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CAPS Terms and Conditions

This page sets out the special Terms and Conditions for The Motley Fool's CAPS. It supplements The Motley Fool's regular Terms and Conditions of Service (the "Fool's Rules"), which are incorporated by reference. By using the CAPS service you are agreeing to abide by these CAPS Terms and Conditions (the CAPS Terms) and the Fool's Rules.

What Is CAPS?

CAPS is The Motley Fool's service that allows you to make predictions about stocks, see others' predictions, aggregate community opinions, and track their accuracy. By putting together lots of information, from a variety of sources, we hope to provide participants with a way to a) have fun; and b) learn to make better investment decisions.

Please note that CAPS is a work in progress. We reserve the right to change it, or even eliminate it, with no notice, at our sole discretion.

What Should You Do With CAPS?

You should make predictions about stocks, read what other people have to say about stocks, and track everyone's performance. You should learn, compete, and test ideas or strategies for your own investment decisions. You should not assume that the opinions that people express in CAPS are the opinions of The Motley Fool or anything other than the opinions of the individuals expressing them.

When you look at other people's predictions, you should remember that those people may have interests in the stocks that they're making predictions about. For example, some people may hope a company's stock will go hope because they own many shares of it; others may hope that it will rise because they (or their sister) work for the company; others may hope that the stock will rise because that will increase their CAPS score and their international prestige. When you review people's predictions (or the stock tips you see on television or hear in the supermarket), you should not assume that the person making a prediction is unbiased or independent. One of the beauties of CAPS, though, is that you can see the performance of people's predictions over time and, we hope, distinguish sound analysis from self-serving nonsense.

Employees of The Motley Fool may have interests in the stocks about which they make predictions. Employees display their positions in their online TMF profiles at Fool.com.

What Shouldn't You Do With CAPS?

First, CAPS is not investment advice. The CAPS service, The Motley Fool, Inc, and its employees and agents are not investment advisors and don't (and can't) know about you or your financial situation. If you make your investment decisions by relying on something you read here, without doing your own research and thought, then you may lose all your money and wind up in the poorhouse, as our grandmother used to say. The Motley Fool, its employees, and its agents will not be liable for any losses you may sustain.

Second, CAPS is based on the idea that people can learn from each other and share ideas. That can't happen, unless people behave in a civil and law-abiding manner. In addition to the rules set out in Fool's Rules, you may not use or allow others to use your Fool or CAPS account to:

  • Post or transmit any material that you don't have the right to transmit under law (such as copyright, trade secret or securities) or under contractual or fiduciary relationships (such as nondisclosure agreements) (In other words, if you're Warren Buffet, please don't post a message about Berkshire Hathaway's as-yet-unannounced acquisition);
  • Impersonate any person, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with a person or entity; (and if you're not Warren Buffet, don't say that you are);
  • Violate any applicable law or regulation, including, without limitation, the rules and regulations of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the national or other securities exchanges, especially and including the rule against making false or misleading statements to manipulate the price of a security);
  • Take any action that imposes an unreasonably or disproportionately large load on our infrastructure or disrupts the functioning of our systems or services;
  • Take any action that damages or disrupts the functioning of our systems or services;
  • Access CAPS by any means other than through the interfaces we provide for use in accessing our services; or
  • Use any automated means, including, without limitation, agents, robots, scripts, or spiders, to access, monitor, copy, or harvest data from any part of our sites, except those automated means that we have approved in advance and in writing.

(Some of these provisions are also in the Fool's Rules, but we're restating them here, because they're very important).

The Motley Fool, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to remove any postings, or deny access by any individuals, that violate its applicable rules.

Protecting Subscriber Value

We hope that our subscription newsletters provide valuable investing ideas to subscribers, as well useful ideas for CAPS participants. Nevertheless, we ask that people not follow the newsletters too much in their CAPS entries, because it is unfair to other subscribers (and The Motley Fool!) to give away information that they have paid to receive. Consequently, we reserve the right to remove CAPS scorecards that, in our judgment, excessively mirror the selections of our individual investment newsletters.

Is That Really [Insert Famous Name Here]?

One exciting feature of CAPS is its ability to track the performance of people's predictions. Along with predictions that people enter into CAPS, we are including predictions that have been publicly announced by prominent individuals and institutions, as if they were participating in CAPS. Those "virtual players" have screen names that begin with "Track," as in "TrackScroogeMcDuck," and are displayed with a "Wall Street" icon / avatar. The virtual players represent our editorial interpretation of the publicly announced predictions or recommendations of these public figures. They may not be complete or timely – we can't know when someone changes his or her mind about a prediction – but that's partly the point, as many pundits make predictions then never follow up on them, leaving the public without the benefit of their most current thinking. The existence of a virtual player should not be taken as implying that any individual endorses CAPS or approves of the use of the virtual player, but we hope that those individuals will decided to participate in CAPS in a more formal way.

Terms of Service Violations

If you see something that you feel is a violation of the Fool's Rules or CAPS Terms, please notify us by emailing FoolAlert@fool.com.

Please read the Fool's Rules for more details. For trademark and copyright information, please see the "Stuff We Own" page.

We reserve the right to change the Fool's Rules or CAPS Terms at any time. Changes will be posted on the applicable web page.

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