"Frankly, This [Expletive] Sounds Totally Crazy": The Best Reader Emails From April Fool's 2011

Very funny joke; can't wait to read the emails people sent trying to sign up for this. Great job, guys. -- Reader email, April 1, 2011

On Friday, The Motley Fool announced that a disgruntled former employee released much of our sensitive internal communications to WikiLeaks. Those documents revealed that, while we may be outspoken advocates of long-term investing, we had been hiding our true nature as vapid short-term traders for nearly two decades.

With the cat finally out of the bag, there was nothing left to do but offer vague proclamations about transparency and try to make a quick buck by selling the consumer version of our day-trading software, ZippyTrade 2000™, to the investing public.

Don't worry -- we're not actually turning our backs on buy-to-hold investing and joining the ranks of Wall Street's minions. It was all just our April Fool's joke to you.

We've been humbled by your overwhelming response -- some 4,000(!) emails. We've read them all and promised to share our favorites. So without further ado …

We appreciate your support!
"I'm standing behind you in support of your response to the Wiki-Leaks drama, and feel your response was a rarity in these days - you took responsibility and you extended your hand to others. Well done!"

--

"P.S. Sorry to hear that a disgruntled employee was able to publicly embarrass the Fool. I'm sure every company has internal secrets they don't want made public. Sometimes the revelation of secrets can be the best for society long term, and sometimes not."

Thanks for your complaint or compliment!
"The complaint itself and the ensuing leaks pale in comparison to the Gardner's response which makes them sound like two snake-oil salesmen ..."

--

"You have lost all credibility. I have no use for liars like those at the Motley Fool. I will never return to Motley Fool after these revelations. Take your software and shove it up your [expletive]."

--

"You asked my opinion, here it is: This is a foolish (small F) idea. Congratulations on drinking the Kool-Aid, I'll be interested to know how you feel when the sweet taste wears off.
Short-term trading through these automatic platforms is the epitome of what is wrong with Wall St. Trading on noise-- because you (think you) are a little faster than the other guy-- is disgusting.


"My prediction: you will lose at this -- explain how you will plausibly keep an edge over Goldman Sachs et al? It's only a matter of time."
--

"I find the attitude and tone toward the employee who expressed concerns to be juvenile and offensive. It's not that I believe the concerns brought up to HR and/or the Controller were necessarily "unsettling". Short meetings, secrets, and employees that are behind on quota are nothing new, nor do they upset me, but the leaked internal response regarding the employee is crass and unprofessional. I would hope that not all your employees share the same demeanor."

--

"Hmm, are you guys that pompous? I think it is time for the Gardner brothers to clean house starting with HR!! You know it is hard to believe in anyone anymore. Who's telling the truth and who's leading us on."

--

"Employees of the Motley fool: consider that the two brothers are getting ready to sell you down the river. My guess-- this will boost profits short-term, they will sell the company to some other trading house, then they will sail away on a nice yacht. You will not get a yacht. Also, your response to the WikiLeaks is pathetic. Blame a disgruntled employee... wow, where have I heard that before? 'Trust us; thanks WikiLeaks, for helping us be transparent...' So, unless you are caught out in a lie, you feel no requirement to be transparent?

"Yuck. You sound like what you are, which is a bunch of liars and cheaters caught in the act. In summary, screw you."

Sign me up!
"Please Please Please may I have a free copy of the software? But if I don't make the cut - thanks anyways - you guys and your team are great!!!" [Editor's note: This isn't noteworthy for the reply; but for the fact that we received literally hundreds of this message.]

--

"Frankly, this [expletive] sounds totally crazy, I have to see it. Please reserve me a copy."

--

"I want ZippyTrade 2000 so that I can tell my boss to jump off of a bridge! I am looking for a way to earn enough money to quit."

--

"I want it now."

--

"I guess I should have stated that I'd like the free zippytrade 2000, rather than speed trade software that I called it. I don't want to be disqualified on a technicality." [Editor's note: We offered a free copy of ZippyTrade 2000™ to the first 100 people to respond.]

--

"E-mailed about 2 hours ago. have not heard from you!"

--

"Subject: I want a copy of this software

[Editor's note: Five minutes later …]

Subject: [Name redacted] would like to recall the message, 'I want a copy of this software.'"

I pity your ethics… Now, how can I profit?
"This goes against everything you Fools stand for, but I'm interested so please send me the software."

--

"In this case I often think it may be Motley Fool. Could it be that you set the leak up yourself in order to sell the Zippy 2000 platform??? "

--

"It is interesting to see this turn of events given that I have been following you Fools since the late '90's! Not sure whether I am amused or disgusted… but, I am interested in seeing more information regarding your results and the development of this trading platform."

--

"Sorry to see that you were doing this without telling subscribers. … I would like to investigate this product and see how it works even though my confidence has been weakened."

--

"I have read the leaks... and I must admit I was disappointed; I love your website and was considering joining the retirement advisor newsletter. Makes me nervous now to think you all might be like all the others involved in Wall Street...

"I want this only because I'm disappointed with the news today and your operation now reads like one of those infomercials that run at 2am. I'm extremely curious to see what has turned you from trusted advisers to cheesy pitch-men. If it works, well great, but I have a feeling I'll be going elsewhere for investing news and ideas in the future."

--

"I have been following the Fool now for over 7 years and I must say the WikiLeaks document had made me adjust my thoughts on the company and The Motley Fool's agenda. It seems that you suddenly changed your Mission Statement from 'Long Term Investment' to 'Short Term Gains', how can this be? I'd like to have a copy of this software (ZippyTrade 2000) for free, not just to try it out but to see if the company I have been following so close for years as a loyal fool has the best intentions truly at heart or has The Motley Fool just turned into another massive corporation with a "money making gimmick" and taking brand loyal consumers, followers, and fools such as myself for granted.

"But saying that... Sure I'd like to get a free copy of the software and learn more about short trading. Does it work on a Mac?"

Something doesn't feel quite right…
"BTW...why do you have three pics of the same guy by testimonials from three different people?

"Just a lil' suspicious...."

--

"I truly hope that the company I've grown to love has NOT steered me wrong. "Fool ON"...I hope."
--

"Also, I'm a little suspicious that Rogelio Schwartz, Doug Morasco and Chet Rockwell all look like the same guy, and they just look too happy. Are you sure this isn't a scam?"

--

"I don't know how to assess this news about ZippyTrade 2000, the disgruntled former employee, the WikiLeaks, the lawsuits, the apparent two-face implications, the new "politics" undoubtedly to arise, etc. I just want to make wealth building trades with high confidence and frequency so that my "semi-retirement" may become permanent QUICKLY!"

--

"Subject: I want it, maybe [Editor's note: Simply one of our favorite subject lines of the day]

Subject: On second thought, I don't want it [Editor's note: Followed by our second favorite subject line]
--

"I thought this was your annual April Fool's letter, but just in case....please send."

Sleuths
"I thought your investing advise was GOOD, but your sense of humor is SICK (read GREAT)! Obviously this was not a trivial exercise (new email address, new DNS entry, new web pages, new images, even the fine print [Do not read the disclaimer]).

Over the top!

--

"My regards to all involved, but especially to your IT department. A lot of work went into this very clever contrivance. This is one of the MANY reasons I am a Fool (I've been a lurker since the early days -- long before becoming a member)!"

--

"Interesting. Being a guy from Austria, and knowing the word "Ausplauderer" very well (meaning "to give away" or "to gossip", or in the worst case "to denunciate"), I am inclined to think that the lady might be from a German-speaking area. Seems like she was in the wrong field altogether."

How can I get my mittens on a VHS copy?
"PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE send me the program on a video cassette!!!! And provide the instructions on a Zip Drive! I need to start fulfilling my richest dreams today!"

--

"OHHHH MY GOD! THIS IS WHAT I'VE BEEN WAITING MY ENTIRE LIFE FOR! Until today, I've been using software called DippyTrade. My 2010 profits were negative $1,291,958.91. I've had to sell my house, my cat, and do other things that I can't say in this e-mail to just pay the debt."

--

"I so want zippy trade because my computer is my only form of heat in my house. I am sure that the extra heat generated by running such amazing software will not only improve my sense of well being but will also provide companionship for my pet rock, george bush bobble head, an my vegamatic."

--

"Who needs a rational approach to investing? Life's too short not to have fun...sign me up! Hello trigger finger, goodbye Benjamin Graham! This feels wonderful! P.s. Happy April's fool to you too."

--

"Yee Haw."

--

"Can I get it on 8-track?"

--

"Please send me two copies of ZippyTrade 2000™ so that I can make lots of money using two fingers rather than one, better still ten would be good (one for each finger). Can I use my toes with it?"

--

"Finally, a Motley Fool service for those of us in the double-click generation. Now this is a piece of software I can get behind while listening to 120 beat per minute techno music and downing my favorite energy drinks. The pretty colors will look great projected in High Definition on my walls. It's about time you guys took advantage of the younger subscribers' energy reserves. Buying stocks and waiting for them to rise is for old men with stable marriages and the money to live on while they wait. Us young guys have multiple years worth of salary in credit card debt to take care of. At the speed of Zippy Trade, not only will I be able to make this month's credit card payments, but I should be able to convince my bank to give me even more margin! Fantastic!"

--

"I want it! Just because it sounds like a pure adrenaline rush!"

--

"I enjoyed your information! I want to be part of this so I can help work on the next generation of jiffyspiffy – one where you click now and find you had made money yesterday. I am not a patient investor, so I don't think I can wait around for ZippyTrade to work.

I do like the idea of never having a meeting that lasts more than 5 minutes, though. That's innovation!"

--

"SEND TWO! I'm ambidextrous."
--

"Send back-test results from 1929."
--

"And, as everyone knows, you aren't a REAL COMPANY until you've had something up on WikiLeaks! The first thing I'll do with my new ZippyTrade 2000 money is buy a new hat to replace my frayed motley jingle-belled fool's cap…and the new cap will be a SOLID GOLD TOP HAT like the kind in Deluxe Monopoly!

"So, a tip of my new gold hat (did I mention I already bought it on margin, expecting great returns from my new ZippyTrade?) to you and your deception and trickery!"

--

"This sounds too good to be true! I want ZippyTrade so bad, I will pay almost anything!

How much is it? Please tell me! I hope it's not too much, or I might have to sell my house to afford it. Then again, with the massive profits I will be raking in with ZippyTrade, who needs a house anyway, right? ZippyTrade, you are my crack cocaine! I love you, but I need you more.

Why are the two testimonials from the same guy using different names????"

Bad idea
"I realize this is an April Fool's day gag, but it is in poor taste."

--

"Some people don't have a quick wit and will fall for this. With all due respect, I think it's a little mean-spirited to be sending something like this out in these borderline desperate times. Don't mean to rain on anyone's parade, but I think a "joke" like this could make people think twice about your company and how it's run. I have a sense of humor, but I wouldn't allow it at mine."

[Editor's note: There are real investment scams out there. Learn how to identify them here.]

Almost Fooled
"Not gonna lie, totally thought you guys were serious for almost 3 whole minutes. Then I finished my coffee."

"Yes please - send me my free copy of Zippy Trade 2000. I need to make $10,000 by tomorrow to avoid foreclosure!!! Hold on. It's April 1st isn't it? Oh bugger!!!"

--

"To say that I was befuddled [and angry] would be an understatement. Thank God that I realized it was April Fool's Day!"

--

"Hmmm... is this ZippyTrade really 11 years old? And if it was created in 2000 during the DotCom bust then...... oh well. Enough of that thinking. I need to move on to letting Zippy do my investment thinking for me."

--

"You know that part in The Matrix where you're watching on the edge of your seat because it's completely plausible that machines are controlling the human race? Then the movie ends and you're amped up and mad at machines for taking over the world?

"Well, that's me right now. I saw the shiny fishing lure on your home page and Twitter account, KNEW that it was a shiny fishing lure, and bit hard. Your hook sunk in so deep I couldn't swim fast enough to get away. The moment I was ready to send some poisonous quills your way like a blow fish's last stand, I swiveled. That's right, I swiveled. It's a coping technique I learned working in my home office chair for more years than I care to remember. It gives perspective to swivel. I highly recommend it. And just as the venom was ready to flow, it struck me: APRIL FOOLS!

"You guys got me good with the short trading bit. Curse you. CURSE YOU TO HELL!! I didn't know which way was up! It was only because of your "Wikileaks" (even noticing the fake domain name didn't clue me in) that I believed it at all. I was honestly ready to cancel my Stock Advisor quicker than you can shout "APRIL FOOLS". So now my only question is: How much time did you guys waste doctoring up all those Wiki documents. [Editor's note: Approximately one very hectic week.] Get back to work!

"I hate you,

"[name redacted]"

You raise an interesting point
"I was perplexed by one aspect of your thoughtful article. You mention that certain investment bankers 'make Bernie Madoff look like Shirley Temple in saddle shoes at a church picnic.' It's unclear whether I should be imagining Bernie Madoff in those saddle shoes, or Shirley Temple in them. This is the type of due diligence I've learned to do for my investments. I want to be able to understand my visual images and similes, and to feel comfortable explaining them to someone else using non-technical terms.

"The rest of the article makes tremendous sense, of course. I'm just stuck on those shoes. And Bernie."

--

"I am outraged at all this! I was also outraged yesterday, and that was before I even knew any of this was going on! I even dimly recall being outraged the day before! Feel the wrath of my exclamation points!!!

"P.S. If you happen to have any ZippyTrade2000 or ExcelsiorSpeedTrade900LX T-Shirts, I would like to buy one – if only to show my outrage!!!"

[Editor's note: We are indeed looking into this.]

--

"Port o Potty near the trading desk? Why not make the Port o Potty the trading desk!"

--

"This is simply the best high speed trading platform to come to market. I have tried them all and none compare. … The Motley Fool might want to rent this software by the hour instead of selling it!"

--

"Would zippy trade work better if it were running on a Mac? [Editor's note: Probably, but be advised it's only compatible through Apple IIe.]"

--

"I'm having a blast reading it all. For how many years now have I looked forward to this day, to see what you'd come up with? And it's always worth it. Every, single, year. "

Until next year, Fool on!


Read/Post Comments (27) | Recommend This Article (53)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On April 04, 2011, at 5:54 PM, oldengineer wrote:

    My favorite April Fools Day joke was the year that Tom claimed he was so sick of all the complaining that he was going to suspend making recommendations for 6 months. At least that is how I remember it. The Zippy Trade story was too obvious. However, the series of letters on the complaint was really funny.

    .

  • Report this Comment On April 04, 2011, at 5:54 PM, grant224 wrote:

    I cant see how people fell for this...

    This was funny, but I thought last years was more convincing...

  • Report this Comment On April 04, 2011, at 7:43 PM, NOTvuffett wrote:

    My lawyers tell me you didn't trademark the term 'zippyware2000', my software engineers and marketing people say we are almost able to offer a beta version (vaporware) of zippytrade2k, lol.

  • Report this Comment On April 04, 2011, at 8:22 PM, TMFDiogenes wrote:

    @ NOTvuffett

    It was such a scramble over here after we discovered the wikileaks revelations that some things might have slipped through the cracks.

    ;)

  • Report this Comment On April 04, 2011, at 9:24 PM, CatFoodMoney wrote:

    Zippyware2000 would have been funny as hell by itself, but the fact that it was Wikileaked put it over the top.

    I've been Fooled before on April Fool's day, so I knew what was up. The year you guys said that you weren't going to offer stock advice anymore had me worried for a minute. I think I sent in a message saying, "I hope you guys are kidding."

    I can't believe that so many people freaked out and got so angry. Some of those comments were outrageous. Heh Heh.

    Some people might think the Fool's Fool day prank is too much, but I think it's awesome.

    Nathan

  • Report this Comment On April 04, 2011, at 10:34 PM, ellweather wrote:

    I can't remember my email, but I'm sure it was good and should have been included, better than the fools who angrily believed

  • Report this Comment On April 05, 2011, at 12:00 AM, goalie37 wrote:

    Form next year, you should reveal that Tom and Dave's Fool names are Alstry and TheHypnoToad.

  • Report this Comment On April 05, 2011, at 12:00 AM, goalie37 wrote:

    For, not form

  • Report this Comment On April 05, 2011, at 12:27 AM, GbreadMan wrote:

    I just finished reading a 1997 version of The Motley Fool Investment Guide (it was in a pile of books in my basement). Very valuable, and just as helpful in todays environment.

    I might consider purchasing the ZippyTrade 2000, on the condition that it includes a free copy of the Leibnitz Pre-Harmonic Oscillator monitoring software.

  • Report this Comment On April 05, 2011, at 12:27 AM, aggiewes wrote:

    What was last years April fools joke? I can't remember.

  • Report this Comment On April 05, 2011, at 12:37 AM, Baaab wrote:

    To be honest, while reading the article I felt violated and betrayed. Right up to the "Oh My God!" moment when I realized what the date was.

  • Report this Comment On April 05, 2011, at 12:42 AM, Tangoko wrote:

    After a couple of years following fool, it was so obvious... April Fools joke. I'm surprised that many fell for it. But I do hope they did not really leave, because fool is a true fool worthwhile following!

    Thanks guys for a laugh!

  • Report this Comment On April 05, 2011, at 12:56 AM, TMFDiogenes wrote:

    "I can't remember my email, but I'm sure it was good and should have been included"

    I don't doubt it. It was tough -- this article was already 3k words, but there were plenty of other great ones we could have picked.

  • Report this Comment On April 05, 2011, at 12:57 AM, TMFDiogenes wrote:
  • Report this Comment On April 05, 2011, at 8:32 AM, rdave105 wrote:

    I think the emails were great, keep it up.I remember the suspension a few years ago.It was priceless

    Dave

  • Report this Comment On April 05, 2011, at 10:17 AM, svaiskau wrote:

    I was traveling on Friday and didn't have a chance to catch any of this first-hand. However, Saturday morning I downloaded the Market Foolery podcasts for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and for the first few minutes of Friday's podcast, I was thoroughly discouraged, and trying to reason how I was going to be able to use the remainder of my subscription to generate any return.

    It wasn't until they mentioned how Index Funds were like "throwing in the towel" on generating returns that I put two and two together that listening to a podcast on Saturday morning didn't change the fact that Friday was April Fool's.

    Also "Can I get it on 8-track?" is by far the best response. +1

  • Report this Comment On April 05, 2011, at 11:00 AM, noryakerson wrote:

    I'm totally blown away that anyone fell for this stuff. I found it all very humerous, but even if it had been submitted on a day other than April Fool's, I would have taken it for a joke. All you need is an inkling of understanding about the Fool to know they have abhored this type of trading from day one. I have to be honest, I'm not sure if I should be amused or terrified that so many intelligent folks fell for this.

  • Report this Comment On April 05, 2011, at 11:52 AM, mtf00l wrote:

    My "first" experience with this was the meringue company, ticker "hafd". It haunts me still. That experience prepared me for every April Fools day since! =D

  • Report this Comment On April 05, 2011, at 12:20 PM, wsnagle24 wrote:

    By far the best two responses. Was difficult to stop laughing.

    "OHHHH MY GOD! THIS IS WHAT I'VE BEEN WAITING MY ENTIRE LIFE FOR! Until today, I've been using software called DippyTrade. My 2010 profits were negative $1,291,958.91. I've had to sell my house, my cat, and do other things that I can't say in this e-mail to just pay the debt."

    --

    "I so want zippy trade because my computer is my only form of heat in my house. I am sure that the extra heat generated by running such amazing software will not only improve my sense of well being but will also provide companionship for my pet rock, george bush bobble head, an my vegamatic"

  • Report this Comment On April 05, 2011, at 12:28 PM, Proletarian wrote:

    I took this initially to be some form of extreme and extensive sarcasm. But I couldn't grasp why they would go to these lengths. Then I thought it might possibly be hackers. I even google newsed to see if anything about the site being hacked had been reported.

    It wasn't even until the following day that I realized it was April Fools. I suck.

  • Report this Comment On April 05, 2011, at 12:37 PM, LearnerINC wrote:

    Hah! I love reading all these things. You had me for a few minutes until I read the HR mail and saw the pics - then I knew I was in for some fun reading for a few days. Thanks Gardener Brothers...obviously you put as much thought into fun as into business - a good thing - most of the time.

  • Report this Comment On April 05, 2011, at 1:53 PM, outoffocus wrote:

    This is great! Thanks for the laugh. I too look forward to TMF's shenanigans every year.

  • Report this Comment On April 05, 2011, at 2:08 PM, joaquingrech wrote:

    "Finally, a Motley Fool service for those of us in the double-click generation. Now this is a piece of software I can get behind while listening to 120 beat per minute techno music and downing my favorite energy drinks..."

    That email made my day. Genius.

  • Report this Comment On April 05, 2011, at 4:29 PM, paddlinfaster wrote:

    WAIT, you mean I will NOT be able to "hyper-click my way to wealth"?!!

    I'm verklempt. Guess I'll stop that home refinancing since I won't need the start-up cash. Plus, I was so looking forward to the late night infomercial spots featuring recently available Gliber Gotfried as he shouted out ZIPPEEEE TRAAAADE!

    The most indignant emails are always my fave responses to April Fool "articles". Do you hold an after-hours company party to read them aloud?

  • Report this Comment On April 05, 2011, at 4:36 PM, wyrdmage wrote:

    Although I enjoyed (and was fooled by) last year's joke better than this year, I luv the annual jokes and would miss them if they ever cease. For variety, one idea for next year would be a reversal of the greed theme...Issue a challenge of charity and announce that you received government permission to donate private IRAs to United Way or the Buffet/Gates charity fund, with the help of institutions who hold the IRAs, because the gov was going to tax it all at 90% in the future (limited time window so you had to act swiftly before the government realized that they wouldn't be able to pay their debts if retirement accounts dried up).

  • Report this Comment On April 08, 2011, at 4:05 PM, mawall wrote:

    Yeah! Very funnty stuff- you had me at first

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2011, at 11:09 PM, mcphay wrote:

    I think the Motley Fool is great, and the sense of humor is one of the things that has won me over! Thanks for the April Fool's fun, but I think that I've laughed more at people's responses. Thanks for sharing them!

    Though the Motleyfoolery Podcast of April 1 was a great addition, too!

    BTW, is one of your hiring requirements at TMF a great sense of humor? Everyone I've heard/read seems to have one - sounds like a great place to work. I love it!

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