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TMFFoolIntel (< 20)

Fool Intel - New Data from CAPS



February 06, 2008 – Comments (41)

We said to check back for an interesting development in the CAPSosphere and here it is - Fool Intel.

What is Fool Intel? It is a new way to use the intelligence gathering power of CAPS. Rather than asking users to rate individual stocks and ranking them on their performance, Fool Intel takes people who are already highly ranked (90 pr above) and asks questions about the market that go beyond the movement of a single stock.

The questions are designed to be interesting and quantifiable. Fool Intel isn’t about questions that have a multitude of answers ("what is your favorite stock?") or questions that are vague or general ("do you like the Internet?"). Ideally, after every question we can return at a later date and say definitively “the majority was right” or “the majority was wrong.”

Which make the results of the first Fool Intel survey very interesting.

The best players in CAPS are perfectly split on the state of the market in the next quarter. Is this a sign that the market is too volatile to judge? Does this mean that top players with heavy short positions see a drastically different market than top players with green thumbs?

With one data point, I’m not sure. So we’re going to run this question again, every month or so, along with the other Fool Intel questions. We’re going to look for trends, and we’re going to keep records on how correct we are. And maybe, a year or two from now, we’ll be able to add another level to the predictive capabilities of CAPS.

Fool on,

Have a cool idea for a question? A comment about the data? Leave it in the comments! Also, if you favorite TMFFoolIntel, you can see the latest blog posts via the favorites tab on the MyCAPS Page.

41 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On February 06, 2008 at 6:52 PM, hall9999 (94.14) wrote:

  I had sent a comment to TMF stating that I thought the choices - a) up   b) down - were too limiting.  This result seems to mirror what I would've liked to have said which is I think in three months the S&P will be about the same or slightly lower.

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#2) On February 06, 2008 at 8:30 PM, floridabuilder2 (98.60) wrote:

based on when I did the survey and the current performance, I would say i am in the the right group

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#3) On February 06, 2008 at 9:23 PM, dwot (29.66) wrote:

Hmmm, I am addicted to caps yet I think I somehow missed this...

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#4) On February 06, 2008 at 9:26 PM, FleaBagger (27.37) wrote:


I missed it too. I don't know about you, but I got chunked down to 70-something a few times for a few minutes at a time. Maybe they did this during one of those spells.

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#5) On February 06, 2008 at 10:34 PM, TMFCHarris (99.02) wrote:

dwot and fleabagger -

The list was pulled on Friday, January 25th, so that may be it. We also are not emailing people who have elected (via their Fool email preferences) not to  receive email from TMF. That may be a more likely reason you were missed.


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#6) On February 07, 2008 at 3:27 AM, DemonDoug (31.08) wrote:

I would agree that three choices would be better... make it a percent range, like 10% up or down or will it be between that.  I voted less, I think I would have still voted less even if it was 10%.

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#7) On February 07, 2008 at 9:08 AM, Gtrinvestor (97.46) wrote:

I like DemonDoug's proposal on a %, say >10% up, > 10% down, or about +_ 10% of what it is right now. 

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#8) On February 07, 2008 at 9:48 AM, TDRH (97.82) wrote:

When is The Motley Fool going to offer an investment vehicle based on the group intelligence?   Say 80% long on 5 star stocks, 20% short on the lowest rated.    The charts that were last put out made the group look pretty good.

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#9) On February 07, 2008 at 12:52 PM, allstar31 (99.86) wrote:

I didn't get the question either, so now I'm curious myself.  I've been ranked in the top 30 for the last year or so....


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#10) On February 07, 2008 at 3:37 PM, anchak (99.89) wrote:

"When is The Motley Fool going to offer an investment vehicle based on the group intelligence?   Say 80% long on 5 star stocks, 20% short on the lowest rated.    The charts that were last put out made the group look pretty good."

I am willing to put real money in this "Long-Short" mutual long as expenses are <60 bps

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#11) On February 07, 2008 at 3:41 PM, Tastylunch (28.84) wrote:

wow I have to admit I'm shocked the data is so split....

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#12) On February 08, 2008 at 12:37 AM, HatchingPlans (31.02) wrote:

any way we can get these sent to us as an alert in-game in case we miss the email? i missed it too.

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#13) On February 08, 2008 at 8:31 AM, TMFBent (99.58) wrote:

I am willing to put real money in this "Long-Short" mutual long as expenses are <60 bps

I might be too, but I doubt a trading fund can have expenses sub 60 basis points.

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#14) On February 09, 2008 at 10:02 AM, mgiv (41.35) wrote:

to me this is an indication that it moves further down.  If it was a bullish prjection, the ratio would be more like 80 up 20 down or maybe more extreme.  Remember stocks with half green thumb and half red thumbs in general stink with 1 or 2 star rating.

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#15) On February 11, 2008 at 12:23 AM, ElViking (98.00) wrote:

Just to remind you guys how you designed your rating system; a green thumb just means that the picker expects the stock to beat the market. This can mean an expectation of that stock treading water while the rest of the market drowns. So you can be bearish overall, but still making overperform calls. Underperform calls are generally easier to make, as it's often easier to spot a stinker than a winner.

  I think these results are a fairly accurate reflection of current market sentiment. Things aren't great, but we've taken a beating, so there's a lot of different things the market could do in the next 3 months.

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#16) On February 13, 2008 at 11:30 PM, SoMch2Knw (83.49) wrote:

I thought the question was fine - simple, direct, and no third option for the indecisive to hide in.  However, there was a big swing in the S&P from the time the question was asked (arrived in my inbox) to when I actually answered.  So, my suggestion is be more precise. Higher or lower than 1350, or 1300, or 1450 in whatever timeframe; not just "today" with a week to answer as Mr.Market swings 50 to 100 points.


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#17) On February 13, 2008 at 11:56 PM, SoMch2Knw (83.49) wrote:

I think TMFFoolIntel should get in the game, if possible.

Based on the results the SDS... ...could be given  an outperform or underperform rating. 

When the question concerns sectors or countries, maybe an ETF or Spiders could be given an outperform or underperform rating.

Et cetra... I don't know what-all is available in CAPs. 

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#18) On February 20, 2008 at 12:40 AM, hazelnut283 (49.55) wrote:

I think the next question (or at least one at some point down the road) should be related to the presidential elections. Like maybe: Are you going to vote for a candidate, based on whethere you think you're portfolio will profit once they get into office?

Or something to the effect of the economy and voting patterns... :-P

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#19) On February 23, 2008 at 4:46 PM, twip (82.57) wrote:

How about the US$? A good question might be, "By June 30, 2008 will the dollar be higher or lower compared with the euro?"

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#20) On February 24, 2008 at 4:11 PM, TheGarcipian (33.88) wrote:

Whatever the questions, they have to be repeated in each poll. Otherwise, the tracking of the data is meaningless for the purpose of seeing if CAPS is predictive. So, get your questions in now and hopefully Fool Intel will be able to track more than just a handful of questions over the next 5-7 years...

For me, I got the email but failed to respond in time due to my business travels. Not TMF's fault at all. I hope that they keep the deadline tight (for the reasons mentioned above), thus making the polled data relevant & timely. I promise to do a better job next time :-)   However, the pie chart above is about what I expected...

Here's the questions that I'd hope Fool Intel would ask next time:

(1) Where do you think the S&P500 will be in 3 months from its present value of 1350? [>+10%], [+10%], [+5%], [about the same], [-5%], [-10%], [> -10%]

(2) Do you believe we are currently in a recession? [YES]  [NO]

(3a) If YES to #2, how long do you expect the recession to last? [6 mos] [12 mos] [18 mos] [24 mos] [36 mos] [>36 mos]

(3b) If NO to #2, do you think a recession will occur in the next 6-12 mos? [YES]  [NO]

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#21) On February 28, 2008 at 1:52 PM, Ssmileart (35.93) wrote:

Based on the 50/50 split, I go with the S&P going nowhere.  It will stay flat overall.  But, there was no answer for staying the same.

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#22) On February 28, 2008 at 1:57 PM, shayeg (60.17) wrote:

I commented to Chris privately. I didn't realize there was a place for a public comment. I think the question to ask is one of comparison. Will the S&P do better or worse than its traditional move. Or, will it do better or worse than the same period last year. If the S&P traditionally  goes up by 2% in the winter earnings season, will it repeat that this year or not. Or, compared to the 3 months (January to March 20007) with this year's quarter do better or worse.

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#23) On February 28, 2008 at 2:00 PM, volumewhiz (34.92) wrote:

Hey Fools:  This is an incredible website.  The innovation is brilliant.  I think your ideas are right on target, including the surveys.  The only thing I think you should scrap is the video.  1.  However, if you depoyed a reporter out regularly to one of the top CAPS rated stock's headquarters as special VIDEO features, I think it would be enormously value-added.  2. If you would allow those of us who are in the investment business to have "private (non-public)" areas for comments, we could share more.  The reason that would be useful is because we are required to keep notes and files of research on stocks we select, but not on public websites.  I would think others in the business wouldn't mind if comments were used from the private section as long as we had the choice of remaining anonymous.  Otherwise, we can't, by law, make useful contributions. 3. Also, we cannot use your site to promote our business, but it has been suggested that you create some sort of "Top Fool", "Top 100 Fool" or "Top 10 Fool" paraphenalia that could be sent out or posted for purchase that would likely allow us to have a low level of visibility. Even a jpeg file that could be sent to an email address could be useful. Thanks for all you do. 

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#24) On February 28, 2008 at 4:49 PM, SESAMEnow (93.73) wrote:

Some good questions would be:


Will the S&P 500 be more volatile in the next 3 months compared to the past 3 months?

Do you believe the published government inflation is higher or lower than the actual value?

The government published US savings rate does not include 401K and IRA investiments, does this make it no longer usable as a historical comparison?



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#25) On March 26, 2008 at 6:05 PM, Mookini (42.19) wrote:

As a n00b that is thrilled to be included in this survey... let me say that it is great to be part of the discussions of the Top Fools.

 Is there _any_ sort of investiment for real $$ that is based on the CAPS community? I know I would be willing to invest in picks that were made by the top 10 fools.



- M



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#26) On May 01, 2008 at 6:59 PM, olboy2 (72.57) wrote:

It does not matter if the S & P is higher or lower,   what does matter is that you and I and all fools are picking good companies and cutting our losses and letting our winners run.  Don't gamble on a stock that "can "  buy what is already moving up,  now,  moving up now !  


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#27) On May 04, 2008 at 10:11 PM, peponio (96.39) wrote:

Strikes me that a question regarding the state of the market in 3 months is hardly relevant.  We are long haulers.  ...what matters most is the fact that in 1963 the S&P was, even though it's lost a couple thousand, it's the S&P is in the 12,000's and more.


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#28) On May 11, 2008 at 10:04 AM, Quanobean (< 20) wrote:

S&P will sprint higher when the financial bigs begin to reveal their writedowns were excessive.  Until then, peg crude to gold, and the S&P will perform inversely. 

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#29) On May 29, 2008 at 11:53 AM, gamblegold (< 20) wrote:

excuse me but isn't this contrary to the general philosophy marked by foolish investing?  since when do we give a rat's keister what the market does . . . are we not more interested in a market of stocks than a stock market?

 personally, i don't follow or much care what the market does -- oh, it was more interesting to do it back in the days of the late louis rukeyser who was as entertaining as he was informed.  

 when i buy a stock, it is because i believe the stock will perform well over the long run -- i buy to hold and increase my wealth in the process -- rather than paying any attention to the short-term burbs caused by media and mass ignorance.

 but, then again, i am a retired village idiot who thinks rain is wet.....

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#30) On June 25, 2008 at 6:14 PM, kurzzz (75.37) wrote:

Like the previous post, I do not much care about the SP500 or any other indeces. However in this case I believe it will be lower ahead. I prefer a few potential stocks to long and I also do a lot of options, however not those strategies good for boring stocks/indeces. Too boring for a fool like me and I prefer speculative ones :-)

I still do not comprehend why does not advocate option trading. Perhaps I am a bigger fool as I have lost some on this kind of trading. 

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#31) On June 26, 2008 at 6:41 PM, legacy9711 (76.39) wrote:

I feel it will be lower by at least 5 percent on more bad news and with the elections gearing up..

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#32) On July 30, 2008 at 4:40 PM, smithtrs (31.99) wrote:

We are probably in the midst of the second bear market rally. I am guessing(swag) that 3 months from now will be a bottom - after a third rally and subsequent decline. A year from now - up

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#33) On July 30, 2008 at 5:15 PM, rzld36 (29.30) wrote:

Lower.  Expecting a capitualtion bottom before the big money enters this market and we move to higher ground.  That has not happened yet.  This market is mostly professionals having fun with each other.

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#34) On July 30, 2008 at 5:30 PM, schrank123 (97.49) wrote:

I think it will be down in the next 3 months.  I don't anticipate any type of serious turn around until after the upcoming election, maybe not until after inauguration day 1/20/09.

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#35) On September 24, 2008 at 6:48 PM, PennyPincher12 (98.39) wrote:

I have no idea.

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#36) On September 24, 2008 at 10:30 PM, P00005955 (86.53) wrote:


Is this a sign that the market is too volatile to judge? 


Yes, given that the Fed can't get its act together and produce a definitive (OK somewhat, sorta, maybe, might be definitive/doubt it strongly) response to the financial crisis at hand, how can anyone predict what is going to happen and respond in a positive profitable manner?  I might recommend that all players (investors with real money at stake; points seekers I do not pretend to know your motives so ignore this) hold on for the rollercoaster ride that we will probably see for the next six to twelve months before making any significant moves. 

Unless you hold banking stocks that have a decent run up on a day or two and maybe bail out, call it a loss and hold on to your remaining cash (diminished no doubt?) and wait out this storm. 

Next question:

Does this mean that top players with heavy short positions see a drastically different market than top players with green thumbs?


Yes, and No.  I don't think that anybody can truly answer that, simply because you don't know if they really have "shorted" a stock or not.  Except for a CAPS short.  Then, I would surmise that it would depend on what stocks/etc. that each player shorted in their theoretical, or real portfolio.  Obviously, there are a few shrewd FOOLs out there who have either have intrinsic abilities or have dug deep and found opportunities that evade the average investor.  I predict that we will see some who have actually navigated this very unsettling period that we are in and will come out surprisingly well, whether on CAPS points or monetarily, while many will not.

Your quote:  "With one data point, I’m not sure..."  I would go with "I'm not sure".  As it is impossible to make a valid prediction from a snapshot in time.  Unless, you have data that I'm not aware that might provide a trend.  Even then, given the current investment climate I strongly suspect that any trend is simply an artifact of sampling rather a real understanding of the large universe of investment vehicles that are available to us in this day and time.

 But, as this is just the first of many "snapshots" perhaps together, collectively and constructively, we can all work towards finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.

I look forward to more comments on this matter and others.

Good luck and good night.






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#37) On October 29, 2008 at 1:26 PM, OptionXpert (33.81) wrote:

With layoff just starting to soar the S&P will be defintely lower when the 12/31/08 financials are released In Jan 2009. We'll actually crash through the recent Oct. lows and set new lows.

The financial damage done in October is like an iceberg 70% is still below the surface. Just like Paulson never told has how bad the banking crisis was until he had no choice. He'll not tell us how much damage was done to hedge funds when they broke their (shorting) arms. Wait till December and early January and they'll no longer be able to hide the truth.

One stock I've got puts on is THO which makes motor homes. That industry is down for the count. Look at what happened to WGO in October the stock was cut in half.

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#38) On December 31, 2008 at 8:10 PM, kidderpeabodyny (30.40) wrote:

HAPPY NEW YEAR! This has been fun. And 2009 will even be more exciting. The only stock I "really" purchased recently was CZZ and as a former broker, this is departure from a diversified portfolio approach. I'm thinking of shorting a lot of positions early on this year and I'm normally an optimist! The conventional wisdom is a strong rally the following year after the 40% selloff we experienced.I believe we may see this but will consequently hit new lows in the market. But then again, this is a game! And Kidder Peabody no longer is an entity on 20 Exchange Place.Only a figment of my imagination....

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#39) On December 31, 2008 at 10:23 PM, wreckhur (68.13) wrote:

I think that the percentage idea is much better than, will it be up or down.. Not very informative.  Of course it is interesting that the split is almost even among the top fools.

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#40) On January 03, 2009 at 4:22 PM, kshepheard (32.99) wrote:

The S&P will be higher within the next three months. The new administration will drastically increase government spending on infrastructure, etc. to attempt to stimulate the economy. While doing so may have deeper future financial implications, I believe investor confidence will grow and we will have see more traditional valuations.

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#41) On January 28, 2009 at 4:13 PM, UberHorse (< 20) wrote:

It's "go away in May, remember in September", isn't it? If it is higher, I think it will be AT IT'S HIGH until 4th quarter.

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