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Spiffy-pop

Spiffy-pop is a verb coined by Motley Fool Rule Breakers that refers to a situation whereby a stock's price increases more in a day than the original cost basis.

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Expanded Definition

When a stock in your portfolio becomes a daybagger -- gaining more in one day than you originally paid for it -- it has spiffy-popped.

In 2007, David Gardner asked the Rule Breakers community to help him invent a word to capture this phenomenon. Member Carol Binion came up with spiffy-pop as the winning verb that David selected. As he explained at the time, she "seemingly shares my bent toward the whimsical... seemingly understands what I will simply call the 'fizz' of language -- I've somehow been haunted by it."

A mere two days after announcing the winning words, Rule Breakers had its first stock spiffy-pop: Digital advertiser and marketer aQuantive received a buyout offer from Microsoft and gained more than $38 that day. From its recommendation price of $25, that made aQuantive the service's first daybagger.

"Spiffy is for closers!"

An impassioned discussion similar in force and breadth to Major League Baseball fan arguments for and against the designated hitter, a debate rages back and forth over exactly what constitutes a spiffy. Is it, as some believe, anytime during the day that a stock rises more than your cost? Or, does the stock have to close above your cost? On April 29th, 2010 at 12:48am EDT, David Gardner attempted to close the debate with the simple statement, "Spiffy is for closers." In other words, the term's champion strongly sides with those who believe a true spiffy-pop closes above your cost, does not merely flit briefly above it early in the day and get daybagger credit. The only exception that David allows on this point are those who decide -- for better or worse -- to sell their daybagger intraday, locking out the position at a spiffy price.

Otherwise, spiffy is for closers.

David Gardner Explains

[This video was shot on April 27, 2010.]

Fool Lore

The most frequent Motley Fool spiffy-popper has been Intuitive Surgical. Rule Breakers' April 2005 selection has a cost basis of $44.17. More than once -- including most recently July 23, 2009 -- ISRG has reacted to a strong quarterly earnings report by rising more than $44 per share in a single day. Indeed, for three straight years, ISRG has spiffy-popped the week of July 20th! The 2007 daybagger was July 20th, while in both 2008 and 2009 ISRG spiffy-popped on July 23rd. Perhaps July 23rd should be relabeled Spiffy-Pop Day.

The acquisition of Marvel by Disney announced August 31, 2009 gave Motley Fool Stock Advisor a rare triple-spiffy-pop for the Stock Advisor scorecard.

On November 10, 2009, Priceline.com also spiffy-popped for Stock Advisor, which was recommended at $23.71 on May 21, 2004 and rose in excess of that following strong earnings coming out of summer 2009.

The most recent Motley Fool spiffy-pop was achieved by Motley Fool Stock Advisor with David Gardner's pick of Netflix, the seventh time Netflix became a daybagger for The Motley Fool (starting April 2010). The stock was recommended at $12.98 on December 17, 2004, and several times since then at prices up to $27.12.

The most exciting spiffy-pop day was January 27, 2011 when, following an after-market earnings report the day before, Netflix rose nearly $28 for the day, creating a historical spiffy-2-pop for the original recommendation, and a 5 times over spiffy-pop, since all 5 recommendations achieved the status. On July 5, 2011, Netflix almost did it again, following the announcement that it was expanding streaming capability to 43 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, Netflix rose $21.64, spiffy-popping three of the active recommendations.

History of Motley Fool Premium-Service Spiffy-Pops

This is an incomplete listing of spiffy-pops achieved by Motley Fool premium services for members who've bought and held winners with us.

Date Motley Fool Service Stock Occurrence
1/25/13 Stock Advisor Netflix 11th
1/24/13 Stock Advisor Netflix 10th**
1/23/13 Rule Breakers Intuitive Surgical 4th
10/26/12 Stock Advisor Amazon.com 6th
7/27/12 Stock Advisor Amazon.com 5th
5/7/12 Rule Breakers Vertex Pharmaceuticals 1st^
4/27/12 Stock Advisor Amazon.com 4th*
2/2/12 Rule Breakers Green Mountain Coffee Roasters 4th
1/26/12 Stock Advisor Netflix 9th
11/8/11 Stock Advisor priceline.com 13th$
11/3/11 Rule Breakers MercadoLibre 1st^
10/27/11 Stock Advisor priceline.com 12th
10/24/11 Stock Advisor priceline.com 11th
10/6/11 Stock Advisor priceline.com 10th
8/23/11 Rule Breakers Baidu 3rd
8/23/11 Stock Advisor Amazon.com 3rd
8/23/11 Rule Breakers Green Mountain Coffee Roasters 3rd
8/23/11 Stock Advisor priceline.com 9th
8/23/11 Stock Advisor Netflix 8th
8/5/11 Stock Advisor priceline.com 8th
7/27/11 Rule Breakers Green Mountain Coffee Roasters 2nd
7/5/11 Stock Advisor Netflix 7th
6/21/11 Stock Advisor priceline.com 7th
3/15/11 Stock Advisor Netflix 6th
3/10/11 Rule Breakers Green Mountain Coffee Roasters 1st^*
2/24/11 Stock Advisor priceline.com 6th
2/14/11 Stock Advisor Netflix 5th
2/10/11 Million Dollar Portfolio IPG Photonics 1st^
2/1/11 Rule Breakers Baidu 2nd
1/27/11 Stock Advisor Netflix 4th**
1/5/11 Stock Advisor priceline.com 5th
11/22/10 Stock Advisor Netflix 3rd
11/9/10 Stock Advisor priceline.com 4th
10/21/10 Stock Advisor Netflix 2nd
08/04/10 Stock Advisor priceline.com 3rd*
05/10/10 Stock Advisor priceline.com 2nd
4/29/10 Rule Breakers Baidu 1st^
4/22/10 Stock Advisor Netflix 1st^
11/18/09 Global Gains China Green Agriculture 1st^
11/10/09 Stock Advisor priceline.com 1st^
10/23/09 Stock Advisor Amazon.com 2nd
8/31/09 Stock Advisor Marvel 1st^
7/23/09 Rule Breakers Intuitive Surgical 3rd
7/23/08 Rule Breakers Intuitive Surgical 2nd
7/25/07 Stock Advisor Amazon.com 1st^
7/20/07 Rule Breakers Intuitive Surgical 1st^
5/18/07 Rule Breakers aQuantive 1st^

the ^ indicates first -- "you never forget your first"
the * indicates a spiffy multi-pop (see below)
the ** indicates a very rare supernova multi-pop
the $ indicates the fabled forget-me-pop (the 13th and final daybagger we recognize -- see below)

All-Time Fool Daybagger Stats

With priceline.com (PCLN) having become our first-ever forget-me-pop (cf. section below), and having since daybagged several more times since, it is believed that PCLN enjoys the status of spiffiest Fool pick ever.

The record number of daybaggers in a single month for Motley Fool premium services is August 2011: six. That included a memorable two-timer just weeks apart for priceline, and a Netflix supernova for Stock Advisor members.

The record number of daybaggers in a single day for Motley Fool premium services is, likewise, August 23, 2011. On that remarkable day, FIVE different Fool stocks spiffy-popped.

Records of stock movements from our original Fool Portfolio -- which included AOL (at one point AOL was a 100-bagger) and Amazon.com and others -- are not included, though it is presently suspected that David Gardner's original cost basis of $3.17 in Amazon.com would be the Motley Fool selection that -- for more than a decade -- has probably spiffy-popped the most, long ago a "forget-me-pop." (On April 27, 2012, AMZN's gain of $30.86, for instance, represented a spiffy 9-pop!) However, as Amazon was re-picked for Motley Fool Stock Advisor, its stats appear in the table above.

Spiffy Multi-Pops

... but what happens when in a single day a stock of yours rises two or more times what you paid for it? This perplexing situation greeted long-time Motley Fool Stock Advisor members on August 4, 2010 -- coincidentally (?), the 16th birthday of The Motley Fool online -- when priceline.com closed up $50.63 a share, more than double David Gardner's 2004 cost on the stock ($23.71).

The answer is that we say that your stock has "spiffy 2-popped" or "spiffy 3-popped," etc.

This is much simpler to say than "triple daybagger" or "quadruple spiffy-pop," and the elegant use of the numeral also quickly conveys the power of the jump.

The same goes for "supernova 2-pop," which happened for the first time in early 2011 when Netflix went seriously spiffy.

Good luck with all your Spiffy Multi-Pops!

The Fabled "Forget-Me-Pop"

Upon achieving your 13th (baker's dozen) spiffy-pop for a given stock, you have just scored what David Gardner calls your first "forget-me-pop." This is so called because after a certain frequency of occurrence of a given daybagger, it's just not all that interesting or worth noting anymore. From here on out, you as an investor (and us as those running Motley Fool premium services) should concern yourself with finding new spiffy-pops. Of course, nothing stops anyone from tracking all their spiffies even post their official forget-me-pop. We guess it's all how you want to spend your time....

The first-ever Forget-Me-Pop for modern-day Motley Fool premium services became Priceline. On November 8, 2011, Priceline rose $43.85, well above its original cost basis of $23.71. This was its 13th spiffy-pop -- its forget-me-pop. As PCLN had been originally picked on May 21, 2004, that set a new record then for the fastest-ever forget-me-pop: 7 years, 5 months, 18 days.

Other Spiffies?

First off, when a stock loses more value in a single day than you originally paid for it, that's a spiffy-drop.

On March 31, 2010, Motley Fool member oikukio achieved an impressive and related, though different, condition:

"Hello, Stock Advisor team, I'm proud to report today that the total *interest* earned on my Stock Advisor portfolio has just surpassed my original starting balance! It's not a spiffy-pop, because it took 3.3 years to get here... but it's still pretty cool. Is there a term for it? The 'Day of Surpassion?'"

Why not? Very cool. Note these landmarks when you achieve them! And if there isn't already a word for what you just did, invent one. That's spiffy.

It's noteworthy that one can achieve some "cheap spiffies" from time to time -- when, say, a stock has a big spiffy-drop and then spiffy-pops just about back where it was before the drop. For example, the August 2011 spiffy-pop for priceline (PCLN) was a $44 rise after the stock had lost $38 the day before. While we recognize that such a spiffy feels hollower than a leap to new highs, nevertheless there was no guarantee you would get a big move up after some big drops, and we believe in celebration here in Fooldom. So, as David Gardner likes to quote something Forrest Gump almost once said, "Spiffy is as spiffy does."

But Wait, What If It Didn't Feel Spiffy?

On January 24, 2013, Netflix moved up $43 (+42% gain for the day) from $105 to $148. That was a spiffy 3-pop for Stock Advisor, but some members quite reasonably wondered aloud on the NFLX if that was a spiffy-pop at all -- if it was worthy of celebration, since the stock was still less than half of its all-time high. As David articulated the next day, "A spiffy-pop is a spiffy-pop and a spiffy-drop is a spiffy-drop." In the game of baseball, some home runs are more consequential, or more exciting, than others. But they're home runs nonetheless. How and whether members celebrate or not is a matter of individual context.

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