As many of you know, The Motley Fool confessed to the world yesterday that we had made a huge mistake and that we had rethought our investment philosophy. Our hope is that, by now, everyone has looked at their calendars and realized that yesterday was April Fool's Day! The Motley Fool couldn't let the day pass without at least one prank. That's right, yesterday's "apology" was our annual April Fool's joke.
That said, humor was not our sole motive. Our aim has always been to educate as we amuse. The truth is, according to Lipper Analytical, 91% of the managed mutual funds out there have indeed UNDERperformed the average performance of the S&P 500 index over the past five years. This is simply a staggering figure, and one that really should underscore the fact that the best person to manage your money is YOU. By highlighting the number in reverse, we hope we've drawn more attention to it. Our Foolish investing philosophy remains intact, as do our books. (We hope yours do, too. It's not too late to rescue those torn pages from the trash!)
One of the greatest lessons that can be learned from the Fool and our April Fool's joke is that you should never take anyone's word as gospel. Always rely on your own hard work as a basis for all of your investment decisions.
We received more than 1000 responses to our April Fool's Day shenanigans. Some folks chuckled along with us, some were a little upset and disillusioned, and some were initially Fooled but then figured things out and had a good laugh. A special note to those who were really Fooled by this: Thanks for being good sports. About half of the responses we received were from Fools who thought we were serious. Some of those notes were incredibly supportive and even quite touching. This whole thing has made us realize once again what a great base of readers we work with every day.
To everyone who read and responded to our April Fool's collection, we want to thank you all for having fun with us. If you never read the original letter and our fake "13 New Steps to Investing Foolishly," you might want to have some fun and read the original joke. (Psst! Read the first letter of each one of the 13 Steps.) Also, you might be amused by excerpts from all the e-mails that we've received to date, ranging from humorous to downright nasty.
Finally, our human resources department did ask us to clarify one further point: all of our interns have been treated with utmost respect.
And if you have any questions or comments about this matter, please drop us a line.