November 12, 1999
[Note: Today's edition of the Daily Trouble is the final appearance of this feature. On this special occasion, Rick Aristotle Munarriz has prepared an appropriate finale -- a Daily Trouble on the Trouble itself.]
Rick Aristotle Munarriz (TMF Edible)
There once was the fine Daily Trouble
Magnet of dread and bursting bubbles
Until One Fine Day
It got in its way
Now guess what's beneath all this rubble?
-- Epitaph of the Daily Trouble: 1997-1999
How Did it Find Trouble?
How do you eulogize that which has eulogized so often? Over the past two years the Daily Trouble has delivered the debacles of Wall Street. In Monty Python and the Holy Grail fashion, we have rolled out our handcrafted wagons, rung a cowbell, and muttered, "Bring out yer dead!"
The dead and dying hopped on for the ride. Today, mournfully, the grim wheels turneth no more.
The Daily Trouble began as a daily weekday feature for The Motley Fool in 1997. as a counterpoint to the Daily Double, originally it profiled companies that had seen their share prices cut in half over the previous six months. That was later amended to go back a full year.
Louis Corrigan, Rick Aristotle Munarriz and Dr. Mark Weaver originally penned the coroner's reports. Paul Larson eventually joined the team. The editorial team headed by Brian Bauer tried to make the articles coherent. Mona Sharma crunched the financials. The production crew at FoolLabs and the techie team brought the content to life.
How Could You Have Seen it Coming?
With the successful launch of Dueling Fools in 1998, the Daily Trouble got bumped from Wednesdays. Eventually it would yield Mondays and Thursdays to the Daily Double.
Unlike its sister, the Double, the Trouble proved to be a weak draw. No, a lack of popularity alone won't bring a feature to its gory demise. (After all, they've kept me around since 1995.) The Daily Trouble was also a confusing concept to many of our Foolish readers.
If Paul and I could stack up the hate mail we often received after a Daily Trouble feature, we would have, well, a stack of hate mail. Some assumed that being brought in under the Trouble heat lamp amounted to a bearish branding. That was not the case. We were presenting an historical account. Ideally, if we dug deep enough to find the root cause of many fallen equities, it might help us all avoid common pitfalls.
In our final analysis we found that we were often bullish about the prospects of the companies featured in the Trouble. Many of these equities were simply unloved and misunderstood -- like the Daily Trouble itself. Its days were numbered.
Where to From Here?
No more tears. We're a dry-eyed lot actually. Bidding farewell to the Trouble now affords our writers, editors, and production crew more time to devote to existing content. Clearer content. Dynamic content.
We should never be content with our content -- at least that's my contention. From a simple newsletter with a limited subscriber base in 1994, the Fool has evolved into a library of ideas, a banquet hall of community, and a conservatory of financial education. Mrs. Peacock with the monkey wrench helped too.
So stick around. Get excited over the future. Heave some dirt and turn away smiling. We haven't let you down yet, have we? Miles to go before we sleep. Miles.
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