In 1977, my children's college funds were in bank savings accounts. Then the IRS went after their pitiful interest gains at my tax rate. I got so mad that I put all they had in shares of Tandem Computer (in their names) shortly after Tandem went public. I had been impressed with the company's "I'm OK; are you OK?" cross-diagnostic dual processors, mirrored drives and nonstop computing. I sold after the stock shot up by a factor of 10 and paid the kids' ways through college. I thanked Tandem's then-president at a conference a few years ago.
--Tom Lincoln, Santa Monica
The Fool Responds: It's great that you moved your long-term funds into stocks and concentrated on what you knew. We suspect you can find some other Tandems in your investment career. Just remember that once you identify exciting companies, you need to evaluate their strategy and execution.