The 13 Steps addendum
The Motley Fool's 13 Steps to Investing Foolishly investment primer. Copyright 2000
About this Book
Foolishness has many facets. It's about leveling the playing field for individual investors. It's about empowering people to wrest control of their financial destiny from the hands of the Wise of Wall Street. It's about informing, amusing, and enriching. Fooldom is a big place, offering news updates, portfolio reports, personal finance lessons, and a thriving message board community.
If all this overwhelms you and you wish you had a simple explanation of what the Motley Fool believes and stands for, you're in luck. These 13 Steps lay out the basic ideas of Foolishness in a fun, easy-to-read, and systematic manner. Sit back and let us reveal that the Emperors of Wall Street are wearing no clothes. Let us show how you can beat them at their own game.
The original 13 Steps was a group effort written in 1996 by David and Tom Gardner, Keith Pelczarski, Robert Sheard, Michael Knight, an Randy Befumo. In 1999, Selena Maranjian revised and updated the material in collaboration witth Bill Barker, Dayana Yochim, Brian Bauer, Dell Wilkinson, and Ginger Huang.
Step 1: What Is Foolishness?
Step 2: Settle Your Personal Finances
Step 3: Set Expectations and Track Your Results
Step 4: Start With an Index Fund
Step 5: All About Drip Accounts
Step 6: Open a Discount Brokerage Account
Step 7: Dow Investing and The Foolish Four
Step 8: Get Information on Great Companies
Step 9: Evaluating Businesses
Step 10: Understand Rule Maker Investing
Step 11: Consider Rule Breakers and Small-Caps
Step 12: Advanced Investing Issues
Step 13: Get Fully Foolish
What Makes Us Different
The last thing we'd want is to be mistaken for Wall Street professionals or, worse yet, some of those shady get-rich-quick operators. (We do believe in getting rich, but we do it slowly.) So here's a quick rundown of what The Motley Fool is and is not:
We don't tell you to buy this or sell that. And we don't want to manage your money, either. We'd rather teach you to make your own decisions. We offer a host of educational materials and an interactive forum where you can ask questions and get answers. Not only do we urge you to do your own homework before investing in anything - we also show you how to do the homework.
Our model portfolios are real-money portfolios. Fool co-founders David and Tom Gardner put their own money into out flagship Rule Breaker Portfolio when it was launched in 1994. By the end of 1998, it was up more than 900% (we know... we're amazed too). That's an annualized return of some 68%. Over the same period, the S&P 500 averaged an annual 26.4% return. All our portfolios are funded with our own greenbacks. They're meant to be teaching portfolios, reflecting Foolish investing, and we report on their progress online every weeknight. (blesto note: The major portifolios are paid subscription ports now. They're still meant to be teaching ports. For free you can follow the Rising Stars Port Series for teaching and learning.)
We're fun. The idea of investing usually conjures up images of long and cryptic newspaper stock listings, dry TV commentators, and newsletters using lots of exclaimation marks to hype stocks you've never heard of. Foolishness is the opposite of all that. We make investing easy to understand, with clear writing, clever jokes, and yes, some bad puns.
We're interactive. We teach you, but we also learn from you. Our staff is constantly roaming through our message boards, answering questions, and hosting discussions on all kinds of topics, from novice investing to healthcare industry stocks. We always welcome your input and questions and we pride ourselves on getting back to you before you can say, "Gee - that was fast!"
We're accountable. Everything we've said online is still there, where you can read it. When we plan to buy or sell a stock in our portifolio, we announce it beforehand, so that those want to trade along with us (or before us!) can do so. The returns we report for our portfolios, account for commissions and spreads.
We're free. Our website has always been free (supported by advertisers). (blesto note: Of course there are now the paid subscription services, but the majority of the website and message boards are still free!) Our staff is online 24 hours a day, answering your questions without reaching for your wallet. Once a week, we have a three-hour call-in-radio show. (blesto note: Now you can get Market Foolery Mon - Thurs. and Motley Fool Money every Fri.) You can check out our books from your library at no charge. In short, we're a bargain you shouldn't pass up!
We're not just about stocks. We offer a lot of information to help you with all your personal finances. We cover just about any money-related issue, from mutual funds to paying for college to getting a pet.
We believe in education. We're about teaching, not advising. We think that information is the key to empowering individual investors to make their own decisions.
We're a community. Visit us online and you'll find a welcoming and vibrant community of Fools of different ages and at different life stages - all learning and sharing information together.
We're not just online. Our online presence is complemented by our extensive offline presence, in our nationally syndicated newspaper column, syndicated radio show(s), best-selling books, and occasional TV appearances and magazine coverage.
"Foolery, sir, does walk the orb like the sun; it shines everywhere." - William Shakespeare