The Motley Fool Disclaimer

What Is The Motley Fool?

Motley Fool was founded in 1993 by brothers David and Tom Gardner. Our name derives from Elizabethan drama, where only the court jester (the "Fool") could tell the King the truth without getting his head lopped off. We're dedicated to educating, amusing, and enriching individuals in search of the truth.

What Is the Truth?

The stark truth is that the financial world preys on ignorance and fear. But now, gentle reader, you've set your virtual feet on Foolish soil and your days of fear and intimidation are over. We exist to serve you, to teach you, and to have a heck of a lot of fun along the way. The Fool is a highly collaborative forum, and we do have a few rules of the road. What follows is a disclaimer that the lawyers made us write, but one that's aimed to protect you as much as it does our humble enterprise. So hoist the flags! Cue the fanfare! It's time to read...

The Motley Fool Disclaimer: Watching Out For Your Money

The Motley Fool online forum is designed to help readers obtain financial information and discuss ways to make investment and personal financial decisions. This information is sometimes provided by our staff and sometimes by other contributors, many of whom use anonymous screen names and are people we've never met.

We Fools recognize that while we have tons of great stuff in this forum, people sometimes post messages in our folders or make statements in our chat rooms that are misleading, deceptive, or downright wrong. They may do this unintentionally or, sad to say, intentionally. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission recognizes this and has published information on various Cyberfraud that they have seen. FINRA has provided its own insights into how to invest carefully in this new, electronic world and NASAA also provides tips on how not to fall prey to online investment schemes. The SEC, FINRA and the NASAA maintain outstanding websites at http://www.sec.gov and http://www.finra.org, and http://www.nasaa.org respectively.

Treat the contributors here the same way you'd treat anyone you'd met for the first time at a party. This is important because anyone can show up to our party: no invitations are required. You shouldn't make an investment just because some stranger (or even a friend) talks it up; you shouldn't treat cyberspace any differently.

The fundamental concept is that you should NOT rely upon the information or opinions you read. Rather, you should use what you read here as starting points for doing independent research on companies and investing techniques. Then judge for yourself the merits of the material that has been shared in our forum.

The Motley Fool does not guarantee the veracity, reliability or completeness of any information provided in our forum or in any hyperlink appearing on our site. No one could read through the thousands of messages we receive each day, check out all the hyperlinked web sites, and research each one for accuracy. That isn't why we're here. Nor are we here to give you hot "tips," to make "buy" or "sell" recommendations, or to tell you what to do with your money. We're here to help you to learn how to make investment and personal finance decisions for yourself, and to have fun.

You are responsible for your own investment decisions. The Motley Fool will not be responsible for any errors or omissions in articles or postings, for hyperlinks embedded in messages, or for any results obtained from the use of such information. The Motley Fool will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by a reader's reliance on information obtained in our area, or in a hyperlinked area. If you don't accept this responsibility for yourself, then you should not use The Motley Fool.

If you ignore our advice to do independent research of industries, companies, and stocks, choosing instead to trade solely on information, "tips," or opinions found in our forum, you have made a conscious, willing, free, and personal decision to do so. You have also probably made a mistake.

As cyberspace develops, the freedom and openness from which we all profit can make us the target of touts, hypesters, and frauds. These people could infect our forum, just as they infect other parts of the world. Please proceed with caution and do your homework. And remember: when you access one of these hyperlinked web sites, you're leaving our area so be wary of those who post hyperlinks to strange web sites.

Data and Analysis

In the material and data that we make available in our forum, we rely on a wide variety of sources, such as S&P Comstock, Hoover's and NewsAlert. We believe these sources of data to be accurate and reliable, but sometimes they may not be. The Fool makes no claims or representations as to the accuracy, completeness, or truth of any material contained in our areas. Nor is the Fool liable for any errors or delays in the content or transmission of the data on our site. We promise not to lie to you, but we reserve the right to be wrong, stupid, or even foolish (with a small "f").

"TMF" Screen Names

You will see some people with the "TMF" prefix on their screen names around Fooldom. These people are our Official Fools. Their primary purpose is to keep our forum running smoothly, with politeness and good humor. They perform a variety of tasks, especially answering your questions about the Fool and explaining how to navigate our growing forum. Some of our staff are knowledgeable about the stock market, and some are not.

Many of these TMFs contribute to the various discussions. They are free to contribute, or not contribute, as they see fit. Their opinions are their own. The Motley Fool does not regulate what the staff says about a company. In fact, their opinions may differ substantially from each other as to the value of specific investments. This is what makes a market (and makes us motley).

Some TMFs may have investments in the stocks they discuss, and some do not. We do not tell our people what they can own or what they can write about. All Fool employees are required to disclose their current stock holdings on their personal profile pages. Read our Fool Disclosure page for more information.

Our staff is drawn from a wide circle of daily life. Most of them are completely outside the investment field in their professional lives and are not to be considered professional analysts or investment advisors. Any weight you ascribe to their opinions should be based on their ability to analyze a company or its products and services, the same as anyone else you see in our forum. You should not believe that these people have any additional insight or information simply because they have a "TMF" prefix to their name.

You may also see some folks around the forum with an "MF" prefix or the word "Fool" in their screen names. Although we count many of them as friends and valued participants in our forum, these people have no formal relationship with The Motley Fool.

Terms of Service Violations

If you have been harassed in any manner that you feel is a violation of our Terms of Service it is your obligation to notify us of the offending post(s). Please contact FoolAlert@fool.com for that purpose. If you are unfamiliar with Terms of Service, please read them.

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