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Fools Respond to Our April Fool's Day Joke

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By now, most of you have realized The Motley Fool isn't going public. And we're not selling special pre-IPO shares to Fools for the low, low price of $4.01. But we were delighted by the overwhelming and varied responses we received after posting David and Tom Gardner's major announcement. Fools as far away as Singapore and Australia emailed to say, "I'm in!"

The ones we didn't fool
Some of you were onto us right away. "Sign me up for 4,012,012 shares!" wrote one Fool. Said another, "Somehow I think that this golden opportunity will unfortunately turn into a pumpkin on April 2nd... Fool On!" A longtime Fool even remembered one of our previous April Fool's Day jokes: "Even better than your meringue!"

One reader emailed to tell us what he'd do with his (nonexistent) IPO profits: "The money we will make from this will go toward that helicopter we have been wanting to buy to sit on the empty launch pad on our yacht. We will send you a picture and an invitation to take part in the inaugural flight."

Other Fools planned to use their profits on spaceship-flying lessons, lottery tickets ("I'll turn my millions into gazillions!"), purchasing the L.A. Dodgers, and "homeless shelters for down-and-out stock investors."

The ones we fooled
Some Fools were, well, fooled for a minute. The massive returns we promised blinded some would-be investors. Said one, "There goes my retirement! My greed index had gone shooting through the roof!" Another wrote:

I managed to delve a good deal deeper into the Fool's IPO pitch than I would have liked before realizing what day it is (by around page nine of the S-1 filing, something didn't smell right about the Motley Fool-Motley Crue connection, which, as embarrassing as it is, I don't chalk up as being too bad for pre-morning-shower-financial-thinking) ...

And yet, every hint that I was being pranked, from the stock price to the S-1 filing in Delaware to the incongruous appearance of Cesare Gardner as CFO, got filed in line just behind "four to seven bagger." Even for a lazy Sunday morning, that's pretty poor thinking well-illuminated.

So, congratulations to the Fool for an all-around brilliant piece of work. Happy April Fool's Day, and Fool on.

Several readers were suspicious -- it was April Fool's Day, after all -- but hopeful. One reader wrote, "Since I'm new at this game and knowing what day it is and knowing you Fools, I highly suspect this offer. However, I would like to buy 1000 shares."

Echoing the sentiment, another Fool emailed:

So this is April Fool's Day. And anything that is too good to be true must be too good to be true.

With that, this email expresses my interest in MF's IPO in the pre-market.

A few readers were less amused, including one who emailed to say, "Shame on you all!!!! Do let me know when you grow up!" Another wrote, "Considering how much traffic you are going to geneerate, the joke may be on you and your server crashing!" Don't worry, our servers are still trucking (knock wood).

The ones we really, really fooled
Presumably thanks to autocorrect, of the nearly 16,000 emails we received by midnight Sunday, about 400 requested information on our "iPod." You guys are a little ahead of the game. The Motley Fool iPod, which will come preloaded with nearly 100 hours of David and Tom Gardner reading aloud the last 40 years of Berkshire Hathaway 10-Ks, is slated to be released on April 1, 2013.

We also got several emails from money managers, brokers, and financial advisors. Almost all of them expressed interest in the IPO, including one professional with a email address. That was a bit disheartening, considering our S-1. On a lighter note, someone from Merrill Lynch emailed to tell us one client called him (on a Sunday, he wrote), brimming with excitement over The Motley Fool's impending IPO. He checked out the S-1, then made "the dreaded phone call ... I asked my client if he knew what day it was. Silence!" He ended the email with, "Good job!"

Thanks to all those we fooled and all those we didn't fool. We had a lot of fun putting this joke together for all of you, and we really hope you enjoyed it. Until next year -- Fool on!

Erin Kennedy owns no shares of the companies mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Berkshire Hathaway. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Read/Post Comments (17) | Recommend This Article (51)

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 02, 2012, at 12:59 PM, RPMick wrote:

    The Merrill Lynch bit...priceless. Each year these lessons are timeless (except maybe the dating service year, not sure about that one.). Always a pleasure to read the summary of responses the next day.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 1:00 PM, bettor2win wrote:

    Foolish me! I didnt think anyone who invests and uses the thought process would be fooled even remotely. Well, there's a sucker born every minute. LOL!

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 3:24 PM, jimialvin wrote:

    Well , I am not the brightest star in the Appalachian region . Yes , you Fooled me !!!

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 3:57 PM, tnk4800 wrote:

    Fool me once.....

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 3:58 PM, KMAFool wrote:

    Just fyi - the Ticker SPOP is still available....

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 4:00 PM, KKnese wrote:

    I'm disappointed that the TMF staff didn't realize that this year's April Fools Day fell on Palm Sunday! You could have done so much with palm tree plantations, palm reading parlors, and other references to the word palm in this year's prank!

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 4:01 PM, Clint35 wrote:

    I'm sorry to hear it was just a joke. I really wanted to be the Fool's creative accountant. Oh well, maybe I can go work for Groupon, LOL. And I loved the video. Very funny.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 4:25 PM, Noshe wrote:

    Cruel...Cruel....Cruel...I got so excited. now so disappointed :-(

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 5:45 PM, 9to5 wrote:

    Absolutely idiotic thing to do. There are some of us who have better things to do than this. I am surprised at this childish attempt at (substitute here whatever you thought you were trying to accomplish).

    I will be cancelling my subscription and putting you to junk mail. I am truly shocked that a Company would resort to this.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 5:52 PM, rma1344 wrote:

    When I saw the auditor was Ernst and Anderson and saw the list of underwriters I got it! Then I saw the projections for 2025 plus. Funny.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 6:00 PM, mbzfixer wrote:

    still laughing, had me going !!!!!!!!

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 6:03 PM, OldLegs wrote:

    When I first saw the subject line, I said...ok, what are youse guys up to now. Then I read S-1 and started rolling out of my chair. When I finally got upright again...I then said... THEY have GOT to be kidding... oh yeah...It's April !st !! (! Intentional)

    Great job...I looked at the offerings in the office as well...Q: Did you have as much fun in the making of ? I bet that could be next?

    Have a great year at "The Fool".


  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 6:20 PM, cvinfl wrote:

    Your credibility took a major hit with me.

    The next big "Foolish" joke will see Tom and David yelling fire in a theater.

    What an unbelievable waste of the staffs time and money putting this on.

    Please, when you grow up...let me know. Until then, the "delete" key is right next to Motley Fool.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 6:47 PM, yertschap wrote:

    I was NOT fooled. But...if you ever DO go public you now have information as to the support the IPO can expect. Please...pretty please let me know say..ten minutes ahead of the real thing!

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 7:02 PM, nowFSCD wrote:

    What a hoot. Add me to the list of the duped!

    From reading the comments of the few people with no sense of humour it's dawned on me this annual event is a great way of cleaning out the ........


  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2012, at 10:54 AM, rahler99 wrote:

    My real disappointment is that there are really people in this world who are actually offended by the IPO gag. In the blood and guts, super serious world of investments it was very refreshing to find that Motley Fool had lived up to its name. Please keep the 4/1 tradition going. And to the offendees ... get a life.

  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2012, at 7:28 PM, racchole wrote:

    The iPod bit is HILARIOUS.

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