prohibited there?
To torture the smokers.

Where are Preparations A through G?
Hemorrhoids still hurt when you used them.

When your pet bird sees you reading the newspaper, does he wonder why you're just sitting there, staring at carpeting?
No, they wonder why we're staring at the toilet.

Why does your nose run and your feet smell?
My feet don't smell!

PHEW! Raz' questionnaire alone was 16 pages in MS Word!

Thanks everyone, for almost two years of what's been nothing but a great experience. I've learned a lot from everyone on this board and a lot of others on this site. I feel lucky to have friends like you all. Here's looking forward to that big yellow star next!

Chris
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