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No. of Recommendations: 17
Hello Fools,

Welcome to Pencils Palace! This board has existed since 2006, but here is a refresher of the background and purpose of Pencils Palace.

Pencils Palace

As individual investors, we can learn a great deal both from each other and the businesses we follow over time. Pencils Palace is a hub to find, discuss, and follow businesses that have potential to be great investments.

Going back to the beginning of this board in 2006, we managed to find some gems: Hansen Natural (now Monster Beverage), Tata Motors, and Chipotle Mexican Grill, to name a few. Of course, some duds were discovered along the way as well (Mexican Restaurants and Citizens Bancorp, you still owe me).

This is a truly Motley -- anything goes! -- discussion board. If you find a company or relevant topic that looks interesting, share it here. Think we are missing something about a business we are discussing? Let us know. Share your notes, questions, analyses, and everything in between on this board.

Pencils Palace is essentially a microcosm of the Foolish community: individual investors coming together to support each other in the search for great businesses and quality investments.

What is up with the name?

I wear the “pencils2” moniker because it was the username my father originally used when he joined the Fool community in 2004. My interest in investing was sparked at 12 years old when I began reading Stock Advisor and Hidden Gems newsletters over my dad’s shoulders. Soon after my custodial account was opened, I began posting on the Fool’s discussion boards using this pencils2 account (with my dad’s permission, of course) at age 13. Logically, the next step was starting my own discussion board -- the name, “Pencils Palace,” plopped right out of the ether.

When I was 14, the Fool wrote an article about me that was published on the front page of AOL:

I’d like to think that Pencils Palace represents how attainable investing is to anyone willing to put out the effort to learn and take control of their financial future. If a young teenager can follow businesses and confidently invest in stocks, so can any adult. Not only that, investing can be fun! Pencils Palace is a place where investors of all backgrounds, beginnings, and experience levels can come together and learn from one another.

What is your investing style?

Throw in some Peter Lynch, a touch of Warren Buffett, mix with some Tom E (TMF1000), and top it off with the Gardner brothers -- voila! There you have my investing style. I am continually learning and try to avoid being dogmatic in my approach, but my focus tends to lean toward finding quality, understandable businesses that will be successful for many years to come. My investing horizon is at least 5 years for each company, and preferably with a time frame of 10-20 years. That time frame is easier said than actually followed, but that is another helpful reason to follow businesses with fellow Fools: we can support each other on our investing journeys.

Great investments are probably not hidden away in an obscure Chinese micro-cap stock; rather, great businesses and investments are quite likely right in front of us each day. Successful businesses offer products/services that are appealing and useful to a great number of people. This is where I really try to follow Peter Lynch: "invest in what you know." If you love a product, you very well might like the business behind that product as well. I look for companies that are easy to understand, have innovation in their DNA, and are darn good at what they do.

Warren Buffett will read over annual reports of businesses and come up with an estimate of a company’s fair value, based on his own analysis, before checking the actual present market value of the company. In other words, Buffett will study a company and ask, "What should this company be valued at today?" I tweak this approach slightly and ask, "What can this company be worth in 10-15 years?" I try to keep the big picture in mind and evaluate a business not solely on its past and present performance, but its future potential. I look for businesses with experienced and innovative management teams and a product or idea that can be successful and/or expanded upon for many years ahead.

My individual investments, stock picks, and musings can be found here on Pencils Palace and on my CAPS page:

This is not to say that people have to agree with me or my investing style 100% to fit in on this board. Individuals with unique approaches to investing are what make the Fool, and this discussion board, a great place to learn. Whether you are a buy-and-hold investor, still figuring out your style, or only buy stocks that start with the letter E, you will be able to find and offer something worthwhile on this discussion board.

The foundation of Pencils Palace, and the bottom line for me, is that there is always something new to learn (investing or otherwise). Combining Foolish forces to evaluate and follow great businesses is a learning opportunity I cannot pass up. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to join or start a discussion on this board.

Together we can make the world a more Foolish place, and learn a great deal in the process. Let’s find some great businesses and investments!

Foolish best,

David Kretzmann (pencils2)
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