Sunflower from the Sunflower State

Sunflower from the Sunflower State

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Payoff

I just got a little richer after opening my mail.

I got a check for a whopping 89 cents. Yes, they spent 44 cents to mail me my 89 cents.

OK, now re-read the first sentence and put an emphasis on the word LITTLE.

Don't spend it all in one place, right?

This windfall came as my settlement for a stock which went belly-up several years ago. I didn't know it, but I was part of a class action suit, In re The Leslie Fay Companies, Inc., Securities Litigation.

Yes, I do remember my decision to invest in the Leslie Fay Company went badly. They declared bankruptcy, so my little piece of the company tanked long ago.

I even remember making the decision to invest in Leslie Fay for my IRA. I remember having some dresses produced by Leslie Fay. I liked those dresses. So when searching for investment choices for my IRA, I went with this charming clothing company.

Bad idea.

Some of my other sentimental choices over the years have fared better. Once upon a time, I chose Little Golden Books.

I loved Little Golden Books. There was Tootle the train. There was the Saggy Baggy Elephant. There was the Scrawny Tawny Lion.

I remembered Little Golden Books from my childhood. My kids seemed to like them just as much.




Those little gems originally sold for 25 cents. At those prices, I could now buy THREE with my Leslie Fay distribution! Unfortunately, the price has gone up, and I couldn't buy even one today with my 89 cents.



Anyway, I decided to invest in Western Printing and Lithographing Co. in Racine, Wisc., then the parent company of Little Golden Books. In 2001, Random House acquired Golden Books for about $85 million.

I think I did OK with that takeover.

Another emotional decision was based on my son's love at the time. He absolutely loved Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I mean, he really LOVED them.

(This was Brent's birthday cake, made by his Grandma Marie)

I happened to know some other little boys who loved them, too. And I figured there were lots of little boys who I didn't know who were just as fanatical about Donatello, Michelangelo and the gang. (Just so you know that I know the rest, they are Raphael and Leonardo.

So I purchased stock in New Line Cinema, which produced the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies.

Cowabunga! New Line Cinema became a subsidiary of Time Warner in 1996.

Turtle Power! It merged again in 2008 with its larger sister studio Warner Brothers.

To this day, I still get a little thrill when I'm watching the opening credits of a movie and see the New Line Cinema logo.

So my emotional investments aren't always bad.

But ... back to my Leslie Fay distribution.

The letter says: "You should consult with your tax advisor to determine the tax consequences, if any, of this distribution to you."

Gee, I guess I'll save my pennies and skip a phone call to my accountant. I don't think 89 cents is going to do much.

Warning: This post is not designed to serve as investment advise for you. Then again, why would you want to take investment advice from someone whose big payoff was 89 cents?

2 comments:

  1. That is sooo funny!! I like Leslie Fay clothes, too! Sorry they went belly up!

    ReplyDelete
  2. -Your favorite and only son-in-lawMay 13, 2010 at 6:53 PM

    I love the advice! And you were right I loved (and love) the Ninja Turtles too, and so did my brothers!

    ReplyDelete