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Caps as an investment community.....



August 17, 2011 – Comments (60) | RELATED TICKERS: PTOI , ZAGG

I've learned a lot from my participation on CAPS. Some days it can be a little tiring to sort through all the blogs and pitch comments that have more negativity than advice. Some days, it's hard to find investment advice in some of the material.

No, at this point, I'm not going anywhere, but I'm feeling a bit melancholy.   My style has varied over three years as have the markets and there is something new to learn each day from my own analysis/reflection and reviewing what others have to teach, (sometimes unintentionally).

I do lament that the community is slowing down in the variety of "community sharing".  Pitches, blogs and other information seem to be waning.  The community use to add new members faster than they left.  Currently there are  65,594 accounts with no picks in the last 90 days, (yes I know some of these are just folks who don't make picks as often, but as a rough number..).  There are 73,991 accounts.  88.7% are mostly inactive. When I joined we were adding accounts by the thousands.  There are 1,154 accounts that are considered new the last 90 days.  MANY of these are people who have had accounts for years, but tweaked their accounts in a way they were flagged new.

I can think of a dozen people who welcomed everyone.  Mary 953 wrote some nice primers. There are some great new bloggers and contributors of late.  IF I name names I'll miss some, but overall we seem to be missing something.  I really thought at the rate CAPS was growing that it would be hundreds of thousands of members by now.  The articles and tools used to introduce CAPS to new people are also struggling to maintain consistancy and quality. There is not a day that goes by where someone linking in from an article posting on a newsfeed doesn't comment that CAPs is sending mixed messages. More writers, more services, more differing of opinion, but the new person can't discern the influx of mixed opinions from CAPS players being used in articles, Staff writers and news services. It's also hard for them to understand how CAPS started as a forum for independent investor thinking and now has Options trading and a mutual fund!

So while I reflect....THERE ARE MANY good contributors on CAPS, but maybe I'm just tired and the markets have disrupted patience and dialogue.  Maybe my memory from a few years ago is tainted, but if you're a contributor today, DON'T let my reflections distract you!!!

I'm finding it harder to get into a financial discussion with someone without it becoming personal.  There is nothing new about people having confirmation bias.  I've had a few bad cases of it myself. There are also "pumpers" on some more obscure equities that only start an account to spam all the blogs and pitches contrary to their view.  I try to find those willing to learn and make suggestions, but it can be difficult sometimes discerning the pumpers from those that are just overly biased.

A good example is this thread from one of my closed pitches on JBII.PK.  It was one of many that  tykundegex  posted on with no financial metrics, but a strong bias for JBII.  His first posts came with no picks and an account, he added some, and stuck it out after initially being called a shill for showing up "everywhere" at JBII's peak. 

Another round of conviction bias shows on a pitch that  masokotanga posted on ZAGGAndreCCCP  and I seem to have taken it over. (Sorry masokotanga).

Sometimes I wonder why I try so hard, some people don't really want to learn, but some do.  There are many ways to value a company, Valuation, Technicals, Fundamentals Some people are satisified putting their hard earned money behind a concept that they "just believe in". If they want to add more layers of DD then welcome.

From a valuation standpoint, it's been recommended by others before, I recommend "Warren Buffett and the Interpretation of Financial Statements" by Mary Buffett and David Clark.  It's a brief read and a good start.

One reason I try so hard is because I've been victim of confirmation bias myself on very similar company's to the two mentioned above.  I fell hard for Razor Technologies three years ago. I discounted the motors for electic cars to zero and focused on the geothermal progress. They built up the first system, sold the power and then went bankrupt.  I fell for Senator Orin Hatch cutting the ribbon, stating that "God would Bless It" and the jobs it offered.  The ringing of the bell on the stock exchange. The alternative energy craze. I penpal'd with others who visited the site. Fortunately, I woke up and got a lot of my investment back, but I still regret that I referred others to it. Most of Caps top players downthumbed it multiple times.  Minus 120 points, I got out on CAPS around $.84, it's now at $0.02.

I'd like to think I've learned a lot from my mistakes, (yes, mistakes plural, I've got a bunch of them). I'd like to think that I contribute back to the community.

If we sometimes get "short" with people who set up new accounts and hit multiple pitches/blogs on the same equity with non-financially supported enthusiasm, then hopefully we can be forgiven. If you're here to learn, then try to expland your boundries.  IF you have confirmation bias and don't seem open to any real dialogue to add then the conversation won't be too productive.

ONE of the biggest "mistakes" players seem to make when they see players making a downthumb call on an equity is that "we are short" and we are trying to drive the price down.  Downthumbs mean that we don't think the equity will outperform the S&P.  A downthumb an OB or PK equity might mean we think not only that it's overvalued, but that it might be a farce.  A good percent of them are and by being a PK  (except for foreign ADR listings), or an OB they don't have the reporting and Governance requirements of other boards so extra care should be taken.

If you see a downthumb on one of your favorite equities, just because it's RED it doesn't mean that turning into a blind charging bull will change an opinion. 

Goodness..we can affect the price with our blog or pitch??   ;)

IN regard to JBII.PK and ZAGG.  They both make good examples while ready Mary Buffett's book. One thing we've tried explaining about ZAGG is the increasing receivables, the lack of cash flow, (despite doubling sales), and the increase in inventory from 5,000 SKU's that will become obsolete.  Addi in the debt at 7.25% interest from buying a company that adds little new variety to their product,  (hint to Zagg, buying a iFrogz doesn't mean you can become a prince).

Now that I think about it, many of ZAGG's products are plastic.  They should contract with JBII.PK for a plastic to oil processor unit and turn that excess/obsolete little pieces of plastic to oil....maybe then they'd both have some revenue.......

So, I'm not sure what my point was. If you've gotten this far then thanks for trying to follow along. 

TSIF  The Sky isn't falling today....unless you're a company with fictious books, (not saying that's  the case with ZAGG, maybe JBII.PK and "media credits")....then lookout below when some of the Foolish CAPS players get a line on you!!!  ;)


60 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On August 17, 2011 at 9:12 PM, TheDumbMoney (77.85) wrote:

Great blog.  Do you have any book recommendations on technical analysis?  I'm very "value" focused, and I have often felt I do not focus enough on technicals.  I'll always be a value guy, but I do thinkI don't pay enough attention to incorporating some sort of technical view into timing my purchase points. 

I for one very much appreciate your posts, and pitches.

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#2) On August 17, 2011 at 9:51 PM, VExplorer (29.05) wrote:

It is not easy to be "investor" last few years. IMO: number of small private investors is declining in general. Actually, I don't know anyone in real life (I don't account two professional traders working in the industry). Most of people I know who thought about start in investment canceled their plans after 2008. BTW: I'm, personally, decided  to be option trader more safe than "buy and hold" right now.

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#3) On August 17, 2011 at 9:54 PM, ElCid16 (94.53) wrote:

dumber - you might be able to find a pdf copy of The Master Swing Trader online somewhere.  I have a copy, but I can't remember where I landed it.  I've only read a 1/10th of it, or so, but it seems to be pretty good.

+1 rec. 

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#4) On August 17, 2011 at 10:28 PM, Momentum21 (98.58) wrote:

TSIF -  the contribution comes and goes in waves based on what is going on in the market. I still think that you can dig around here each day and find much more valuable information than Marketwatch, CNBC and certainly SA. 

Right now investors are frustrated because this most recent rout was a pretty deep blow...value investors have a hard time feeling good about recent decisions so might be more quiet than usual. Like me!

The precious metal banter has been solid...

The shorts aren't as vocal as before because they didn't have 2 nickels to rub together to take advantage of a this recent freefall. ; )

I think the pitches will pick up when we all stop trying to "game" this recent volatility.

You are one of the ones I can count on to give a good clean pitch without trying to overanalyze the macroeconomic backdrop and I appreciate that...keep it up, I promise to pick up the pace.

And yes, confirmation bias is a dangerous thing to carry around. Being right has nothing to do with being a solid investor/trader. That is probably the most difficult lesson to learn and there have been a few excellenet articles on this site about it recently...I should post some more thoughts on that topic soon.  

Thanks man...and keep up the great work! 

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#5) On August 17, 2011 at 10:33 PM, TSIF (99.97) wrote:

dumbernot.... ;)  Thanks ffor you compliments and encouragement!!!!

I recommend Dan Fitzpatrick's free daily videos. No cost. About 2-3 minutes each. Emailed to you each evening. No sales pressure from him for his paid service. I've learned a lot from them.  Bookwise, I think you'll get some nice recommendations, the community here is very book oriented!  ;)

VExplorer, I think as the markets show more volitilty more people drop out and don't return.  The 2008-9 crash was just starting to heal before the volitility kicked in again the last month or so.  It will be harder to get long term investors into the markets.  Careful with options. You can lose 100%, but in some equities you can lose huge chunks as well lately!

EICid16 thanks for the rec and the book recommendation.

I prefer fundamentals/value, but I've really been attempting to work in more technicals to support my calls and my timing.  More trading and less buy/hold makes that more important.  A few percent if you can do it can go a long way.




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#6) On August 17, 2011 at 10:35 PM, TMFUltraLong (99.50) wrote:

If you need banter... I could very easily provide banter... =)


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#7) On August 17, 2011 at 10:38 PM, TSIF (99.97) wrote:

Thanks momentum21, it's been a rough market. My last comment crossed with yours, but I think we're in the same opinion on the markets and investors!  I do agree that it's hard to blog and pitch when the market is so volitile. I'm been mostly in defensive and hunting mode.  The two opposites seem to go together in this market!!!  Protect what you have and try to look for bargains!!!!!  ;)

I was working on a blog about Macroeconomics...but more on how it affects sentiment and not how the "news" really means what the analysts think the investors think it means....  ;)



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#8) On August 17, 2011 at 10:41 PM, Momentum21 (98.58) wrote:

#6 - Are you up for stepping in to the Sinchy/GMX crossfire regarding Great Panther? : ) Do it! 

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#9) On August 17, 2011 at 10:42 PM, TSIF (99.97) wrote:

Banter or Batter  TMFUltralong....???  ;)

Question for you??  Did you have more time on your hands a year ago when you pitched all those equities that are just now opening in this market selloff!!???  It was a little confusing to see them open with a pitch one year old....some are still applicable though!  I've left a few limit orders active that I shouldn't have that kicked in much later, under different investment circumstances than I had intended.  I didn't pitch them, so I don't remember why I liked them "way back when".....  ;)

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#10) On August 17, 2011 at 10:45 PM, TMFUltraLong (99.50) wrote:

TSIF... a year ago my mom was sick and battling cancer so I took about 8 weeks off of work. So yes, I did have a lot of time. Most of those pitches are still relatively applicable (minus the Chinese names) and were entered based on fundamental merit and a utopian technical entry point. There are some entries on my pending list which are north of 15 months old.


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#11) On August 17, 2011 at 10:48 PM, mtf00l (42.82) wrote:

I feel your pain...

I finally got around to actually reading The Motley Fool Investment Workbook, Copyright 1998 only to find by Chapter 5 their mechanical investment  strategy had been deprecated.

That said there was other useful information in the book about reading statements, deducing good from bad data and what percentage commissions should be of brokerage trades.

Investing has become more of a game than a process as technology has removed almost all barriers to the markets. So although we may be looking at fundamentals or technicals there are many who are "rolling the dice".

Thanks for your thoughts.

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#12) On August 17, 2011 at 11:40 PM, NOTvuffett (< 20) wrote:

I have learned lots from the CAPS community.  I suspect that if new CAPS players aren't being added at the same rate now it is because they have their own rl problems and nobody really jazzed about buying equities right now.

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#13) On August 17, 2011 at 11:45 PM, XMFCrocoStimpy (97.58) wrote:

TSIF, I'm not sure exactly how you are analyzing the active players vs. non-active players, but a quick internal check in the CAPS database gives me 14,000+ unique players that have made one or more picks within the last 90 days.  There was a definite waning in the community activity (as measured by the number of players picking stocks) in the latter half of 2010 and the first quarter of 2011, but the number of players coming out of the wait-and-see mode seems to be picking up again.


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#14) On August 17, 2011 at 11:48 PM, FunesDMemorious (99.15) wrote:

Do not forget the prior involvement of ZAGG management in promoted stocks.

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#15) On August 18, 2011 at 12:20 AM, JakilaTheHun (99.92) wrote:

I definitely wish the 'investing' aspect of CAPS would be re-enlivened.  I feel like part of the problem is that CAPS has never evolved.  It's frozen in time.  We all know all the problems and we've pointed them out before, but nothing has been done to fix things.

People may think the rating system is irrelevant, but it makes the "game" aspect of CAPS meaningless.  I quit seriously competing in the "game" about a year or so ago.  In order to compete, I'd have to downthumb every leveraged ETF for the rest of my life and make no gutsy picks.  I'd rather watch my rating slowly erode away and make serious picks.  But I feel like I'm in the minority.  Without anything to compete for, peoeple seem less likely to participate.

The blogs have continued to drift into the political and gloom-and-doom arena.  I don't mind political blogs here and there, but they totally dominate everything.  The blogging system needed to be altered a long time ago, but no progress there, either. 

I'm certainly not blaming the TMF people who participate here on CAPS.  I just feel like everyone's hands are tied. 

I still love CAPS, but I bemoan the declining emphasis on investing, as well. 

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#16) On August 18, 2011 at 12:33 AM, tomlongrpv (61.42) wrote:

Thoughtful comments.  It seems likely that you know more than I do (but that is saying very little) and could perhaps help me.  So help!!!!

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#17) On August 18, 2011 at 12:52 AM, AvianFlu (< 20) wrote:

I have not made a pick in months. Yet I am active and I check in to CAPS several times a day. There may be others in the same boat.

I have picked up a lot of great tips here. I had never heard of Jim Rogers, Peter Schiff, and had never considered metals or foreign investments. My real life portfolio performance has been spectacular over the last 3 years and I am quite sure things would not have gone nearly as well without the insights I have picked up here.

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#18) On August 18, 2011 at 9:09 AM, devoish (76.68) wrote:

+1 rec, for you and the comments.

Best wishes,


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#19) On August 18, 2011 at 9:53 AM, Teacherman1 (< 20) wrote:

+1 rec

Too busy looking for bargins to pitch much right now.

With the volatility we are seeing, I have to keep a much closer eye on my picks, since in my case they are Real Life picks.

I think, like others have stated, that it is kind of hard to make a pitch based on fundamentals, when companies with good fundamentals get hammered just as badly as the "krp" stocks.

Keep reminding us why we are here. It's good to hear from time to time.

Good luck to everyone in this "roller coaster ride".

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#20) On August 18, 2011 at 11:09 AM, EnigmaDude (57.02) wrote:

Great blog and some good comments.  My feeling is that CAPS reflects the moods of us individual investors - at times getting excited about the prospects for big gains, then getting hammered by lousy companies that at one time looked promising.  (My biggest mistake, so far, was falling for Artificial Life in "real life"!)

And I agree that it would be great to see more investing advice as opposed to political rants or philosophical debates over macro-economic policy issues.  Those blogs seem to be the ones that get the majority of personal attacks.

We should all just agree to disagree at times.  After all, that's what makes the market "work" (for lack of a better word).

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#21) On August 18, 2011 at 11:30 AM, dwot (29.16) wrote:

I always looked at Razor Technologies as one for not making money, but investing for reasons of the greater good.

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#22) On August 18, 2011 at 11:57 AM, TSIF (99.97) wrote:

#21  dwot   Wouldn't it be nice if we could do both??? ;)

#20    EnigmaDude  Artificial Life sold a good story, but the receivables scared me enough to stay away. Management seemed to have a superior attitude.  Looked good on paper. More "lessons" to be learned!!  ;)

Agreeing to disagree is a little harder sometimes when "Blogging".  We wait for replies, stew, think, get ahead of ourselves and the other bloggers, and make inferences about comments that often time just don't exist.  We need more "video" round tables or more discussions over "beer".  ;)

18, 19, Thanks  devoish Teacherman1

16, 17,  tomlongrpv and  AvianFlu Despite my musing, CAPS is a great place to learn.  Pick and chose and evaluate.  Look past some of the less "professional" exchanges.  It's a blogging world, full of opinions and difficult to communicate sometimes, especially when "energy level is up" (usualy in proportion to market movement!  ;)



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#23) On August 18, 2011 at 12:09 PM, TSIF (99.97) wrote:

#13   TMFCrocoStimpy  Thanks for checking in and the comments on the "health of the community"

You indicate 14,000 unique players have made a pick, (not sure how you know they are unique, but I'll leave that in the noise), meaning 14,000 / 74,000 = 18.9% active.

There are 65,594 players with the BOMB Charm, meaning they are inactive the last 90 days. (again for those players who are more intermittant, no disagreement, just rough numbers).

If there are 74,000 ranked players, and 65,627 have the bomb that says 88.7% inactive.

One of our numbers is wrong, but I can only use what's at hand...players with bombs and total players.  I trust your numbers much more than mine, and the active number sounds very good in these cases.

Either way, things aren't growing and there are a number of reasons why besides the market in general.



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#24) On August 18, 2011 at 12:21 PM, TSIF (99.97) wrote:

#11   mtf00l ; Technicals overall haven't changed, but you are right the number of players, the world wide inputs, the travelling of the news, all makes things more volitile and difficult.  Any tool you can learn will help if you focus on individual stocks and a longer view, but I do agree that's VERY HARD to do right now!!!

#12    NOTvuffett  I think there's a lot of reasons we aren't adding new players....real life is tough right now and it's easier to hide.  I can respect that point of view!!!!  ;)

#15  JakilaTheHun  I think a lot of us are in the same place.  I "borrowed" some of my thoughts on CAPS progress from bantering with Tasty.  Your comments were pretty much the rest of what he said!!!   I fully agree that the current model cramps my style and I'm trying to find a balance, but I'd rather pick equities and stretch my limits/skills/learning more than recover my accuracy rating.   I made a swag at it with the debt ceiling issue and got burned...back to the basics!!  I may look you up on a more personal level.  I really appreciate your input.

Thanks all, I see we've started the lunch time bottom bounce...let's see if it holds.....the pattern has been NOT!  ;)




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#25) On August 18, 2011 at 12:28 PM, XMFConnor (96.89) wrote:


Good post. Another thing I would add is that I think there should be more incentives for people to post pitches with each stock. I really try to do this for most of my picks these days-- both to share with the community and to serve as an online investing journal that I can always go back and reference. 

I do feel like there are some easy features CAPS could incorporate to make it much better. For example, if I want to look at upcoming spinoffs, I shouldn't have to go to some random blog, or navigate the terrible edgar website. CAPS should have that feature. Also GuruFocus in my opinion has destroyed CAPS in terms of following major funds and people. I just don't trust "TrackJimCramer" or any of the other trackers. And even if I did, it's tough to really use any of that info. That could be much improved imo.

That being said, I love CAPS, but wish there was a bit more. For example, I wish I could access CAPS on Motley Fool mobile.

Anyways, a bit of a rant, but thanks for the post.

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#26) On August 18, 2011 at 1:00 PM, TSIF (99.97) wrote:

Thanks XMFConnor....I think CAPs needs to create "FOOL POINTS"   for pitches, blogs, pitch rec's and other participation!!!

You could trade them in for Fool mugs, hats, t-shirts, books, etc.....or even whirlybird hats!!!  ;)


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#27) On August 18, 2011 at 2:10 PM, JaysRage (76.29) wrote:

TSIF -- You are one of my very favorite CAPs members.   I enjoy your blogs, your pitches and all of your contributions to the community.     Great blog.   It does appear that MF is in a lull.    I think there are all kinds of reasons.   I'm not sure if they are permanent or a symptom of the current investing environment.    I've decided long ago that I will never be a competitor in CAPs the game.    I won't pick a stock that I wouldn't consider investing in for real.   

I think so much of the good blog entries are macro-related or political because the current investing environment is so macro-related.    With daily moves in the 3% or 5% range up and down, there isn't much of a point of differentiating between individual stocks.   The macro-movements are the real story and so much of it is dependent on government decision-making at this point.   I think political talk is very relevent to investing at this point.     In a stable investing environment, I think there would be more momentum to differentiate between this stock and that.    Right now it's all about the macro.  

That said, it would be nice to not have to sort through all of the "spam" blogs to get to the few interesting ones that are pulling through. 


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#28) On August 18, 2011 at 3:01 PM, XMFCrocoStimpy (97.58) wrote:

TSIF, you now have me wondering just what the percentage of active players (as defined by a pick in the previous 90 days) has been the norm through CAPS history.  I did some rough analysis last night after digging into the recent history, but it isn't quite as easy an analysis since I've got to determine the history of rated players (7+ picks) as well as their "bomb" status.  My quick and dirty analysis shows the number bouncing around 20% for at least the last 2 years.  I'll post more about this on my own blog once I've done the test more thoroughly.


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#29) On August 18, 2011 at 3:06 PM, TheDumbMoney (77.85) wrote:

Has Alstry been banned? 

(I haven't seen him in a few days now.) 

THAT would probably send CAPS participation through the roof! 


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#30) On August 18, 2011 at 3:13 PM, Ticker007 (< 20) wrote:

Hmm, now you have me feeling a bit melancholy, so I cheered myself up just for you and entered close to 100 new picks (all green) which is extremely irrational in this capricious market.

My cannonball is officially gone. ;) 

Nice post

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#31) On August 18, 2011 at 3:31 PM, Ticker007 (< 20) wrote:

Your 401K and market volatility

For the record and I’m not one to care, but here on the Fool it seems if your score isn’t 99 or better pitches or blogs go  >whoosh—  in one ear and out the other.

Take this post for instance; only one gracious comment. Some do try to contribute (when they can). But, then you have to ask yourself why bother.  

Keep on fooling – you contribute much and I for one appreciate it.

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#32) On August 18, 2011 at 3:55 PM, TSIF (99.97) wrote:

 Ticker007  I read and rec'd your blog. I think you are up to 35 recs. Sometimes you don't get comments. I didn't get any on my last blog until it was several days old, but it doesn't mean it's not apprecaited. I averaged 2 recs my first dozen or so blogs.  I was about to quit and then on the day after the bottom, March 10, 2009, I penned one titled:

IF I had a 99.99 rating this blog would have 32 Recs by now....

Much to my surprise on a day when the world was ending I got 63 recs!   The Fool community was active and about that day!

All of us pen blogs and wonder who, if anyone is out there.  Ratings do generally generate more rec's, but it's mostly because we have a limited amount of time to read blogs and there are days there are many going by.  We get drawn to a few that we know the author and have some expectation of the content/material. I can sometimes go 2-3 days without more glancing at them.  Even if you don't get recs/comments, hopefully you are penning something that helps you clear your thoughts and maybe add to your own knowledge/base.

Keep on Fooling...keep on Blogging.....keep on carrying....THANKS!!

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#33) On August 18, 2011 at 3:58 PM, TSIF (99.97) wrote:

 Ticker007  You may have timed the market perfectly!!!!  Let's hope we find a bottom soon!!!  Try to close most of them +5 or higher when you can and you'll be a 99 soon!!!!  Good luck!!!

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#34) On August 18, 2011 at 4:20 PM, Jbay76 (< 20) wrote:

I have to say, that overall CAPS is much liek teh market in taht there are cycles that they both go through.  I have learned a ton, and try sharing when something I am interested in comes around, comments or no comments, recs or no recs.

Re: score = many recs:  I think those that received a lot of recs have meanignful things to say at the time, and are thought provoking or very insightful.  That degree of knowledge translates into CAPs score.  Instead of thinking of CAPs score as a means to get recs, think of it as a way to make money, atleast that's my take.  Though truth be told, I use CAPS to explore investment ideas before I use real money :P



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#35) On August 18, 2011 at 5:03 PM, miteycasey (28.99) wrote:

Until they get rid of spam in the blogs it's going to be slow around here.

When blogs became a method of getting click-throughs is when it started the slippery slope down the hill.

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#36) On August 18, 2011 at 6:12 PM, XMFConnor (96.89) wrote:

There are also just some basic features that I think CAPS lacks.

First, private messaging? Why can I not private message a player? Tag someone in a blog, etc? This seems like a basic social community feature lacking in CAPS.

Also, blocking players like someone mentioned earlier. I really just don't want to see Alstry in the top of the blogs everyday. I understand that some might, but why can't I block him so he doesn't show up in my feed?

Also, I don't really like all the red-thumbs. In some instances, it's good analysis, but too many times the top players have a large majority of red thumbs. This is fine, but it doesn't necessarily mean they have a talent for identifying investment opportunities. For example, many of the red-thumbed stocks have huge short interest and are very expensive to borrow. In CAPS, you could just short all of them and without actually having to pay a broker sometimes up to 40% interest (annually) to borrow the stock, of course you should do well. I don't really value that however. Also, the inverse ETF's..

Also, players who are too tied to one sector-- maybe they should be a sector All-Star, but its too gimmicky. I'm sure that some people have created two accounts, gone all-long in one, all-short in another in the same sector.. who cares? That's not real talent. That's why I think that having things like pitches actually count somehow could really help.

Don't mean to sound like I hate CAPS because I love it. I just think it can made even better.



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#37) On August 18, 2011 at 6:18 PM, JakilaTheHun (99.92) wrote:

#15  JakilaTheHun  I think a lot of us are in the same place.  I "borrowed" some of my thoughts on CAPS progress from bantering with Tasty ... I made a swag at it with the debt ceiling issue and got burned...back to the basics!!  I may look you up on a more personal level.  I really appreciate your input.

You still talk to Tasty, regularly?  I haven't heard from him in awhile. 

Send me an e-mail at and I can give you my contact info.  Make sure to put in a subject line that will let me know it's you.  It's not my "real" e-mail, per se, but it's the one that I am willing to post publicly on CAPS.  There's a reason for this.

Also, you can message me at Seeking Alpha if you have an account there. 

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#38) On August 18, 2011 at 6:19 PM, mtf00l (42.82) wrote:

I remember the Motley Fool back when it was free.  The message was clear and concise.  I believe that since the Fool has grown into a commercial enterprise that that may no longer be the case as you can see two calls to action opposed to one another on the same screen.

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#39) On August 18, 2011 at 7:50 PM, rofgile (99.45) wrote:


 I think there definitely is a lack of quality blogs being authored in the period from 2010-2011.

 Partly, I have a suspicion that the really smart bloggers figured back in 2010 that it would good to take their money out of investing or pay less attention. Since 2010 the market has basically gone sideways (and though it went up big, it went back down, then up, then down again - so basically it did just go sideways since mid-2010).  If you were long, you might have lost some, if you were short you might have lost some.  Sideways is only good for traders (and its hard to be a trader if you are not on wall street).



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#40) On August 18, 2011 at 7:52 PM, rofgile (99.45) wrote:

Oops, just reread the first line.

 There are still quality blogs being written on CAPS.  I think a lot by people such as Binve, TMFdeej, etc are still contributing greatly.  

 But, there are fewer good bloggers this last year, I do agree.


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#41) On August 18, 2011 at 7:54 PM, truthisntstupid (85.07) wrote:

Sideways is great for dividend investing. 

Sideways is horrible for people who want to win by speculating on price movements.

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#42) On August 18, 2011 at 8:02 PM, kdakota630 (29.10) wrote:

Sideways is great for sleeping.

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#43) On August 18, 2011 at 8:03 PM, kdakota630 (29.10) wrote:

Hey, I can respond in blogs again.  I was shut off all day (it's happened a number of times before).  Going to have to get to those other blogs tomorrow at this point.

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#44) On August 18, 2011 at 8:07 PM, Ticker007 (< 20) wrote:

Thanks TSIF

I will try to play this game on Caps a little wiser when time permits    ;)

The bottom has yet to be seen I fear.............

Back to the closet to hide until the reverse is complete

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#45) On August 18, 2011 at 8:08 PM, TSIF (99.97) wrote:

 XMFConnor   Try some of your thoughts on this blog by TMFCrockoStimpy. He collectts ideas. We have several blogs a year with suggestions. I think he's working on the accuracy issue currently, but he would know about your other ideas as well.

Personally I take the stand that if the rules are easy to understand and fair to all, then they are the rules we have. I love red thumbs and think they are just as important as green thumbs in the investing process/learning. The volume rules a few months ago cut back on some of the truly awful stuff. Unless they are an ETF, they need to trade 50,000 shares to be pickable.  Shorting them might be expensive, but in their early high volume pump stages, they are very much real life to play up or down.

I disagree on your comments as well about sectors. Being skilled/knowledgeable in a sector is very much real life and very useful to the community. Some of my favorite players to learn from are sector oriented.  Again, very much real life.

I do understand your points, it takes a variety to make a CAPs world and very few players aspire to be top.  The ideas Crocko is working on may interest you. Changing any rules in mid-stream always gets some push back.  Try his blog......I think he's going to run a series of them.   Good luck.

#38:  mf00I I agree, the message is getting garbled.  I'm not sure if that is getting through to the powers to be, but I'm with you on that one.

#37  Jakia, done!  ;)

#27 Jaysrage.  Thanks!!!  You guys are cheering me up..good thing, else the market would have me dangling on a bridge!!!  ;)  I'll never be that hard up.....I've got lots of friends I can move in with on a short term basis before we drive each other crazy(ier) !!! ;)

#29 Dumbernot.   No, not banned, a few blogs a day...he must be cutting back.......  ;)

#34 Jbay76, I agree.  Caps is a good tool for learning if we don't get distracted by the lack of a perfect world!  If anything it builds character!  But I could use a little less character building right now!!! ;)

I see a few other comments I didn't reply to, thanks for the encouragement and the dialogue.....I feel smarter than Crammer everyday I spend on here!!!  ;)



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#46) On August 18, 2011 at 8:09 PM, anchak (99.91) wrote:

There are a very few people - because of whom I still stick around in CAPS....



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#47) On August 18, 2011 at 8:10 PM, totallyoblivious (< 20) wrote:

I can pinpoint when the community died to the day.  Right when Ultralong and Babo were hired.  This shifted the bulk of their content off the blogging section / pitch areas for individual stocks and drove their content to the front page of  It essentially gutted the community, and no one has really stepped in to fill the void since. 

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#48) On August 18, 2011 at 8:13 PM, TSIF (99.97) wrote:

39-43.  I couldn't do much the first hour today when the market was crashing.  I was sorry I set some limits yesterday, but most of them didn't trip, so I got away lucky. I hate a losing pick closing at negative 0.007 and counting against my accuracy because I didn't leave enough wiggle for the S&P to roller coaster! 

Sideways is good some days, that's for sure!!! 

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#49) On August 18, 2011 at 8:39 PM, dragonLZ (87.24) wrote:

I, for example, don't blog anymore because Media stocks are not hot anymore...   :)

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#50) On August 18, 2011 at 8:42 PM, TSIF (99.97) wrote:

Don't worry Dragon, the shoes and purse you bought will still be in style a few more months.......and if the store closes they may be collectors items......  ;)

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#51) On August 18, 2011 at 8:55 PM, dragonLZ (87.24) wrote:

If the store closes?

The one where my wife (OK, me too) was shopping has already closed a couple of weeks ago (after having 90% OFF sale for last three months). 

And don't worry, I did think of you and your "Manikins at Talbots have no clothes" post quite a few times since the store closed... :)


I now exclusively shop at LOFT (by Ann Taylor). Can't believe I ever shopped at Talbots. Sometimes I wonder: What the hell was I thinking before...? LOFT is so much more in with the younger crowd. :)

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#52) On August 19, 2011 at 2:45 AM, XMFConnor (96.89) wrote:


Thanks for pointing me to the blog.

I hear you on the sectors. However, if you don't have many pitches and are weighted heavily long or short in one sector, it makes CAPS to easy to "game" via multiple accounts, which unfortunately I have seen done. (Requiring a minimum # of pitches to be ranked at a certain level would help with this as well). I definitely agree that it is great to have people who are excellent at certain sectors.

On my other point, I just don't think that some red thumbs really add that much value. For example, RYUN.OB was originally red-thumbed I believe by UltraLong. He made a very compelling, and really laughable pitch, about how terrible a company it is.  It's clearly worth nothing and I have no problem with him putting a red-thumb since the rules allow it. However, there is no way to short RYUN-- so you can't really make money off of this. I just think that some CAPS portfolios, especially among the higher ranked players (but certainly not all), are too red-thumb focused-- and on ideas where you can't really make money.

Again, if the borrowing cost is 30% annually, the S&P is flat, and the stock goes down 20%. If you red-thumbed something, CAPS will give you a +20 score, when in real life, your score is -10% because of the borrowing cost. This is just a flaw IMO. It would be extremely difficult to incorporate this into CAPS, which is why I think more restrictions on red-thumbs would be good, but just my $0.02. It is just a game after all. I try not to really care too much about the rating, but more on the learning and using it as an investing journal anyways.



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#53) On August 19, 2011 at 10:58 AM, TSIF (99.97) wrote: disagreement that if you play sectors, just like ETF's with multiple accounts during a "traumatic" period that that's not cool.

Sector players such as  zzlangerhans    Portefeuilleand aracer,  for biotechs and pharmaceuticals, for example, or Silverminer and the others on precious metals, or FB for homebuilders, etc...if I try to name them all, I'll get in trouble, are one of the best aspects of CAPS.  I did a satire on some two years ago that was a lot of fun.  I understand your costing angle on some of the more obscure stocks, but you can play them up as well if you learn the rythyms and with the volume limits you can short some of them, although, again, I agree, you'd better be sure or you're in trouble. Several people make a career out of this in RL, including a few CAPS players.

Variety is fun here, but again, I get your points and I understand that you do see this as a game with a lot of pieces that don't necessarily fit well.

Good luck.

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#54) On August 19, 2011 at 3:14 PM, goldminingXpert (28.77) wrote:

Hard to see the appeal of blogging here when the rewards are so much better elsewhere (income and tons more visibility at places outside this community.) Also, there is very little going on in the way of contests and fresh content within CAPS. Whatever happened to the MF sponsored CAPS contests. The prizes don't have to be big -- a free newsletter sub or something -- but do something to give me a reason to stay interested here.

The only reason I've been hanging around lately is to count the number of 1,000 point up days I can get as we go back into a bear market. With the upcoming proposed CAPS changes that would reward long-term buy and hold players and stack the game against dedicated short sellers such as myself, I will probably leave the community entirely.

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#55) On August 19, 2011 at 3:31 PM, catoismymotor (< 20) wrote:

GMX, give it a rest. You'll leave because your credibility has been greatly deminished over your GPL shinnanigans. Any other supposed reasons such as *changes to the rules* and *not being rewarded for your time* are just petty attempts to save face.

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#56) On August 19, 2011 at 3:49 PM, goldminingXpert (28.77) wrote:

The people who passionately believe in gold investments (referring to everyone, not just Sinchy) here and I have long had a rocky relationship. Given the fact that metals have continuously risen since I have blogged about them here in 2008, I have looked like an idiot for 3 years running on that topic. I deeply regret the unfortunate blunder I made which required me to retract a GPL-related article. That said, if me being embarrsingly wrong at times (something I excel at) was reason to leave the community, I would have done so long ago.

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#57) On August 30, 2011 at 1:46 AM, allstar31 (99.90) wrote:

As a varied investor, I believe there needs to be room for all of us here.

I have a base of Stocks that I Buy and Hold, but I also am a dedicated shortseller, making plays as I see fit.  I believe the Red Thumbs spark discussion here on CAPs.  If they were somehow limited, it would become a pure PUMPfest.

And to Connor's point, if you are a dedicated shortseller, and keep some of you money in cash, you aren't charged a borrowing fee for shorting.  I keep several thousand dollars on hand for just this reason, so I won't have to pay leverage interest rates.

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#58) On August 30, 2011 at 12:19 PM, miteycasey (28.99) wrote:

As a varied investor, I believe there needs to be room for all of us here.

I think this is key. 

Everyone doesn't like something, or someone, and wants something done about it. Instead, just accept it and move on.

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#59) On August 30, 2011 at 1:14 PM, TSIF (99.97) wrote:

Amen to both of you..... (  Allstar13913 ) (  miteycasey )

Thanks for the comments....

While CAPS may have initially had a core focus on "investing" it's clear to see that MF is also strugging to adapt with their ETF plays in some portfolios and the Options subscription addition.  The last two years involve more trading and more tools.  Variety! 


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#60) On September 01, 2011 at 6:05 PM, Option1307 (30.57) wrote:

Really good thoughts, +1!

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