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June 08, 2009 – Comments (54)

this must be one of the strangest statements I have seen from any "business leader":

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On June 08, 2009, at 6:07 PM, TMFTomG wrote:

TravelingMel, thanks for the comment. Scroll up and read a few of my notes...including the one posted right above yours. I understand your issue. And we need to do a better job of explaining ourselves. And so I am NOW committed to writing an article that explains our business to all Fools. But suffice to say that if "TravelingMel" is not a paying member of one of our membership services, we are losing money on "TravelingMel" today, tomorrow, next week, month and year...and right now, second by second, as our servers carry the weight of your clicks around the site. What you see at the end of the articles and in some of our email communications is what allows us to offer our services, which include 50+ free articles that demand training, research, editing, web design, web publishing, et cetera (i.e. not cheap). I hope when this is known across Fooldom it will be clear why we do what we do...and that you will feel gratitude that you get 99% of all of your editorial free of capital cost, free of promotion, free of anything but insight, analysis, and education (with a few jokes here or there). That remaining 1% is a typically gentle mention of a relevant service that will help us pay for tomorrow, next month, next year, and next decade. I hope you can endure the one percent of non-cash cost (promotion) in exchange for the 99 percent of free-ness. Foolish best and thanks for posting!

---------------------------- 

(from the comment section of this post)

 

I am "bewildered" ...

okay, maybe a mixture of amusement and disbelief.

 

 

54 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On June 08, 2009 at 6:36 PM, portefeuille (99.67) wrote:

sounds like a prostitute in the Amsterdam red light district:

"move over if you don't want to come in"

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#2) On June 08, 2009 at 6:47 PM, blake303 (29.32) wrote:

Why? I think he has a valid point and has the right to promote money generating features in order to "subsidize" the free services MF provides to freeloaders like myself.

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#3) On June 08, 2009 at 6:49 PM, goldminingXpert (29.56) wrote:

What's ridiculous about this?

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#4) On June 08, 2009 at 6:55 PM, portefeuille (99.67) wrote:

#2,3 I am mostly referring to the "bold face" part.

There is this concept of "potential customer" (so I thought) ...

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#5) On June 08, 2009 at 7:25 PM, blake303 (29.32) wrote:

There is nothing bewildering or amusing about a company advertising to potential customers. Name a company that doesn't promote its products or services. Even bars advertise.

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#6) On June 08, 2009 at 7:29 PM, portefeuille (99.67) wrote:

There is nothing bewildering or amusing about a company advertising to potential customers. Name a company that doesn't promote its products or services. Even bars advertise.

again: I am mostly referring to the "bold face" part.

for reference here it is again:

----------------------------

But suffice to say that if "TravelingMel" is not a paying member of one of our membership services, we are losing money on "TravelingMel" today, tomorrow, next week, month and year...and right now, second by second, as our servers carry the weight of your clicks around the site.

----------------------------

change that to "I am exclusively referring to the 'bold face' part" ...

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#7) On June 08, 2009 at 7:30 PM, rofgile (99.43) wrote:

I don't pay for any MF service - but I contribute to CAPS and write blogs that I think contain useful information.

I may not pay, but I contribute to the site. 

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#8) On June 08, 2009 at 7:39 PM, icesword2 (52.97) wrote:

Here's where TMFTomG is flat out wrong: David Gardner states himself that the greatest value of CAPS and TMF in general is the online community, the people who research and recommend on the site for no cost or compensation.  Since so much value is generated by our use of the server space, it's wrong to accuse any "freeloader" of costing TMF money every second. Sure, if I were just letting my cat walk across the keyboard / trackpad, that would be one thing, but I'd like to think I add a little more value than that.  Maybe?  I'll see what my cat thinks.

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#9) On June 08, 2009 at 7:54 PM, TMFTomGardner (81.17) wrote:

icesword, the problem is if you take my comments out of context. Then they lose their perspective. If you embolden one paragraph..or if you simply pull a few paragraphs out...and then comment on them, they have lost their context. And when context is lost, the closing analysis is more of a series of guesses than rational conclusions. I'm not upset about this. I simply want to explain what I was getting at.

ALL businesses have money-losing areas. The McDonald's Happy Meal loses money. I believe Netflix actually runs into the red if you buy a one-movie subscription and re-up for a new movie every 24 hours. Amazon.com loses money when you read reviews and then buy at your local book retailer. The list goes on endlessly, and would bore to tears (if I haven't already), and so I'll stop.

I believe David Gardner is right (though it hurts me to say it). The greatest value in all that we do is the community that we have and are creating (you'll be happy to know that elsewhere in the comments that I made, leading to the excerpt you see above) I make mention of this very fact. That which I am proudest is our community platform, allowing investors to help investors, whether or not they ever choose to pay us for membership.

I celebrate the free-ness of Foolishness...and do so in virtually every speech I give. I also celebrate our mission and vision, which have no direct ties to commercial outcomes. But I also know that few missions in this world are fulfilled without capital. Name a mission and I can mention the funds needed to achieve it -- whether we are talking missions for a for-profit entity, not-for-profit, et cetera. Somewhere, there is a need for capital.

All I was attempting to explain -- and either I failed miserably to do so, or the excerpt above didn't capture it, or likely a bit of both! -- is that our business engine is membership. It is what allows us to create communities, to design CAPS from the ground up, to hire writers and editors and analysts, and to continue hosting a forum where I believe you can get an answer about any important financial matter within 24 hours.

It is for this reason that membership is mentioned in a great percentage of the articles that we write. The articles are written to fulfill our mission (To educate, amuse, and enrich) and our vision (To build the world's greatest investment community). But they also must pay for themselves, lest we run our Fool dory into the rocks (cf. The Motley Fool story, circa 2001).

The customer/user/partner/member data that we study on the site shows that we are reaching a huge number of investors (5+ million per month), that many take trials to our membership services, that a goodly number become paying members, and that we renew at rates more than twice the industry average.

I think we could actually rest a bit on our laurels, and probably ride this trend for 5+ years. But that wouldn't be much fun. Instead, we try to improve every single day. When you encounter articles on our site, we are actively striving to make them better than anything we published last month, last year, and last decade. "Continual improvement" is one of our core values.

And this is why I welcome any feedback and clearly suggested solutions. After 15 years of this, I am accustomed to the people who would rather simply pick nits all day and night. I definitely can learn from them. But at a certain point, suggested improvements is the holy grail. We welcome them through every forum in Fooldom.

 And so, while I am happy that most posters on this blog immediately grasped what I was trying to say about our business.....in seeking to be transparent..... I do take your note, icesword2, as a reminder that we need to keep explaining why we do what we do and how. To that end, let me assure you that your contributions are quite, quite valuable and that we enjoy serving you whether you pay as a member or no. My Foolish best, Tom

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#10) On June 08, 2009 at 7:57 PM, blake303 (29.32) wrote:

He is not accusing anyone, just being realistic. The content added by non-paying Fools cannot generate enough revenue to pay for servers, software, offices, and MF staff salaries. As much as we would like to believe that our contributions add value (they do), it is absurd to think that CAPS blogs will fully support the costs of running this organization.

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#11) On June 08, 2009 at 8:27 PM, portefeuille (99.67) wrote:

icesword, the problem is if you take my comments out of context. Then they lose their perspective. If you embolden one paragraph..or if you simply pull a few paragraphs out...and then comment on them, they have lost their context.

I think it is a pretty bold statement to claim that I took a (bold face) paragraph out of context when I actually posted the whole comment (see the comment made by tmftomg here (comment section at  6:07 PM). Actually it seems there was rather too much context provided (see comments #2,3,4(!) above) ...

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#12) On June 08, 2009 at 9:35 PM, madcowmonkey (< 20) wrote:

With 60,000 plus users on the website and some of them daily users, I would bet the advertising on the site works out pretty well. Especially for those companies that are looking for people that want to invest. Regardless, here is the main point "Continual improvement" is one of our core values." Makes sense to me.....and it isn't everyday that you get to blog and comment with somebody that runs the company. I know, because I have tried.

BTW- I am probably one of those that fit in the category of  "don't contribute" and I am fine with that. I still click on the links of the advertisements, whether it is on accident or not.

Here is an old camistocks post that should lighten up the topic a little. I am still waiting for these types of advertisements.

New revenue stream for the fool.com?

 

 

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#13) On June 08, 2009 at 9:45 PM, portefeuille (99.67) wrote:

New revenue stream for the fool.com?

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#14) On June 08, 2009 at 9:47 PM, djkumquat (48.31) wrote:

oh, c'mon!

i can't believe i bothered to read this thread.

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#15) On June 08, 2009 at 9:53 PM, ChrisGraley (29.72) wrote:

Porty when you received feedback, you hid behind the bolded text.

Tom and Dave are in business and the point of any business is to make money.

This game exists because they believe that despite the costs, they can support it through the advertising and subscriptions.

Yes the players do add content, but TMF is giving that content away for free as well. They don't make money off of player added content.

I have no problem what so ever with their current business model and I reccommend the site to friends.

The site survives on a symbiotic relationship and if your determined to kill the host, you'll just wind up posting your complaints about scoring, ownership, and fellow players to a lesser website. Honestly, if you could find something better would you be here right now?

I actually find it pretty refreshing to find a website that evaluates other companies to be concerned about their own bottom line. It might mean that they will be around for a while.

 

Just my opinion, but lighten up Francis!

 

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#16) On June 08, 2009 at 10:07 PM, portefeuille (99.67) wrote:

Porty when you received feedback, you hid behind the bolded text.

I did not hide behind it. I thought it was pretty obvious that that "bolded text" was the subject of my post.

this is "how it started":

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On June 08, 2009, at 6:17 PM, portefeuille wrote:

But suffice to say that if "TravelingMel" is not a paying member of one of our membership services, we are losing money on "TravelingMel" today, tomorrow, next week, month and year...and right now, second by second, as our servers carry the weight of your clicks around the site.

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this point of view is simply ridiculous ...

------------------------------------------- 

(from here)

 

oh, c'mon!

i can't believe i bothered to read this thread.

At least (via comment 12 above -> comment #13 of that post by camistocks) it made me do a spyware scan of my mac. "no spyware found" ...

 

 

 

 

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#17) On June 08, 2009 at 10:10 PM, portefeuille (99.67) wrote:

They don't make money off of player added content.

not sure about that. i somewhat agree with the rest.

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#18) On June 08, 2009 at 11:18 PM, JakilaTheHun (99.93) wrote:

I'm not sure what is so shocking about it.  Perhaps it was a bit inarticulately worded since I assume that Tom G. knows that many paying members become "paying members" precisely because their access to the rich array of free services that they originally encountered.  (Hence, it might not be technically true in that sense to say that non-paying members are losing the site money).  All the same, I can't see the big deal. I understand the point he was trying to make.

I think it's pretty great that high-level TMFers regularly communicate over the site with people of all stripes on the TMF site.  I've heard them explain their business model very openly and honestly.  I'm impressed with that.  That simply doesn't happen with most websites.  Most online businesses, to be quite honest, see themselves as a bit above their customers and don't try to address complaints so long as they are turning a profit.  They also try to hide their business model, b/c they don't want you to know how they are making money. I've never seen that here at TMF.  I've always seen transparancy and honesty.

 

I've actually been surprised at how active Tom and Dave are at even paying attention to CAPS.  I picked a little fight with Dave G. on his Hot Topic pitch one day, not really even expecting a response.  Guess I just did it to see what would happen.  But he responded and was pretty respectful; even if I felt like his original pitch was dumb and moderately insulting to some people.  I don't think he meant it to be that way, but felt like I should make a point to try to display how it was. 

 

Eh, guess I'm just not really disturbed by this.  I realize that TMF makes money in an off-hand way off the free services, but I still realize that many of the activities here don't technically generate revenue and I'm pretty grateful they keep these things around.  I choose to cut them a little slack when they occasionally say things that might not have been well-thought out, because I know that for every poorly expressed comment I see from one of them, I've probably made about a dozen that no one called me on since I'm not in as much of a spotlight.


So I guess my basic message is --- be glad that you have honest (if flawed) human beings here at TMF willing to openly communicate with the people on the site rather than the politicians and automotrons you see everywhere else. :)

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#19) On June 08, 2009 at 11:28 PM, TigerPack1 (86.93) wrote:

If you are a regular contributor like portefeuille in the blogs and/or making outstanding stock picks 'you' ARE helping to create money for the fool.com out of thin air.

I believe that is portefeuille's point, although he did not express it well.  I count 6 paying banner ads on this webpage as I write this short note.  At 5 cents per ad thats about 30 cents port has earned for CAPS and the fool.com times the number of pagewrites per reader with this post.  AND, port is paid nothing to blog his comments!!!

Similarly, the newsworthy 5-star ratings for stocks produced by the large number of deadbeat stock market junkies, like myself, will generate mountains of new revenue and profits as the fool.com starts to roll out mutual funds and third-party licenses for listing this content on other websites.

CAPS the game and the business model is designed both around numerous pageviews with the money generated from advertisers and the potential to "use" thousands of networked smarty-pants/number-geek members to successfully rank stocks.  I am quite sure CAPS as a whole is a money maker for the fool.com and could be a very big money maker in the future as a new bull market is born.

What's the deal with the AllStarPortfolio member trying to start a mutual fund from the top stock pickers in CAPS?  Is he on his own trying to find talent and investors here, or is he related to the fool.com?

I like the Happy Meal comparison with McDonald's.  Without this incredible advertising gimmick, MCD may have turned into just another average burger chain.  The fool.com can claim CAPS as their own and its successful inception and growth will drive traffic and subscriptions to the organization's long-run benefit.  Those that created and run CAPS deserve a pat on the back, and I hope are compensated justly for it!

-Tiger's Two Cents

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#20) On June 09, 2009 at 12:27 AM, mistermiranga (91.45) wrote:

Port - When I read the post and comments it is obvious that you are taking Tom out of context. He is clearly going out of his way to engage the community and welcomes suggestions from valued members like yourself. I can't see anything wrong with his honesty and helping the community to get a better grasp on the business model.

The quote that you isolated didn't appear to be put forward with disgust or disrespect towards the member/potential customer. It seems to be openly illustrating an important consideration for TMF.

In my opinion AMR engages in much more bewildering customer service tactics but you chose to give them a green thumb. 

 

 

 

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#21) On June 09, 2009 at 12:33 AM, goldminingXpert (29.56) wrote:

In my opinion AMR engages in much more bewildering customer service tactics but you chose to give them a green thumb.

Haha. Portefeuille's persistent negativity combined with strong cynicism explains this post--he'd probably make a great AMR employee.

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#22) On June 09, 2009 at 1:06 AM, portefeuille (99.67) wrote:

I could not even make up a context that makes this statement

"we are losing money on 'TravelingMel" today, tomorrow, next week, month and year..."

not a very awkward one (to say the least ...). Again: He is talking about something that is usually called a potential customer (and in the case of the motley fool he is probably even a contributor (see comments #8,19 above)). And as has been said by others in the comments above, they do make money on "TravelingMel" even if it is just for him being one of those 5+million. I can almost see tmftomg talking to the media planning and buying agencies. I think you would hear stuff like "all those unique visitors on our site are a great target for all kinds of ads". I can just not imagine him saying "We have a problem with those non-paying parasites that flock to our site. We are losing heavily on those." ...

If they cannot "monetise" those that dare to strike a key before they pay for the it infrastructure then they should just shut up about it, but the attitude towards their site visitors displayed in that statement is simply unbelievable.

Actually I am only now getting somewhat angry. The more I think about it the more outrageous that statement is and I don't really care about all those speeches tmftomg has given before writing that.

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#23) On June 09, 2009 at 6:22 AM, ttboydxb (28.86) wrote:

I would even suggest to the TMF guys that you make a CAPS "Premium" say $5 per account?  Would definitely clear up some of the deadwood out here....

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#24) On June 09, 2009 at 7:16 AM, CHMIII (< 20) wrote:

Because I read Tom G.'s comment and understood exactly what he meant, it's difficult for me to understand why you're having such a vehement reaction to it, portefeuille.  Ignore for the moment the altuistic reasons that Motley Fool does what it does, and focus only on the business/accounting principles in play.

The closest business analogy that comes to mind would be that of a loss leader.  A business sells a product at a loss in order to get consumers into the store where they will be likely to buy something else.  However, the customer who walks through the door, buys only the loss leader product and then walks out costs the company money.  Even if the store sells the loss leader at cost instead of below cost, the customer who buys only the loss leader still costs the company money because of the overhead expenses that are unrecovered. 

In this case, TMF's free content - including the info contributed by members - is the loss leader.  The "sale price" of this product is zero (free content), and as demonstrated above, consumers who "purchase" only the loss leader - i.e. every non-subscribing member & every guest -  cost TMF money because of overhead expenses tied to operating the website and publishing free articles.  Tom's statement is not "outrageous;" it's simple accounting.

Using this model, the value of member contributions to TMF is that they help create a better quality loss leader product and thus may help get more consumers "in the door."  The irony is that those same contributions may actually hurt TMF's chances of making sales; the higher the quality and the wider the extent of the free content, the greater the chances that non-paying members & guests will be happy to remain just that:  non-paying.

My two assumptions are 1) "Online advertising banners do not get anywhere near covering the cost of articles" and 2) subscription-based services are the main source of income for TMF.  Since Tom G. stressed these two points, I think that they are fairly safe assumptions.  Some of the assertions in other posts, including yours, are in direct disagreement with Tom's statements and seem to be making WAGs about how TMF generates income.  Unless there is evidence to demonstrate otherwise, I think Mr. Gardner deserves to be taken at his word.

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#25) On June 09, 2009 at 8:02 AM, portefeuille (99.67) wrote:

to put those "server costs" in perspective have a look at this:

----------------------------
A SPECweb score is produced by applying a geometric mean to the measured number
of simultaneous web server connections on three separate workloads. On one of
these, the E-Commerce workload, VMware`s submission supported 69,525
simultaneous connections. To put this number in perspective, an online retailer
might expect no more than 1 percent of its customers to connect to its web
servers at one time. Using the configuration reported by VMware, this online
retailer could support nearly seven million customers from a single physical
server.

----------------------------

(from here)

Now again tmftomg on that subject:

---------------------------- 

..., we are losing money on "TravelingMel" today, tomorrow, next week, month and year...and right now, second by second, as our servers carry the weight of your clicks around the site.

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#26) On June 09, 2009 at 9:04 AM, portefeuille (99.67) wrote:

----------------------------

On June 09, 2009, at 8:50 AM, henryking54 wrote:

The problem with the Fool's business model is that the premium services are garbage. The only value to the Fool website is the free discussion boards and the free CAPS rankings. The analysts who work at the Fool aren't talented and their stock picks are no better than your mother-in-law's. This includes the Gardner brothers who have no financial training and are just marketers.

The only real talent on the Fool website comes from non-Fool employees who contribute to the community discussion. And that talent can be read for free!

When the loss leader is also a company's only valuable asset, your business is in trouble.

----------------------------

(from here)

 

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#27) On June 09, 2009 at 9:08 AM, portefeuille (99.67) wrote:

This includes the Gardner brothers who have no financial training and are just marketers. 

well, tmftomg does have a degree in "creative writing" (1) ...

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#28) On June 09, 2009 at 9:09 AM, portefeuille (99.67) wrote:

(just teasing)

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#29) On June 09, 2009 at 9:42 AM, galtline (33.61) wrote:

Port,

I've enjoyed your comments on other blogs and articles...but I think you're taking too much out of this.

Let's put TomG's comments into perspective -

This costs the Fool money - servers/hosting/IT staff (the comments regarding TravelingMel's clicks through the website), and paying employees to research and write articles.

His point is that all of that is free, and that he hopes the users find enough value in that to put up with occasional advertising.

It would be like getting a Sunday newspaper for free, but having the reader complain about the advertisements. 

Port, you're viewing this comment on its own and surmising that Tom sees no value in a users contributions...but you know that he has said (many times) that the true value of the Fool is in the investing community and their contributions. 

If you take only his response to TravelingMel and ignore everything else that TomG has ever said, then you are taking his comments out of context.

I would take his comment to TravelingMel to be what it is - a defense on why they advertise.

 

 

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#30) On June 09, 2009 at 9:50 AM, portefeuille (99.67) wrote:

#29 well I am not so sure about that. maybe it was just the moment he dropped his mask.

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#31) On June 09, 2009 at 9:52 AM, portefeuille (99.67) wrote:

but yes, I too am getting somewhat tired of this. let's let him go on with his creative writing if he so chooses. we really have better things to do, I guess ...

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#32) On June 09, 2009 at 9:54 AM, goldminingXpert (29.56) wrote:

32 comments and 2 recommendations portefeuille. Try again with a different blog perhaps?

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#33) On June 09, 2009 at 9:59 AM, portefeuille (99.67) wrote:

32 comments and 2 recommendations portefeuille.

that is about average for me (even when you exclude this post which has 526 comments so far) ...

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#34) On June 09, 2009 at 10:23 AM, portefeuille10 (98.85) wrote:

On June 09, 2009, at 9:41 AM, TMFTomG wrote:

henryking54, I love the irascibility and the gruff approach. You remind me of the two old guys in the bleacher seats of the Muppets. "These guys are terrible; this theater's awful; the show was a disgrace; you're a bum; but at least I'm great."

Because I generally prefer community participation to the on-high authority, it would be in my nature to start where you are -- skeptical of the guy at the podium. I can't say I get as tonally nasty as you did, but I sympathize with your approach.

Your argument falls apart for me, though, because I know our hiring practices at The Motley Fool. Namely, most of the people that you've identified as bums, we've hired straight out of our community. Whether it's Bill Mann or Philip Durell or Jeff Fischer or you name it. . . these people you think are ridiculously bad...they actually came from where you are and from what you so highly praise.

Now, true, you could say we do a miserable job of hiring the RIGHT people out of our community. The problem there is that we have a guy like Steve Kerr -- the former chief learning officer reporting directly to Jack Welch at GE -- sitting on our Board of Directors.

Steve was responsible for training/development of leaders among the 300,000+ employees at GE. He's been invaluable for us. And so I have to say I actually think we do a remarkable job of hiring and developing talent.

So I seek refinement in your argument. What do you think the chances are that when we hire almost entirely out of our base of 5 million monthly visitors, when we develop using methodology deployed by Steve Kerr, and when 9 out of 10 of our investment advisory services are beating the market....what do you think the chances are that you've been a little too aggressively harsh in your condemnation of all things Foolish that don't have to do with the community we've created, the CAPS system we designed, and the people we've hired actively from both areas?

I wouldn't want to be rude, but I would want to be accurate. So I'd say the chances are pretty high that you've gone too far in your assessment. Foolish best.

----------------------------

On June 09, 2009, at 10:02 AM, henryking54 wrote:

<< when 9 out of 10 of our investment advisory services are beating the market.>>

Mr. Tom Gardner,

Please don't trumpet your phony newsletter returns. You don't even have the integrity to provide time-weighted, annualized compounded rates of return. Your arithmetic "average" return per pick has no bearing on ACTUAL portfolio performance. Until you provide return data that is comparable to the industry standard used by mutual funds (modified Dietz), you should shut up. To do otherwise comes close to engaging in fraudulent representations.

----------------------------

What do you think the chances are that when we hire almost entirely out of our base of 5 million monthly visitors, ...

I guess those are visitors like "TravelingMel" that they are "losing money on" "today, tomorrow, next week, month and year...and right now, second by second, as our servers carry the weight of your clicks around the site."

Apart from that curious combination of statements I wonder what the relevance of that number (5 million monthly visitors) in the context (context is very important) of the hiring of staff is. Do they have some sort of magic AI working behind the curtains of their IT department that somehow manages to select the best "talent" from that pool of 5 million monthly visitors?

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#35) On June 09, 2009 at 10:25 AM, portefeuille (99.67) wrote:

(algo1 is one of my players)

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#36) On June 09, 2009 at 10:27 AM, goldminingXpert (29.56) wrote:

Maybe giving more posts more descriptive titles would give you recommendations?

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#37) On June 09, 2009 at 10:31 AM, portefeuille (99.67) wrote:

Maybe giving more posts more descriptive titles would give you recommendations?

maybe.

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#38) On June 09, 2009 at 10:39 AM, TigerPack1 (86.93) wrote:

I am waiting for my phone call or email from TMF to help out with some freelance writing or setting up a mutual fund that actually provides consistent stock market outfperformance on the long side!

I have a credible background and resume in the financial services industry from the mid-1990s that may prove appealing to the fool.com and CAPS.

-Tiger

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#39) On June 09, 2009 at 10:42 AM, rtxjohnson (< 20) wrote:

today, tomorrow, next week, month and year...and right now, second by second, as our servers carry the weight of your clicks around the site. . .

 

and the weight of this useless thread

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#40) On June 09, 2009 at 11:42 AM, blake303 (29.32) wrote:

I would even suggest to the TMF guys that you make a CAPS "Premium" say $5 per account?

If a premium account came with a button to ignore posts from portefeuille and his twelve free aliases, the cost would be well worth it. Focus primarily on the 'bold face' part.

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#41) On June 09, 2009 at 11:55 AM, goldminingXpert (29.56) wrote:

If a premium account came with a button to ignore posts from portefeuille and his twelve free aliases, the cost would be well worth it. Focus primarily on the 'bold face' part.

You're too funny. I'd have to guess his number of aliases is over a dozen by now though. I wish CAPS would require people to disclose all their accounts so that people could see all the less successful accounts tied to a person. I am very open with my other accounts... I've blogged about them and I put GMX in front of all of them, but most of the time, people aren't so forthcoming,

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#42) On June 09, 2009 at 12:22 PM, portefeuille (99.67) wrote:

I'd have to guess his number of aliases is over a dozen by now though.

I have 12 players.

I am very open with my other accounts... I've blogged about them and I put GMX in front of all of them, but most of the time, people aren't so forthcoming,

I have mentioned them around 10 times. For example here and here.

I have posted one and only one message from each of the 11 players that are not portefeuille. The staff of the motley fool has deleted some of those posts (see this post, especially the comment section. I think this is should be considered a very direct and efficient form of "disclosure".

I wish CAPS would require people to disclose all their accounts so that people could see all the less successful accounts tied to a person.

I am sorry but my players are all rather "successful" (again, see this post for the performance of most of those players).

The one not in the "caps" game "top200" (20minutedelay) has only made very few calls so far. He does not really qualify as unsuccessful since he currently has an "average pick score" of 20.70 points with a rather short "average holding period".

The "caps" game "accuracy" is of course garbage, but the average point scores of all 12 players are rather high and so is the overall point score for all players but said player 20minutedelay who has only made 28 calls so far. The other 11 should be in the "top100" as to "outperform score points". But then again I don't care ...

 

 

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#43) On June 09, 2009 at 1:00 PM, portefeuille (99.67) wrote:

----------------------------

On June 08, 2009, at 8:34 AM, henryking54 wrote:

Motley Fool Pro is a bad joke. It barely hedges anything. All it does is sell covered calls or sell out-of-the-money puts (which do NOT protect against a severe decline) and purchase high-cost, tax-inefficient inverse ETFs. Heaven help anyone who actually wastes money subscribing to that "service."

----------------------------

On June 09, 2009, at 11:56 AM, TMFTomG wrote:

Henry, thank you for joining in the discussion. I am a fan of Morningstar. You can confirm for me, though, if they report returns according to your standards. Now, we are working toward improving our reporting quality. One of the biggest steps we've taken in that direction is just to invest our own money behind services. That makes tracking pretty easy. I'm not sure of other membership services that invest their own money behind their ideas (and do so after giving all members a chance to transact). Another way for you to evaluate our services is to go to the grandaddy of reporting standards -- Mark Hulbert -- and I think you'll find his work confirming that we're adding a lot of value. One final metric is the renewal rates of members which run two times higher than the industry average for investment newsletters.

I'm guessing from your perspective that you're best suited for TMF Pro and Jeff Fischer. Jeff deploys options in a conservative, prudent, productive manner. He uses hedges. He is beating the market by all tracking methodologies. And he's doing so with reduced volatility. It is very early in the service, but I'm guessing you would really enjoy it.

And if you choose not to become a member, I hope you continue to enjoy our hard work every day for free. Further, I hope you are finding happiness with your investments and in your life everyday, Fool.

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On June 09, 2009, at 12:51 PM, henryking54 wrote:

<< I'm guessing from your perspective that you're best suited for TMF Pro and Jeff Fischer.>>

TomG,

See my June 8th 8:34 AM post.


Henry

----------------------------

 

no comment from portefeuille ...

 

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#44) On June 09, 2009 at 1:02 PM, portefeuille (99.67) wrote:

no comment from portefeuille ...

okay, maybe one comment:

 

It's sad, so sad
It's a sad, sad situation
And it's getting more and more absurd

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#45) On June 09, 2009 at 1:08 PM, goldminingXpert (29.56) wrote:

MF Pro is doing very well. What the hell is your problem?

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#46) On June 09, 2009 at 1:10 PM, goldminingXpert (29.56) wrote:

It's up 10% in less than a year, if that isn't good for a conservative hedged portfolio during a depression than cry me a river.

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#47) On June 09, 2009 at 1:12 PM, portefeuille (99.67) wrote:

I did not say anything about "the motley fool pro".

I will say this: I have cancelled my free 2 year subscription that they gave me because I consider it spam.

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#48) On June 09, 2009 at 1:14 PM, goldminingXpert (29.56) wrote:

You quoted Kinghenry, whom you quote frequently, so I just assumed he was another of your aliases. Whatever.

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#49) On June 09, 2009 at 1:38 PM, blake303 (29.32) wrote:

I have cancelled my free 2 year subscription that they gave me because I consider it spam.

What would make you happy? Do you want MF to pay you for unrecommendable commentary and 2,400 stock picks?  Again, focus primarily on the 'bold face' part.

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#50) On June 09, 2009 at 2:59 PM, ChrisGraley (29.72) wrote:

There is a simple solution if your unhappy with the site.

Leave.

No one is forcing you come here and complain. You do that on your own free will.

If it so intolerable, why do you keep coming back?

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#51) On June 10, 2009 at 3:23 AM, CHMIII (< 20) wrote:

portefeuille -
Regarding the quote that you threw out about VMWare, there are only two possibilities.  Either you didn't really understand the source article and tried to pull out some verbage that might support your position, or you did understand the article and extracted something that you knew had absolutely nothing to do with anything in this thread.  Either way, you damage your credibility.

Second, I said "overhead expenses tied to operating the website and publishing free articles," not "server costs."  The overhead involved with operating a commercial website goes way beyond CPU cycles and sustained connections, but I'll refrain from listing all of the costs involved.

Finally, your complaint was about the outlandishness and offensiveness of Tom G.'s position that non-subscribers cost TMF money.  After you refused his explanations, I tried a different approach to demonstrate why his statements are accurate.  Your utter rejection of a reasoned argument and continued raving against it does not change its validity.  Regardless of your opinions on the subject -  from a strictly financial point of view, every non-subscriber who uses TMF costs them money.

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#52) On June 13, 2009 at 10:21 AM, portefeuille (99.67) wrote:

There seems to be some confusion about my comment #47 above:

---------------------------- 

I did not say anything about "the motley fool pro".

I will say this: I have cancelled my free 2 year subscription that they gave me because I consider it spam.

---------------------------- 

It was a response to comments #45,46 by goldminingxpert above:

---------------------------- 

MF Pro is doing very well. What the hell is your problem?

----------------------------  

It's up 10% in less than a year, if that isn't good for a conservative hedged portfolio during a depression than cry me a river.

----------------------------  

 

So let me clarify. I called it "spam" because that is what I call unsolicited emails. I never really looked at them and so I cancelled the free subscription they had given to me. I never talked about that newsletter or any other. I have never read any of their newsletters (except for, as I said, a casual glance (a few seconds maybe) at one or two emails of those emails), why should I comment on them?

I have not said anything about them and I will be happy to not say anything about them in the future.

(maybe the newsletter are even good. I do not really care ...)

 

 

 

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#53) On June 13, 2009 at 10:27 AM, portefeuille (99.67) wrote:

second area of confusion:

I have not attacked "the co-founder of 'the motley fool'".

Again, I see no reason to attack him. I don't know him better than any of the newsletters (see comment #52 above). I found one sentence odd (to a high degree). That's all.

If this is so outrageous (I am sick of hearing any more of this "how dare he attack ..." talk) then forget about the whole thing. I have the impression that quite often I find stuff outrageous that other people find "normal" and vice versa. It might be a cultural/language issue (U.S. vs. German) ...

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#54) On June 13, 2009 at 10:27 AM, portefeuille (99.67) wrote:

I hope this blog is closed for good now.

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