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

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The Fool: What industry do you follow most closely and why?
TheTooth: The software industry. I'm an independant software consultant. I need to know what to know to stay ahead of the game in my career.
The Fool: What is your favorite techno gadget?
TheTooth: Wow... everything! I love techno-gadgets. I love palm pilots, mp3 players, computers, etc... If it's a techno-gadget, I probably love it. ;)
The Fool: What's the best product you use that most people don't know about?
TheTooth: The Rome MP3 player (http://www.romemp3.com). It's an mp3 player in the form-factor of a cassette. I travel 80% of the time for work. With this mp3 player, I can listen to it via headphones on the plane, then throw it in the cassette deck of my rental car for the drive to the hotel.
The Fool: When you aren't working or sitting in front of the computer, what occupies your time?
TheTooth: 1. Spending tome with my wife (who is also a travelling consultant).
2. Tennis
3. I also love movies. I have a DVD drive in my laptop and now it's my personal movie machine anywhere, so I don't know if that counts as being in front of the computer. ;)
The Fool: If you could be the CEO of any public company, which one and why?
TheTooth: Microsoft. I'm a computer geek and I really believe that they have the power to shape the way we use computers. Some people don't like MS's powerful position in the market or their tactics, but you could use their position now to make the future as exciting as we want it.
The Fool: Briefly explain how you select stocks.
TheTooth: 1. I find leads (places I work, things I do/buy/use, stock tips) and then I go about researching them.
2. I look into what they do/make/sell and decide if I think the concept has potential.
3. Then I look at their place in their industry.
4. I look into their financials.
5. I follow their board on TMF to find out stockholders' reservations and what has them excited about the company.
6. If they pass my tests, I place them in my watch account so that I can watch their performance and get news.
7. When I get some investment capitol, I look into my watch list and portfolio to see what I think is the best bargain or has the best growth prospects and I buy new or add to current positions based on that evaluation.
The Fool: How'd you find out about the Fool? (Make your answer as colorful and truthful as possible.)
TheTooth: A friend emailed me about a great book he read and how excited he was to start investing. I never read the book but checked out the website. Ironically, I've been investing for a while now and he's still thinking about it. ;)
The Fool: Does ethics or 'socially responsible investing' have a place in your investment approach? How so? How not?
TheTooth: I guess. If I don't believe in a company's policies, then I won't put my money in those companies. I've worked at a couple of places which have booming stock that I won't buy because I don't appreciate the way they do business.

This doesn not include companies like Phillip Morris, who simply make a product that can be bad for you health. There's no suprise there and I applaud the company for plucking the not-so-bright from our gene pool while simultaneously making money.

I refuse to look down on anyone who does choose to invest in those businesses. The point is to make money, and that's cool as long as I can sleep at night.
The Fool: What's your greatest athletic achievement? Little League champ? Ran a marathon? Did 4 consecutive sit-ups?
TheTooth: 300 game in league bowling... boy, it seems so insignificant next to 4 consecutive sit-ups. Is that even humanly possible?
The Fool: What's your favorite Fool message board?
TheTooth: I enjoy them all, though at times I wish I had more insight to share.
The Fool: Describe the worst Internet experience you've ever had.
TheTooth: Occasionally someone from the past I don't necessarily want to deal with finds my email address. Let's just leave it at that.
The Fool: What's the most overrated idea, person, or event in our culture?
TheTooth: Y2K
The Fool: Given a second chance, what financial decision would you like to do over?
TheTooth: Never help out a significant other with credit problems by co-signing anything. They have credit problems for a reason.
The Fool: What other financial products or services do you use?
TheTooth: 1. eTrade. Gotta buy (and eventually sell). ;)
2. Microsoft Investor... the portfolio manager is the best I've ever used.
The Fool: What's the best restaurant you've ever been to? (Include name, location, and average bill for two.)
TheTooth: I'm a junk-food-junkie by nature, but I can be swayed by a good steak. I love Mortons since I can find them from coast to coast and the steak and desserts are awsome. Average cost... I guess about $100-$150 depending on side dishes, drinks and desserts. The client usually pays, so I forget... see money saving secret question if you're confused... ;)
The Fool: Share with us your best money-saving secret -- cutting coupons, sneaking candy into the movies, shopping on Wednesday and pretending you're over 65?
TheTooth: Be a travelling consultant. The client pays for hotels, rental cars, and all of your food. You basically live for free when you are not at home.
The Fool: Tell us about your greatest personal success, not necessarily finance related.
TheTooth: Going back to school at 22 to learn computer programming. I was a horrible student in high school and going back meant I had to really look deep and decide that I wanted it badly enough to do right... especially since I'd have to work 2 jobs to pay for it. I forced myself to never miss a day and to always dress professionally. I graduated cumme laude with perfect attendance.
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