L'UNION FAIT LA FORCEFREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)8/4/00FAQ INDEX· Meaning of l'union fait la force· Founders of the l'union Board· l'union Mission Statement· l'union Sample Portfolio· Methodology of Portfolio Purchases· Disclaimer 1· Disclaimer 2· Recommended Links & Threads· Sources for Investment Research & Information· Recommended Readings· Question on Contributing· Other Requirements or Procedures· Disclaimer 3What does l'union fait la force mean?The title has a French origin and means"union makes strength". It is also the motto of Belgium.It expressed the desire for the board, namely a cohesive and cooperative effort in the search for truth. Who are the founders and/or hosts of the board?douglas403 and ldorius. What is the mission statement of the board?Mission Statement:John Templeton would say that "For all long-term investors, there is only one objective-"maximum total real return after taxes".1. Who do we buy?We will use Jack Welch's philosophy of being in an industry leader or getting out and Warren Buffett's do your homework and bet big.We believe that companies that have shown superior performance and management in the past are the most likely to show superior performance in the future.2.What to buy.Finding companies that provide products or services that we use and love will be a basic tenet of our investing. We are debt averse. 3. Where?Companies in industries that have sustainable advantages or significant barriers to entry will be favored. These companies will demonstrate above average growth and earn exceptionally high returns on capital. 4.When to buy.We will incorporate Ben Graham's Mr. Market and buy during general market corrections, specific industry corrections and company specific corrections.Typical valuation techniques of price to revenue ratios, free cash flow (both present and future), and earnings will be used. We believe that it is what is left over (future free cash flow) that ultimately determines shareholder returns. Current Market cap and future market potential will be weighed.Does the board manage a sample portfolio?Yes, the portfolio was begun in January 2000. The l'union portfolio is usually updated each week by ldorius. Check the message board for l'union port (current date).How are purchases for the portfolio determined or selected?Participants are welcome to present suggested investments that meet the Board's Mission Statement supported with adequate research and due diligence. douglas403, following review and discussion by participating members, will have final decisions on ultimate selections and the optimal timing for new additions.Should I buy stocks recommended by l'union board members/ posters or those stocks held in the l'union portfolio?No and no. We're no different than all the other sites that recommend you do your own research and DD. And besides, we often have these unexplicable mood swings. If that isn't enough, the inimitable Mr. Market often fails to cooperate. Besides that, the marketplace does not adopt some of our greatest ideas. (Can you believe that? We know we can't.) Anyway, there are a number of good ideas broached here that you can run with…but the final decision must be yours and should only be made after extensive study.Are there any other disclaimers I should be aware of?Yes, first off, don't end a sentence with a preposition like I just did. But there are a lot of things you shouldn't do…don't rain on my parade, don't beat your dog, get plenty of exercise and rest, eat all your vegetables and if you think of it, call your parents and tell them you're getting more like them every day. Oh yeah, be careful with your investments…know what you're doing. Remember what Warren Buffett says…you should approach investing as if you have a punch ticket with room for 20 punches. Every time you buy stock in a company, you use up one of your ticket punches. So to do this right, you must know your company, its prospects and place in its particular market…and only you can do this properly for yourself after careful and diligent study. Also, while we're on the subject, only you can prevent forest fires, too. What links or threads are recommended?Link to ldorius' home page where you can find an outstanding spreadsheet created by Lee for the purposes of quantitative review and valuations of companies you might be reviewing:http://www.geocities.com/WallStreet/Market/7379/The following link provided by ldorius is to the article Cash Flow.com: Economics in the New Economy:http://www.capatcolumbia.com/Articles/FoFinance/Fof9.pdfNote: Acrobat Reader is required. Note: There are additional articles to be found at this site. The following link will take you to their main page:http://www.capatcolumbia.com/The following link is to a post by douglas403 on Portfolio Construction:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000070000&sort=postdateThis link is to a post by douglas403 on Timing Thoughts and Strategies:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000079000&sort=postdatedouglas403 on Ranking Your Stocks:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000114000&sort=postdateldorius on Free Cash Flow Analysis – in this post, Lee takes a look at DELL, NITE & PVN:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000124000&sort=postdateSome thoughts on Investing in What You Use by douglas403 (with some important contributions by Mycroft):http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000125000&sort=postdateA 9/2/99 (the more things change, the more they stay the same, eh?) post (& subsequent thread of note) on NOK & QCOM by Paytient:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000134000&sort=idA post on the 1999 Second Q CC of NOK by douglas403 which includes analysis and concepts by Doug that could be applied to any number of companies:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000137000&sort=postdateA post and subsequent thread started by douglas403 with this on Timing as the Key to Investment Success:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000161000&sort=idldorius' link to an article on John Neff and a Value Investing Tool:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000225000&sort=postdatedouglas403's anatomy of a Warren Buffett Purchase at 45 Times Earnings:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000230000&sort=postdatetlchiam's popular thread begun in early November of 1999 entitled Mycroft:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000248000&sort=idA thread begun by TinkerShaw raising a Question Regarding PE:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000260000&sort=idA number of posts by Paytient on the attributes of Global Crossing:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000374002&sort=postdatehttp://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1120334001154000&sort=postdate(Note: The second post listed above was selected as The Post of the Day by TMF)TinkerShaw's popular CREE Report (December 1999):http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000384000&sort=postdatedouglas403's post (and follow the thread) on Stocks for the Year 2000:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000388000&sort=idMgk's post (and thread that follows) referencing George Gilder's thoughts on the Shortcomings of Patents:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000391000&sort=idldorius' stimulating Results and Resolutions thread of early-January 2000:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000401000&sort=idPat1234's post and resulting thread on possible Philosophical Change in the l'union Portfolio:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000527000&sort=idtlchiam's post providing links to a Rambus White Paper on the DELL website for Purposes of Rambus DD:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000554000&sort=postdatetlchiam's post to begin the thread Marx vs. the New Economy:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000564000&sort=idfoxhedge's AMZN post and follow the thread:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000589000&sort=idTinkerShaw's beginning post of the popular Wife Port Update thread:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000593000&sort=idPaytient's post beginning our interest in the Power Chip Paradigm:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000608000&sort=idand don't miss chelsibei's response and contribution to the subject:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000608002&sort=idldorius' recommendations garnering post on the Biotech Numbers Game:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000635000&sort=postdateSupplementary to the Biotech subject, here is TaysPop's educational post on the Drug Discovery Process:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000649000&sort=postdateJuliebb's superb post detailing the evolution of her Investment Philosophy entitled A year of living foolishly/Foolishly:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000674000&sort=postdateldorius' post linking to an article on the high Nasdaq PE Ratio compared to historical norms. Don't miss a number of outstanding responses in the thread that follows:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000677000&sort=idAdditional thoughts by douglas403 including a link to an article entitled New Math for a New Economy. Please read this article!http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000728002&sort=postdateldorius' post on P/S and Growth Rates and the resulting discussions between Lee and foxhedge among others contained within the thread:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000739000&sort=idldorius' post on letting a good investment slip away, appropriately entitled The One That Got Away. Also take a look at TinkerShaw's response in the thread:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000752000&sort=idTinkerShaw's thread-provoking post during the Spring 2000 correction, crash or (insert your favorite noun, adjective or euphemism here). Check out the thread that follows:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000763000&sort=iddouglas403 on the strengths and characteristics behind the Strong Performance of the l'union Portfolio (as of April 2000):http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000777000&sort=postdatePaytient's superb analysis on the Market-at-Large (yes, April again):http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000821001&sort=postdateTinkerShaw's update on the evolution of his Investment Philosophy:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000858000&sort=idand Prestone's contribution to Tinker's subject:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000858003&sort=idMgk's post initiating the discussion of Economics, Money Policy, etc. As usual, please follow the thread:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000874000&sort=iddouglas403 thoughts on how The Market Values Stocks:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000918002&sort=postdateContinuing analysis by douglas403 on Market Corrections:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000927000&sort=idHey, you better read the thread…loaded with outstanding analysis…including this post by Yogowotsi on the receiving end of numerous recommendations:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000927004&sort=idSome opinions by foxhedge on George Gilder:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000928000&sort=postdatedouglas403 on Irrational Exuberance, circa May 2000:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000927009&sort=idTinkerShaw's ruminations on Market Timing:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000927017&sort=iddouglas403 on Strategies During a Market Downturn:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000949009&sort=postdateTinkerShaw's ideas and thinking during The Market's Downturn of the Spring of 2000: http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000963000&sort=postdateldorius' Big Red Star Post of June 2000, which includes interesting insight into the evolution of Lee's Investment Strategies and Approaches:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000976000&sort=postdateMore Important Investment Philosophies offered by douglas403:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000957007&sort=postdateThe following link is the start of a thread by ldorius on CTXS regarding clues an investor might find to identify an investment that may be on the verge of decline:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180001014000&sort=idA very active recent thread prompted by this post by TinkerShaw on Qualcomm:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180001018000&sort=idThe following link is the start of a thread by Yogowotsi on Investment Methodology:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180001035000&sort=idNote: Besides the links contained within this post (don't miss TinkerShaw's), posts of note in the thread include #4260 by douglas403 and #4300 by ldorius (containing a plethora of outstanding links). As a follow-up post of note to this important thread, here is a link to post #4316, also authored by Yogowotsi:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180001053000&sort=postdateThis link will take you to a thread initiated by TinkerShaw on Investing in Beleaguered Stocks…in this case, Qualcomm…http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180001056000&sort=idAnother thread on the Ongoing Saga of QCOM, the initial link authored by tlchiam providing the other side of the debate:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180001066000&sort=idThis link takes you to a thought-provoking post by Mgk on Investor Psychology:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180001072004&sort=postdatePost by TinkerShaw initiating discussion of a Powercosm Portfolio:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180001082000&sort=idJuliebb's post starting a new discussion on an Alternative Power Thread:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180001084000&sort=idldorius' post (with thread that follows) discussing Portfolio Management Approaches & Strategies:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180001087000&sort=idldorius' thoughts on what we might wish to consider when deciding whether to Exit An Investment:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180001132000&sort=postdateseldomright's message that the quality of posts far outweigh the quantity, entitled Confessions of a Lurker:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180001140000&sort=postdateThere are additional threads and posts of note – especially a number which are specific to individual companies. Search the board for messages that pertain to companies that may be on your radar – there's a great deal of valuable insight to be found.Instead of links or threads, which posters should one look for? Leading members or important contributors of the l'union board include douglas403, ldorius, TinkerShaw, Paytient, Mgk, tlchiam, Juliebb, foxhedge, MochaLatte, TaysPop and Yogowatsi. There are, of course, numerous others and they can be found by checking those posts that attract the most recommendations.What are some good sources of financial info and company research?Here are some good sources of information:http://www.freeEDGAR.com – FreeEDGAR – the best source for SEC filingshttp://quote.fool.com – The Motley Fool - company snapshots, historical quotes, news, articles, educational tools, forums and SEC filingshttp://finance.yahoo.com/ - Yahoo – things big and small for the investorhttp://chart.yahoo.com/d?s= - Yahoo - historical stock and index quoteshttp://moneycentral.msn.com/home.asp - MSN's MoneyCentral - research, portfolio tracking, news and all the things for growing kids. http://www.hoovers.com – Hoover's Online - good company background info in addition to other investing tools.http://bigcharts.com/ - BigCharts – like the name says, charts…and morehttp://www.clearstation.com/ - ClearStation – great site for chartistshttp://www.totaltele.com/ - Total Telecom – news from “The Home of Global Telecommunications”http://whatis.com/index.htm - This site, whatis.com, should be your first stop in sorting through the various acronyms, terms, links and jargon of the world of tech.Here are a few of the favorite premium sites recommended by l'union members:http://interactive.wsj.com/pages/front.htm - Wall Street Journal Interactive – news and more from The Wall Street Journalhttp://www.streetadvisor.com/ - StreetAdvisor.com – highly regarded analysishttp://www.gildertech.com/ - from the King of the Cosm, George Gilder – technology analysis and thoughts of the futureThe l'union fait la force board recommends what books or other readings?A - “The Warren Buffett Way” by Robert G. Hagstrom, Jr. “Buffettology” by Mary Buffett “Buffett – The Making of an American Capitalist” by Roger Lowenstein “Inside the Tornado” by Geoffrey A. Moore“The Gorilla Game” by Geoffrey A. Moore “The Innovator's Dilemma” by Clayton M. Christensen “Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits” by Philip A. Fisher “Security Analysis” by Benjamin Graham “The Motley Fool Investment Guide” by David & Tom Gardner “Rule Breakers, Rule Makers” by David & Tom Gardner “A Random Walk Down Wall Street” by Burton A. Malkiel“One Up On Wall Street” by Peter Lynch “Beating the Street” by Peter Lynch “The Book of Investing Wisdom” by Peter Krass “The Inner Game of Investing” by Derrick Niederman “How to Read a Financial Report” by John A. Tracy What if I don't have much to say or offer?No problem…simply follow this thread and witness a demonstration of the superb insight, analysis and research that participants at this board offer with just the slightest of a hint or suggestion:http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1380180000535002&sort=idAre there any other requirements of those who wish to participate on the l'union fait la force board?Nothing more than sufficient DD, courtesy and a dash of good humor. This is regarded by those participating from the beginning as one of the finest investment message boards on the web. We are subject to being rather zealous in our desire for all discourse to be presented in a manner exemplifying the finest in public decorum.Are there any other last minute disclaimers?Yes, just a few. No matter what anyone says, I didn't do it…I wasn't anywhere near there when it happened. Also, I didn't vote for him or his wife. And honestly, I mailed the check last week. This should do it…good luck and welcome to the l'union fait la force Board here at The Motley Fool. We hope it proves to be as rewarding for you as it has been for us…both financially and spiritually.
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