FMD

We may get another opportunity when and if the next shot of panic pulses through the financial markets – I’m not persuaded the mortgage / housing / potential recession / potential vicious cycle scenario is entirely behind us – in which case FMD could drop back down to $29 as it did a couple of weeks ago, or to $19 or to $9.

Or – whatever course the market takes – FMD may prove to be the disaster-in-waiting its large contingent of not-stupid short-sellers have long bet it is.

But all that said, here’s a company with a unique level of expertise in its field, growing at 30% a year, selling at 9 times trailing twelve-month earnings. It even pays a $1 dividend, which may continue to grow.

So I’ve bought back the partial sale I made last month (reasoning thus at the time). It’s been a painless out-and-in because these shares sit in my retirement fund (so no tax on the gain) and I got $38 for them last month, bought them back for $35 yesterday. (We first bought FMD in March of ’06 at $24 or so, adjusted for the subsequent split.)

I keep challenging my guru with disaster scenarios, and he keeps graciously running through his logic (most recently here). So while you don’t want to bet the farm on this or any other single investment, I continue to think it’s worth your consideration.

Here‘s what the Motley Fool’s Hidden Gems newsletter thinks of FMD. (Hint: it’s the pick of the month.) They charge $199 for a subscription, but click here for a free trial.

LOOSE ENDS AND CORRECTIONS:

Magic

Last Thursday’s magic is explained this way by Vince DeHart: ‘I’m guessing, but I think he’s a contortionist – his legs are tucked up tightly in front of him. (Look at his girth – particularly in comparison to how thin his face and arms are.) Still, a great trick, I think.’ Frank Morgan adds: ‘the person starts out folded up into the top half of the body. The foot is not his and moves by some artificial means.’

Nausea

Comment on last Wednesday’s condiment phobia drew fire from Bill Andrews and others who cited Merriam-Webster: ‘Those who insist that nauseous can properly be used only in sense 1 [‘causing nausea or disgust’] . . . are mistaken. Current evidence shows these facts: nauseous is most frequently used to mean physically affected with nausea . . .’

Phobiae

John Seiffer: ‘I don’t know if this qualifies as an official phobia, but I had a friend who wouldn’t eat certain foods because their names were composed of two other nouns that didn’t go together. I became aware of it when he refused an offer of cheesecake. He said he likes cheese and he likes cake but the idea of them together repulses him. This is also the reason he won’t eat eggplant and a couple others which I’ve forgotten.’

☞ And he won’t walk into an IHOP – only hop. He’s a culinary literalist.*

* I made that part up.

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