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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 @gs.com 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!