A Foolish Interview with TomGardner 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?
TomGardner: I look for industries that are out of favor. Among the rubble, you'll often find a hidden gem or two. Beyond that, I believe in the 50-year prospects for profitable innovations in healthcare and technology.
The Fool: What's your favorite movie, and why?
TomGardner: Lately, it's "The Kid Stays in the Picture", the autobiographical documentary of Robert Evans' life.
The Fool: What's your greatest athletic achievement? Little League champ? Ran a marathon? Did 4 consecutive sit-ups?
TomGardner: Somewhere back in the middle of all those strikeouts, fumbles, and missed layups, I actually co-captained our undefeated high-school football team at Groton School in Massachusetts. Unfortunately, since then, it's really been the strikeouts, fumbles, and missed layups.
The Fool: Describe how you value stocks:
TomGardner: I learned the hard way the importance of pricing the businesses I own. My Benjamin-Graham revelation was that companies with superstrong financials could yet make for horrible intermediate-term (5-year) investments. Graham's revelation was that margin destroyed his portfolio in the 1930s. Mine was that not valuing companies carefully would lead to extended underperformance.<BR><BR>Today, I follow a company's structural free cash flow ("owner's earnings" as defined in Hidden Gems), make best- and worst-case growth estimates, and carefully follow the multiples applied to that free cash flow growth. This is the backbone of my work at HiddenGems.Fool.com.
The Fool: What's the strangest thing you've ever seen?
TomGardner: A dimpled spider, fat and white, on a white heal-all, holding up a moth . . .
The Fool: Do you have a favorite non-financial website? If so, which one? (TYPE the URL)
TomGardner: www.amazon.com
The Fool: Tell us what your best investment has been so far and how you discovered it.
TomGardner: My best financial and professional investment has been helping to build The Motley Fool.
The Fool: When you aren't working or sitting in front of the computer, what occupies your time?
TomGardner: Reading. Exercising. Hanging out with Fools. Trying to catch a little sleep every now and then.
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