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You Make Money : My Dumbest Investment

That's 'Guilford,' Jack

January 27, 1998

This dumb investment actually turned out OK. Last year I decided to buy shares of Guilford Pharmaceuticals Inc. on a hot tip. I found "Guilford" in the stock listings and told my broker to buy "GFD." Imagine my surprise when I realized I'd bought shares of a textile company, Guilford Mills Inc.! I should have asked for "GLFD." I read up on Guilford Mills, though, and decided to hold. It's risen 54% since then, while GLFD has fallen. Talk about serendipity. Isn't this a great example of the dartboard theory?

--Robert P. Mahood, Charlotte, N.C.

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The Fool Responds: The Wall Street Journal regularly tests the theory that you'd do better buying stocks picked by a dart flung randomly at stock listings taped to a board than by following the advice of experts. The dartboard has won on many occasions. Your pick wasn't random, though, once you researched it. And that research turned a silly situation into a winning one.

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