REVEALED: The Motley Fool Isn't Really Going Public (Our April Fool's Joke Explained)

Well we didn't quite expect that.

The response to yesterday's announcement that The Motley Fool would be going public was overwhelming. More than 18,400 emails poured in, most "Fooled" by the prank. The Major Announcement From David and Tom Gardner has more than 1,200 recommendations. Our Creative Accountant job posting drew four (!) earnest applicants.

Thanks to Fools everywhere for your overwhelming response! We hope you enjoyed the joke as much as we did devising our short-lived IPO.

We are not, in fact, going public. There is nothing inherently wrong with going public, but we wanted to shine a light on two worrisome trends among new IPOs -- trends that the new JOBS Act could likely exacerbate.

1. Poor stewardship
With any IPO, investors should ask: Who is running the company? Will going public change the way the business is run?

When Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN  ) went public in 1997, founder/CEO Jeff Bezos issued a "manifesto" to prospective shareholders in which he made clear that for him, "it's all about the long term." He warned shareholders that Amazon may "make decisions and weigh tradeoffs differently than some companies" and urged them to make sure that a long-term approach "is consistent with your investment policy."

It's true that many companies -- including Amazon and, very soon, Facebook -- go public as a way of providing liquidity to their investors. There's nothing wrong with that, per se; what's troubling is when a presumed "liquidity event" fundamentally changes the way a business is run.

Bezos said Amazon would be "working to build something important, something that matters to our customers, something that we can tell our grandchildren about."

Contrast that stewardship with what was buried in our (fake) Form S-1:

  • Our Gordian-knot corporate structure: "As a shareholder of The Motley Fool, you will not be buying shares in the actual company. You will be buying shares of a bank holding company that is the 87% owner of a structured investment vehicle organized in Suzhou. The remaining 13% is owned by Motley Fool employees who will be paid out special preferred dividends in lieu of actual economic interest in operations."
  • Nepotism: Our CFO, "Billy" Gardner (who is not a real person, to be clear) is qualified for his position because "as an 8th grader at the prestigious Meadow All Day and Night School, he placed third in the basic arithmetic bee, and just recently passed an online class in Excel."
  • Among our listed Risks was a potential inability to "fend off falcon attacks."
  • Our core values included "Apathetic," "Deceitful," and "Dreary."
  • Our filing held unrealistically optimistic assessments of our strengths, a list of poorly thought-out future business models including a stock-based hourly deal (buy "a $600 share of Apple for just $300"), and projected a ridiculous $15 trillion cash balance in 2025 that would exceed the nation's current GDP.
  • We released a hilariously opaque video hyping the IPO loaded with highfalutin business jargon that revealed nothing about our purpose as a business.
  • Fairy tales: In addition to normal (so-called GAAP) net income, our prospectus contained an unjustified, make-believe metric called "Foolish net income" that was more than double our real net income.

Lest you think this last joke was pulled from thin air, consider that absurd, highly optimistic metrics were all the rage during the 1990s Internet hype, when companies loudly trumpeted growth in "non-GAAP earnings" and "eyeball" counts.

More recently, critics of the initial Groupon (Nasdaq: GRPN  ) IPO led the daily-deal provider to dump its adjusted consolidated segment operating income metric from its amended S-1. That metric stripped out critical costs like marketing expenditures, resulting in basically "profits when subtracting all expenses."

This accounting stuff flies under the radar for many of us, but it can be incredibly important when judging IPOs. (Warren Buffett once quipped that he reads S-1s like some guys read Playboy.)

Another warning sign for Groupon investors came when the company had to restate its fourth-quarter losses because of a "material weakness in its internal controls." That's accounting-speak for "there are major problems with how the company produces its financial information and protects against potential fraud."

Of course, accounting problems aren't unique to fresh IPOs. But newly public companies can put you at greater risk. Insiders, early investors, and investment bankers may be so eager to get the company into public hands that numbers get fudged. And because private companies face much less scrutiny, years of mistakes -- whether honest or not -- can come out of the woodwork after an IPO.

And these dangers are only likely to increase, thanks to the JOBS Act that just passed Congress. The bill weakens investor protections across the board for IPOs. Among other things, it lets most IPOs skip their internal-controls test, allows them to only show two years of audited financial statements, and helps them to clear up accounting issues secretly with the SEC without revealing their existence to investors.

The bottom line is, you want to be sure that a company is ready to be public. Not every company that wants to go public should go public.

Which brings us to issue No. 2 with our April Fool's Day IPO:

2. The wrong motives
Any time you invest in a company, it's critical that management's interests are aligned with yours. That's why it's so imperative for us to understand the real reason a company is going public.

Sometimes companies go public for a perfectly good reason -- say, the need to raise extra capital to grow the business. Other times, insiders and venture-capital or private-equity firms just want to cash out their stakes by dumping companies on the public. That's when you have to be careful you're not getting duped.

From our announcement letter: "In order to guarantee that every Motley Fool member has access to an abundance of shares at that $4.01 price, we two founders will be selling virtually our entire stake in the pre-after-hours market today."

Tom Gardner has repeatedly stated that a core metric he looks at is the amount of insider ownership. It's normal for insiders to sell some stock after a company goes public; they may need to diversify their finances a little. But any time insiders sell off a massive stake, your ears should perk up.

It was recently reported that Zynga's (Nasdaq: ZNGA  ) CEO and other insiders are planning to sell 43 million shares (nearly $600 million). Now the man at the top, Mark Pincus, will hold a 35% stake in the company he founded, down slightly from 36.5%. More concerning was Groupon's already-rich founders' decision to sell $870 million (about a fifth) of their own shares to the public at a time when the loss-making deal site could have really used the money.

Keep in mind that when you're buying an IPO, venture-capital or private-equity investors -- and usually insiders -- are selling. And they probably know the company better than we do.

Other warning signs from our S-1:

  • Unhinged executive compensation: After selling off his stake, Tom Gardner would receive a ridiculous package that included $2.5 million per year for security, 4 million shares of stock, and 1 million shares per year for life!
  • Our board of celebrities, potentially dodgy characters, and "yes-men": The people allegedly evaluating our management team to ensure they're doing right by shareholders included an unknown investment banker, a former member of Motley Crue, and a supposed billionaire friend of David Gardner named Donald Dump. The board should have integrity, independence, and knowledge about our industry.
  • Bizarro auditor: Instead of a reputable firm, we went with the no-name, conflicted Coopers & Andersen, whose qualifications included playing high school football alongside Tom Gardner. In an alarming conflict of interest, we also used them as our investment banker, so they actually would stand to gain from fake financials.
  • Our weird corporate structure left shareholders holding strange toxic assets but no ownership stake in The Motley Fool. The gimmick of selling a shell company that has a service contract with a real company is real. It's been popular with lots of publicly listed Chinese firms that need to skirt Chinese foreign ownership laws, and it's important to be aware of. It also has no legitimate use for companies with mostly American operations (like our IPO).

Though we exaggerated many of the red flags above for Foolishness, all of them are problems we've seen in actual public companies.

IPOs are usually structured to disproportionately benefit insiders, investment banks, and their favored clients. Some companies -- Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) and Sam Adams-maker Boston Beer (NYSE: SAM  ) come to mind -- managed to buck the trend when they went public, but they're the exception.

The bottom line is that we need to learn about a company that is going public. Why is it selling shares? Are the interests of the people running the company aligned with yours? Does the company have long-term competitive strengths? These are all good questions to ask.

Take your time -- there's no need to rush out and buy a hyped-up IPO on the first day. It's wiser to wait a while until you really understand the business and feel comfortable owning it for the long term.

From all of us at Fool Global Headquarters in Alexandria, Va., we hope you enjoyed the joke -- happy April Fool's!

The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.com, Boston Beer, and Google. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Yongye International, NetEase.com, Boston Beer, Amazon.com, and Google. 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 (104) | Recommend This Article (100)

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 4:52 PM, rgon1969 wrote:

    Did you get my email before the deadline? I really don't want to miss out on this IPO...! Here it is again as proof that it was at least sent on time.... I trust you will adhere to the standard for this sort of thing.

    dated Sunday, April 01, 2012 6:42 PM:

    Please sign me up for 100,000 shares at $4.01. That's a lot of money but I'll borrow most of it from our local shyster, Limping Larry, using my knees as collateral. With the expected profits I'll be able to pay off all of the gambling debts accumulated during this year's March Madness. Who would have picked Kansas and Kentucky over such perennial final four teams as Norfolk State and Detroit? What a whacky year for basketball...!

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 5:19 PM, charlesnjohnson wrote:

    I love these April Fool's Jokes. I "fall" for them to see how the Fools' respond. They are always a lesson.

    Thanks again for a great joke!

    ~C~

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 5:21 PM, mikecart1 wrote:

    I think the joke was cruel. I spent hours emailing people here and also looking on investing sites about any news about Motley Fool going public. I was up until 3am last night trying to locate this information because I assumed that since we were the first to know, there might not be a lot of info public. I woke up tired today and was late to work. I see that I was not alone in being 'tricked' and I am willing to be many others wasted hours trying to locate any information about this IPO. Next time the joke should be more clear.

    :(

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 5:23 PM, watersm wrote:

    ARGON 1969... superb! (although I prefer RGON STAYT). As a Fool for about fourteen years now, I really look forward to these annually.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 5:28 PM, Cuprock wrote:

    You guys are such dorks. I spend MONEY with you guys for the data I need. It's bad enough you're constantly filling my email will badly produced videos that run WAY too long hustling new subscribers, but this is truly nonsense, I do not find it funny and you make me reconsider my support for your company.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 5:29 PM, Notfooled1 wrote:

    Your "joke" was neither funny nor clever; it was as opaque as a pane of glass. Few with a mental age older than 14 "play" April Fool's jokes. These bits of juvenile humor are generally hostile, mean-spirited, and seldom humorous. They are designed to make the "victim" feel stupid. Gardner Brothers, you may be rich (at the reader's expense), but you are not among nature's noblemen.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 5:31 PM, Notfooled1 wrote:

    Props to Cuprock, and agree with him/her.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 5:32 PM, commerce wrote:

    Having won recent Powerball and MegaMillions (twice) and Florida Lotteries, I intended to invest up to $5,000 per share in Motley Fool up to a limit of $250,000,000.

    I guess I'll have to put a stop on the check...

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 5:34 PM, CER4040 wrote:

    LoL. I got a good chuckle out of it. Reminded me a bit of how some Chinese ADR's are structured and the TVIX. Although it would have been more funny if you got the guy from Seinfeld who plays J.Peterman to do the video commentary.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 5:36 PM, russellwc wrote:

    You gotta have a sense of humor...part of the fool motto...funny you're even called dorks.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 5:44 PM, kayakmastr wrote:

    Amazing comments from some. Since it is clear where the Fool is coming from and going by their motto (Educate, Enrich, and Amuse), I can only believe these comments also are "April Fool!" I wonder why "Amuse" was chosen rather than "Entertain" maybe a rebellion against a failed course in English by one of the brothers?

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 5:54 PM, 4perseverance wrote:

    Overall, I was a little bit disappointed in the April fools day prank. It inclines towards a lack of professionalism and makes me question your overall seriousness. I handle April fools jokes quite well but I don't "foolishly" mix them with business. We all take our financial security quite seriously. Investment advice shouldn't need to be taken with a grain of salt. The idea was unfortunate...

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 6:00 PM, IslandTime59 wrote:

    Great joke, added a little humor to my Fool's day!

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 6:05 PM, PhilThisFool wrote:

    Dang!! My brokers Dewey,Cheatem & Howe highly recommended getting in on this ground floor. Guess I missed it!

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 6:06 PM, Futuroyolo wrote:

    There was a stick figure drawing in the s-1 filling and a 50% coupon for an apple share. Not to mention bank names such as "morton" stanley . They were teaching a lesson to the users and not to let over night promises of 7x your money just based on the "media frenzy" they promised to drum up. This is a long-term investor website. If you took five minutes to read the info you would of realized it was a joke. Wealth is not built overnight.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 6:08 PM, Seanickson wrote:

    awesome joke. I was excited to invest until I started reading the S-1 and it was hilarious.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 6:22 PM, Alasker300 wrote:

    II agre with Caloh. n all honesty, it was quite annoying. At first it sounded true and then I spent valuable time to find out that it wasn't true.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 6:23 PM, BUbulldog wrote:

    I thought it was a crafty joke. Some of these commenters here need to lighten up, geez. I have a feeling the Fool will survive through a little April Fool's joke, no need to be pulling your business from them ("Fool" is right in the name of the holiday, come on).

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 6:31 PM, IFKAR wrote:

    I was going to use some of the money I will receive from helping Kunta Kinte of Nigeria relocate $100,000,000 to the United States to invest in the IPO of the Motley Fool, but alas, it was a joke!!!

    Now I'll have to find other uses for my coming windfall.

    I paid the guy $2,000. I wonder where my money is...

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 6:33 PM, MeTwit wrote:

    Come on people, stop whining. That was a great fools day prank ... if you consider that business, or if you actually sent an email expressing interest to invest, you probably need protection from yourself ... well, sorry to tell you that, but it is true.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 6:33 PM, mjms100 wrote:

    Interesting - I am such a fan of MF that my initial reaction was "get the cheque book - there's no need to read the material, I TRUST these guys". Then the adrenaline wore off and I came to my senses and decided to look at the materials. No offense to those who were duped, but figuring out the prank was NOT rocket science.....

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 6:41 PM, CF5326 wrote:

    Mjms100, I was in exactly the same boat. Received the email while walking the dogs and started doing the mental math. Fired off a quick response on the iphone then was stunned several minutes later when I got the response email. Hilarious doesn't describe the prank and how hard I laughed when I realized the date.

    Well done MF!

    Fools keep Foolin' on!

    CF5326

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 6:55 PM, jc09058 wrote:

    It is truly sad for any individual to not be able to laugh at themselves when they find they were taken by a simple April Fool's joke. If you can't find something to laugh at when dealing with the market then the market will eat you alive at some point, and on a weekend you time is SO valuable that you can't take time to laugh a little then I pity you for living so poorly.

    The Motley Fool is here to "Educate, Enrich, and Amuse". Their motto says it all. I don't work for them, so I'm not paid to make these comments but I look forward to April 1st every year for the joke. Sure, the first two times I got bit and laugh at myself for being too serious. So what, it's great to find something to laugh about and to be reminded that I am still a human being and working for the Three Stooge's law firm of Dewey, Cheatem & Howe. Yuk, Yuk, Yuk... LOL

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 6:57 PM, cdanj wrote:

    I felt just like mjms100....."I trust this guys!" Then fired off the response and was ashamed at myself when I realized the hoax.

    Oh ObiWon I hope you will forgive me for such a rookie mistake.

    "Trust no one when it comes to money.....read the fine print!!"

    I will never make that mistake again.....oh and I will pay more attention to what date it is.

    thanks for the laugh and lesson.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 6:59 PM, kryn44 wrote:

    I think the entire prank was stupid and a waste of my time. I did not appreciate it. I have trusted your company - you have now undermined my trust in what you are telling me. "Junior high prank at best."

    You are now going to have to prove yourself to me all over again, and anymore 'pranks' will find me done with you.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 7:06 PM, lmartarano wrote:

    You got me. Although I thought it may be an April fool's joke, I had to reply to the email to satisfy my curiosity. However, as harmless as you may think this was, you have just lost a member for your childish actions. I cancelled my three year membership to Motley Fool Options and expect the $999 to be returned immediately. I hope you had a lot of fun with this joke because the joke is on you. I would hope other members take this action as well to show you "Fools" that this was bad mistake on your part.

    THIS IS NO APRIL'S FOOLS JOKE.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 7:14 PM, jstran wrote:

    Unfortunately it sounded pretty close to the many newsletter spam advertisements I get. Seriously, check out the language in that IPO advertisement with the newest product advertisement.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 7:15 PM, st93ct9u wrote:

    Anyone who got a "special Sunday edition" email, that went against everything the Fool stands for, (and didn't check the calendar), deserves to be fooled. Besides, the Fool has been doing this stuff every April 1st for as long as I can remember. I generally agree that April 1st pranks aren't all that funny, but anyone who is seriously mad at the site, should be more mad at themselves.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 7:19 PM, Pennypincher57 wrote:

    LIghten up for Pete's sake! It was a joke - a pretty good joke. It appears that a number of folks fell for it and are feeling really chagrined.

    BTW, they've done something like this for years.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 7:19 PM, ukperspective wrote:

    People honestly believed this hoax, and are now complaining that it wasn't real and they are upset with you? Please send me their e-mail addresses so that I can sell them to real scammers! This was a sensible wake up call to remind people not to believe everything that they receive by e-mail. The "upset" people should cancel their subscriptions and put the money aside in a special bank account for paying to shysters in future... not so foolish as really stupid. (And yes, for a moment I was almost tempted to respond - nice one.)

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 7:29 PM, danadinuc wrote:

    Awesome joke - fooled me just like the one last year did. I was (again) disappointed by the "decision" and puzzled by the"corporate structure" - so puzzled that I could not get past it. And I decided (again) to find alternative investing commentary. Maybe now I've learned my lessons: 1) I better remember the mistakes I don't want to repeat; and 2) I better separate investing from emotion. Hopefully the S-1 will entertain instead of upset me next year:-)

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 7:37 PM, 4perseverance wrote:

    Regardless of your personal position on the joke I would put money down that the thinking crowd at Motley Fool will not perform an encore. It's not customary to yank the chain of your collective client base. I'm sure the vast majority of fools that have not voiced their opinion found the joke to be transparent but juvenile. It all goes to maintaining your credibility with paying customers. That's something I wouldn't personally "fool" with; no matter how clever and witty I am feeling any particular day...

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 7:57 PM, fvgetcom wrote:

    It seems that there are two classes of people here: those that know about the Motley Fool's annual joke and those that don't. I'm a newbie, and I wasn't sure, so I Googled "Motley Fool April Fool's Joke" and found out that there is indeed an annual tradition of April Fool's Jokes.

    Well...it's just unfortunate. First, some of my fellow newbies got humiliated by a company they like & would love to invest in; and now they get to be called idiots by the others leaving comments here. Wow.

    Why don't some of you "old timers" be the ones to lighten up? Nobody wants to be kicked when they're already feeling like chumps.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 7:57 PM, LuckyYucks wrote:

    Bravo! Thank You, thank you, thank you for the laughs! I was totally amused! The few who were duped and angry have to learn that humor is a very important tool in learning and investing. I can't wait for next year!!!

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 8:10 PM, WhidbeyIsland wrote:

    I completely disagree with the comments from the abundance of people suffering from a serious irony deficiency. I have made poor investments. Most people have. Even Warren Buffet, probably the world's most proficient investor, has made poor investments.

    Enthusiasm for "glamorous" IPOs is a disaster that has happened many times and is waiting to happen again. Jonathan Swift's MODEST PROPOSAL was perhaps the greatest satire of all time. From Wikipedia: "Readers unacquainted with its reputation as a satirical work often do not immediately realize that Swift was not seriously proposing cannibalism and infanticide, nor would readers unfamiliar with the satires of Horace and Juvenal recognize that Swift's essay follows the rules and structure of Latin satires."

    I haven't been able to quickly find as much as I wanted to about the contemporary reaction to Swift's satire, but evidently he did get blasted, and almost lost his patronage.

    I am sure this will be too difficult for many to understand. [sarcasm]. The purpose of the MF April Fool's joke was 1) provide amusement (difficult to do for people who may not have much of a sense of humor) and 2) to vividly, dramatically demonstrate how easy it is for people who are not careful and aware to lose money while investing.

    The Motley Food did exactly what they were supposed to do. I suspect the people most outraged and self-righteously critical, are the ones most in need of this lesson. Even if was probably wasted on them. Oh, well. Buckle your seat belt when in a vehicle and wash your hands after using the bathroom. For a start.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 8:23 PM, neamakri wrote:

    You got me!

    First I was mad that Fool would go public, because that's against everything you stand for and just plain wrong.

    After I figured out the prank I laughed a long time. Thanks guys!

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 8:26 PM, CluckChicken wrote:

    I am not sure that people like lmartarano understand much of what one gets with Fool. Lets be honest if one spent time reading any of the basic materials available to members it should not have been that difficult to figure out this was a joke.

    I did pass along the "coupon" for the share of AAPL with the note about being able to get these deals because you bought the shares in bulk to a few friends that are always asking for stock advise. I am pretty sure I will be getting an angry call later this week from at least one who will try and use it.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 8:32 PM, djemonk wrote:

    I was "had" my first year reading the Fool, too. It's like freshmen hazing in sports.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 8:34 PM, WDS1 wrote:

    This issue has been a waste of my valuable time !

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 8:45 PM, TMFDukenewkirk wrote:

    Honestly everyone, even as this was a joke, those really offended because they felt duped should get far more out of this than the laugh the bulk of us got. Honestly, having spent any time reading what is intended to educate and enrich us here should have prepared you very well for the amusement on April 1.

    The bottom line is, until a gag like this is an obvious joke almost immediately, you haven't learned the most basic concept of due diligence and should realize that you could stand to learn a bit more about investing as well as the people we put our faith in behind this company. Humbling though that realization may be, it's incredibly valuable or it's pretty darned funny. In my first couple of years here these guys suckered me into sending an e-mail too. Educate, Amuse, and Enrich...it's a slogan sure, but it's meant literally.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 8:47 PM, rachel392 wrote:

    Honestly, people who were "fooled", did you not read the "literature"? It was absurdly obvious that this was a "prank". A prudent investor parts with his or her own money only after thorough due diligence. Yes, I wanted to believe this was true with the hilariously inflated claims, but really?!?!?

    Disclaimer: I was "Fooled" for a few minutes while I read through the information, with a voice saying, "this can't be real, this can't be real"! Of course NOT and I laughed loudly at myself.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 9:01 PM, TMFTomGardner wrote:

    The primary reason that we have an April Fool's joke each year is actually tied up in "education" more than "amusement."

    To those who got caught up in the excitement, and who now feel they've wasted time, let me bold and suggest that you just *saved* time and money in the process.

    The IPO process has hype built into it. And time pressure. And the hope for massive reward. But the average IPO quickly trades below its first day high and typically trades lower still over the next six months.

    The IPO train is moving fast right now -- with LinkedIn, Annie's, Zynga, Groupon and, soon, Facebook. Some of these are solid companies. Some of them look like throw-togethers.

    The enthusiasm for the IPO of Facebook (a company that I admire) is going to reach a fevered pitch. Will most buyers take the time to read about the business...to be patient if they decide to buy...and look to the long term potential for being an owner?

    I don't think so.

    But hopefully we Fools will take the time. There are 7000+ companies to buy just in the US. The next big IPO ought not to be the total focus of business investors.

    I would apologize to those who are annoyed with us. But to say your sorry is to commit to trying to never do it again. We are going to do this again, in just less than a year, and continually year after year.

    If this will be a real irritant to you, you're probably right to cancel your service and to find a fee-only advisor who isn't trying to do all three -- teach, have fun, and make money together.

    Hopefully, you will choose to stay. We Fools numbered in the millions will continue working to invest better together forever.

    Best,

    Tom Gardner, Fool

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 9:20 PM, digginya wrote:

    I just joined yesterday for the help to learn. I live on $812/month dissability & have my 69 yr. old mother to care for. I dumped stock at a loss & emailed you 3 times to ask questions. All I have in the world is $1261 in my investment account. I lost $154 trying to round up money for a 2nd April Fools Day. I had to think about whether I could afford the one year membership & took a hit on my

    first day here. As for the ways companies operate & finacial papers~I don't know one from another and that's why I joined, to learn! But I didn't need to lose 25% of a months income for a "Lesson"......

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 9:21 PM, hotpepperaddict wrote:

    Yeah, I'm pretty new to this whole investing thing (like 3 months) and I have a very small amount of money to boot. I was trying to figure out how much money I could drop on this IPO and where I would get the funds - since it was Sunday and all. I own just a few shares of 7 different companies. I find myself getting caught up in the positive comments of a particular stock I have been watching and jump in with a few shares without really doing the due diligence. So far I am at about break even, but I am STARTING to learn a few lessons. I am trying to keep my emotions in check and do a little more research. I still have no understanding what being LONG or SHORT on a stock means and I am not even going to touch options for at least a couple years. I usually jump first and then try to figure out my landing. About half is luck and the other half has been to lick my wounds.

    I was on my way out the door when I came across "The Big Announcement" I thought it was a little weird that I had not heard anything about this IPO before, but like some other members, 'I trust these guys' and how could I go wrong, so I shot off an email figuring I would be back home long before midnight to complete the paperwork. Well, you know the rest. I laughed and felt cheated for a minute out of my first multibagger. Now as I sit here and lick my wounds, I am reinforced in the teachings of the Fools. Invest in what you know, do your research, and don't take everything so seriously.

    I can't believe people might actually drop their membership over this. I still trust these Fools and look forward to many more years of investing advice and Foolish pranks.

    Thanks for the laugh and the lesson.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 9:24 PM, BlueSkyLLC wrote:

    The come-on sounded too good to be true. I responded to see what would be sent back. Thanks for the joke. Lessons that could save money are always welcome.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 9:26 PM, BlueSkyLLC wrote:

    "But to say your sorry is to commit to trying to never do it again. " Shouldn't that be "But to say you are sorry....."?

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 9:54 PM, Zinj wrote:

    I am flabbergasted by some comments here that the joke was "cruel" or should have been make "more clear". It could not have been made more clear. Seriously - the CFO is an 8th grader? Insiders to sell ALL their shares? Really, you wanted to be on the other side of that transaction?

    If you are so totally unacquainted with the philosophy the Motley Fool has been publishing for nearly 20 years that you couldn't see the joke IPO was 180 degrees backwards, not once, not twice but on dozens of items, then you, sir have no business investing in such a company -- because clearly you know nothing about it.

    While I have some sympathy for those who are unfamiliar with the Motley Fool's annual (yes, EVERY year) joke on April 1, and therefore could be forgiven for being a little confused (at least at first) I have trouble mustering much pity for those who fail to exercise even the smallest modicum of common sense and spend all evening trying to get an allocation. The good people at TMF do NOT engage in a *subtle* joke -- the eMerenge IPO (1999), or the 2004 joke in which EVERYTHING was turned on its head, or the 2008 announcement that TMF was going on hiatus for 6 months, suggesting cookbooks to read instead of investing, were all intentionally and pervasively obvious jokes.

    If you really were taken in by this joke, and I mean not just at first, but so much so that you're angry you spent your whole night trying to sort out how to buy a piece of the Fool, then I going to make a prediction that life is going to continue to be difficult for you.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 9:55 PM, Shawnerz wrote:

    The people like kryn44, wds1, and imartarano

    really need to lighten up and embrace the meanings, feelings, and-most importantly-profits of dynamainovationalism!

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 10:00 PM, panesh wrote:

    This is hilarious! People are complaining about you wasting their time. If they are that far behind the curve maybe they needed this.

    It took me about 30 seconds to figure this out. Anyone who handles their familys finanace should have seen right through this or they shouldn't be trusted with the money.

    I'm now going to go through the Fool period of silence required before laughing my ass off at some of these fragile ego'd comments.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 10:00 PM, Shawnerz wrote:

    I wanted to add, I think the best Motley Fools April Fools joke was in 2009 when the MF applied, and got, automaker bailout money. Priecless!

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 10:07 PM, ewygant wrote:

    I am a new investor that recently started using The Motley Fool as a resource. I thought The Motley Fool was informational and fun. I have recently started a job search, and sent in my resume for the "Creative Accountant" job that was posted, which I discovered on The Washington Post job board. I thought the job announcement seemed odd and more humorous than other job postings I have come across, but brushed it off as "Foolish" style. I read the part of the announcement about The Motley Fool going public, but brushed it off at the moment and decided to research later. I sent in my resume and returned to the website today to find the entire website mocking me. Yes, sadly, I am one of the four "earnest applicants". This is beyond embarrassing. I am offended. I can't believe a company would post a fake job and then laugh at the poor pathetic people who apply to it. I thought The Motley Fool was an innovative forward thinking company, with a smart and fun staff of exceptional people. I wanted to be a part of the team. Now I'm left feeling like an idiot while everyone laughs. Needless to say, I have no interest in working for this group of people anymore. I also will no longer be using The Motley Fool as a resource. Maybe this was all meant to be a fun joke, but gullible trusting people like me get burned. I don't think it is funny or kind. It's downright mean and childish.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 10:14 PM, KimGridley wrote:

    Ok, so I'm a newbie and your apparently resident moron, but being a novice, I was really excited and was willing to invest…wait for it… a grand total of $4000. Yeah, I know that's a paltry amount for all you big guys out there, but this middle class investor only had that much disposable cash and was hoping for a chance to finally have a shot at a nice return.

    Sorry folks, after a very long weekend of being in grad school, I was not amused. In fact, I was kind of ticked. Made me wonder about the validity of all the other offers out there like "super nova" for about the same chunk of change. Sorry, no longer interested.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 10:20 PM, KimGridley wrote:

    After reading all of the comments, especially about the "earnest applicants" all I can say is you should be truly ashamed of the fact that you are pretending to hire people in a desperate economy. Sorry to see that Tom and Dave have shown that they are successful, certainly, but insensitive dicks as well.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 10:34 PM, watersports2001 wrote:

    I already thought you had gone public there is a foolX mutual fund out there for about the price listed in the email.

    I knew it was April fools but it had been such a quiet one I thought most sites forgot it was. Well hopefully this doesn't hinder faith in your "company" if you ever publicly trade this site.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 10:46 PM, dividend123 wrote:

    i feel stupid . i wanted to wire money to my brokers to buy the stock once it was floated. i just did'nt because of the crowd in the bank at month's end.

    this a serious joke which could be costly. Indeed i thought to myself this was sudden by motley.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 10:55 PM, acidfish wrote:

    If you're gullible and trusting, investing in individual stocks is not for you. Nobody, not even TMF, can give you reliable advice.

    TMF's stock advice, including their newsletters, is a suggestion of what may be a good direction. It's to start you down a path, which will include your own due diligence.

    If you're looking for someone to tell you what to buy, to implicitly trust that it's accurate, and even worse, to be unwilling or displeased at doing further research, then this is for you: please grab a lighter, and burn your cash. It will be faster and less painful.

    If you wasted time, money, or shame, on realizing that you were duped, that you were wrong, etc., then this was an incredibly cheap lesson. TMF does not deserve absolute trust. If they ever tell you that, leave.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 11:08 PM, Jpburnsnyny wrote:

    To those of you upset by the joke, please don't leave this great community of investors. We are all learning from each other and there is a lot to gain from this forum.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 11:10 PM, fullmoonchaser wrote:

    I'm still thinking about what a reverse Ponzi scheme consists of....

    I got lots of chuckles from this.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 11:16 PM, ybckorea wrote:

    Some people are waaaaay too serious. Lighten up people. It was good fun and if you had read even the first few comments you would have known it was a very clever April Fools joke.

    I really liked you article today because I've always been leary when people like KKR want to go public with a business that they have "cleaned up." Too much greed in today's world taking advantage of sucker money.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 11:53 PM, burningdaylight2 wrote:

    You guys go me going good last year. This time I was paying attention to the date.

  • Report this Comment On April 02, 2012, at 11:57 PM, Pinpress wrote:

    I saw this on Facebook and thought-WOW! Then the inner voice "If it sounds too good to be true ..." came online, I noticed the date, and decided I'd better read the materials. They *always* encourage you to read the materials. The easy one first--the video. Well I was just about rolling on the floor from dynamainnovationalism!!! Come on, I can see glazing over just thinking about reading the S-1, but the video was such an amazing spoof that I even read the S-1. Great work!

  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2012, at 12:10 AM, lobodoug wrote:

    NO FAIR! It was April 2nd when the noticed arrived in my email box here is Asia! I thought the offer was serious, but I read the information and, well, it made no sense to me, so I decided I would pass: as they say, if it is too complicated for you to understand, then don't invest in it.

    So, it shows that all my years reading on the Fool gave me enough knowledge to not take the bait, even though I sniffed it.

  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2012, at 12:15 AM, Randseed2 wrote:

    It was lame and unproefssional, but it was pretty obvious, at least once you looked at the S-1. The problem with this "joke" is that it wasted the time of people who trust TMF. I sent off an email for the hell of it to see what was sent back before I read even the entire announcement. By the time I looked at the video that was made and opened the S-1, it was patently obvious.

    The problem is that it's unprofessional and not really funny. It's about like your doctor walking in and saying, "Well, your baby is beautiful, but has six toes on the left foot and only four on the right. Don't worry; this is fixable," then talking about it for 5 minutes, then screaming, "April Fools!"

    Unfortunately, things like this make people suspect the validity if anything else you say on the other 364 days of the year.

  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2012, at 12:25 AM, Brian0712 wrote:

    Motley Fool has been taking humor lessons from presidential aspirant Romney. I will cancel my membership in Options, which has been similarly unfunny.

  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2012, at 12:33 AM, wageslave12 wrote:

    I'm a total newbie and shamefacedly admit I fell for it. I saw the email at 10 minutes to midnight and fired off a request before even reading the fine print (it's TMF after all, it's gotta be legit, right?). I was just hoping I wasn't too late, haha!

    I'm not at all angry, though. It's obvious the Fool saw an opportunity to celebrate the day and teach a valuable lesson at the same time. Apparently from all the responses, it was one that was certainly needed!

  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2012, at 12:41 AM, Suchiibu wrote:

    If this spoof made you laugh, chuckle, giggle, snicker, smile, grin or just smirk, then you understand something that would be of great value to everyone else. Maybe that could be the basis for next year's joke? ("Biochemical researchers have isolated the genetic key to a sense of humor, and affiliated surgeons have perfected gene-splicing techniques...")

    I have sympathy for everyone who honestly feels they "lost" something by "failing" to score a seven-bagger, but isn't it about time they take a hard look at their own motives? Why invest in the first place if losing that money would cost you your family, your health, your personal safety, or more trifling things like food, clothing and shelter? A willingness to risk what's really crucial in life comes close to gamblers' addiction, doesn't it?

    I can well understand why these gamblers would lose their senses of humor at an April Fools' Day joke like this, but even they can benefit immeasureably from this experience: the desire to invest more than you can afford goes waaaaay beyond foolish.

  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2012, at 1:06 AM, Brian0712 wrote:

    Being ridiculed by a 'trusted advisor' is a novel experience for me. I take it that the 'Fool' caters to sophisticated investors, which I am not. I am here to be guided in selecting prudent investments. Perhaps I will someday be among the cognescenti and can join in the fun at some innocent clods gaffe. By the way, I didn't seek to invest 'sight unseen', I only asked for further info. (application).

  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2012, at 1:14 AM, schmekel wrote:

    Yes it was hilarious. I fell for it and as I read the prospectus and saw it was a prank and that my 17 broken piggy banks on the floor were for nothing and I choked back tears of rage and grief, I couldn't help but....laugh.

  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2012, at 1:22 AM, timddeb wrote:

    I'm surprised at the number of newbies (like me) who profess to have no knowledge of the stock market. Really! It's money your playing with. I have only just signed up but have been investing on and off since 1987. Yes that day, when I put into action the only bit of investing advice I had worked out, but was put so succinctly by the phrase, "buy when there is blood on the streets". But I did a lot of research before buying into any stocks. Since then I have been working on my strategy and have taken fool as an aide to my thinking. If you do not do your homework, or stay away from what you don't understand you will get burned often. If you do your homework and stay away from what you don't understand you will get burned less often. Like golf, the more you practice, the luckier you get. If you fell for the joke, then my guess is you haven't read thus far. I have a suscription to fool, Investors routemap and one or two other services. In my opinion if they do not pay, I cancel after a reasonable period of trial. IR is staying, the others are on trial. (If the advice they give only works when the bull is running hard then consider the dartboard principal as an alternative). If you were fooled I suggest you should think yourself as just having had the opportunity of a valuable lesson, and well worth the fee, assuming of course you take the lesson on board. Good luck. PS run paper trades on stocks you don't buy, there are good lessons there as well, I use shareprice.co.uk as you don't need a dealing account to have several portfolios that are real quick and easy to set up.

  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2012, at 2:40 AM, BBLBBD wrote:

    Ha ! I think this was great !

    At first, like most, I was a bit pissed that this was going public, as that seemed to set up an obvious conflict of interest. As a natural skeptic, I just figured I got screwed for a bit a money, will take my lesson learned and go on my way.

    However, as a learning tool this is great !! Sure it's bit shallow in the analysis, but it gave a great lesson in IPO investing. Face it, we are all a bit lazy and just doing the bare minimum taught in this April fool will benefit us all. A great lesson.

    I hope we get more learning lessons like this. Who is going to forget these rules ? You might be pissed off, but you will never foget this lesson and for that you should be thankful.

  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2012, at 3:50 AM, CatTrades wrote:

    I dunno 'bout this April 2, thang. Ugh, I wanted to know more. Yep, I figured PT Barnum died a couple decades ago; therefore, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is", does not apply anymore. Hmmm... I still want to see the Tomestone in the WSJ. It might make quite a Foolish advertisement. I was wondering why I had not heard an inkling of news for getting "Blue Skied" either. The process is very public. SEC requires a Tomestone at some point. I WANNA SEE IT! I wanna BBQ the Red Herring now too!! Where'd my beer go? Aw crud, it's in the tolliet.

    Amused, Yep. Enriched, not really. I thought maybe the Fools really are the Rule Breakers of rule breakers... I guess not. Too bad. What if? I'm not sure it is a bad idea. Primary offering to customers... Who does that ? A serious Rule Breaker? Just don'tmake a profit if you reconsider I dont want to see a PE of 20 million. lol.

    "When EF Hutton talks, people listen". Remember that? Where is EF Hutton now?

  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2012, at 4:07 AM, franklins123 wrote:

    Well yes I bought into the joke even after I read some of the s-1. Ha ha guess that makes me a real fool! I guess now I'll just stay with the newsletter and wait for the boys to let us all know when they really are going public because the real joke would be missing out on that opportunity! I'm glad to be a part of this ......great lessen fellas! (hey Dave can you throw some spare change my way.......you know like a couple mil?? Lol dosen't hurt to ask!!!). Later fellas.

  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2012, at 6:44 AM, TheVinMan wrote:

    Ok you almost had me!!!!! I read this on the morning of April 2nd and said wait "I'm too late" then I read the s-1... too funny... Great April Fools Joke!!

  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2012, at 6:55 AM, jsmag2 wrote:

    I find this type of April fools joke not so funny; I have over the years come to rely, & some what trust in Motley Fool for straight forward, non-bias, hopefully honest information, considering the seriousness that some of us have our life savings,retirements tied up in a hostile market, & need some help by a trust worthy advocate; I belived that your company was going Public, & that the small time investor was finally going to catch a break by a company that states its for the

    small time investor (that your not for the high flying, jet setting, money grabing ...........) sorry. somehow what you did does not sit well; you wish us too learn to do, do dilgence in learniung about a company before we invest in it, what they have too offer (not just money), I belived in your company because of many years that I have been with you (since 2004), I thought that if you did take your company Public it woudn't be a joke, its good to joke but not at someone else exspense.

  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2012, at 7:40 AM, Merton123 wrote:

    I am surprised how many people didn't do their due diligence when Motley Fools came out with their IPO announcement. Motley Fools does have three mutual funds that you can invest in that are managed by them. The most conservative of the three funds is FOOLX. Read the prospective and remember that a fool and his money are easily parted as Motley Fool april 1st lesson on IPO demonstrates.

  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2012, at 7:47 AM, xhousemover wrote:

    I will DELETE you fools at "The Motley Fool" because I don't have the time to waste on your foolishness. I have many more meanful things to do with my time. You guys just go on and "fool" the financial world with your mostly worthless analysis.

  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2012, at 8:52 AM, PRITCHDOG wrote:

    Folks need to "lighten up". The FOOL IPO "special" could only be sweetened with some APPLE @ $1.98 added. I look forward to April 1 each year. Fool on.

  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2012, at 9:19 AM, Ab351ba wrote:

    I am a brand new subscriber to Motley Fools and I was about to cancel my subscription ... Did not want a Board of Directors telling me where to invest. Phew ...

  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2012, at 9:39 AM, WestBend1 wrote:

    I remember my first April Fool's at the Fool. The Motley Fool was going to receive TARP funds. I was completely flabbergasted! I was thinking, "How could they possibly qualify?" Then I kept reading and realized it was a joke. And a good one.

    They were going to use the funds to buy an island, and they were going to trim the trees in such a way that from the air you could see the Fool logo. David was going to have a golden "million dollar" toilet. It was hilariious.

    That being said, a warning to new members might not be a bad idea. It wouldn't kill the humor. I was still a couple of paragraphs in before I realized what day it was and remembered how the Fool treated this holiday. Heck, I expected that you would go public someday.

  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2012, at 10:53 AM, wodeqian wrote:

    I look foward to the Fool's April Fools joke each year and this one was great. I'm suprised it took more than few minutes of research to realized this was a joke, it was over the top and a jumble of all the best bad practices we have seen through the years in bad IPOs.

    Thanks again and I love that Amuse is a core value!

  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2012, at 11:34 AM, bmillin wrote:

    Forgetting it was April 1, I took the IPO seriously. The only one I have ever read. I thought there was no way I was going to be a part of it given the details.

    Why did I believe the details? It was reminiscent of the email ads from Motley, long, redundant, hyper promoting, huge lettering etc, like other financial hucksters which cannot be believed.

    Upon waking to tales of April 1 jokes, I realized that the IPO was a joke. Am I the only one who believed it because of lack of trust in the integrity of MF?

  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2012, at 12:13 PM, leikhe wrote:

    I'm a member since 2007. This is the first Motley Fool 4/1 prank I remember to be played at the possible expense of the membership, and I think it was a misguided error to do it.

    BTW, I was a member in ebay when they IPO'd and benefited from their pre-offer of 2000 shares for $1.00 each. Ebay did that as an expression of appreciation to the people who made their success.

    Here we get cruel jokes instead.

  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2012, at 1:11 PM, stockfoolsrushin wrote:

    I thought the site had been hyjacked. Even these guys had to be smarter than that.

    p.s. How'd you like to buy stock in a newsletter that the authors had bailed out on???

  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2012, at 1:53 PM, paddlinfaster wrote:

    "Wall Street will be a cul-de-sac compared to our superhighway of financial services".

    Good. Now we can finally do some ZIPPY Trading.

    "Dynamainnovationalism" is trending as we speak. Well, TRY to speak.

    And just FYI - I am superbly proficient at "fending off falcon" attacks, so if you hire ME, that RISK is covered.

  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2012, at 2:44 PM, rgon1969 wrote:

    I got the joke. Suggestion: maybe you ought to delete newbies from your emailing list next year.

  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2012, at 3:02 PM, RioTango wrote:

    Pretty stupid and cruel prank if you ask me, how you guys signed off on it is beyond me. I pretty much saw thru it fairly fast but it did get my attention and did spend some time researching if it was real or not as I would have bought 500 shares. Thanks for wasting my time! I have followed you for 20 years, you obviously don't take your company model serious and I will never spend another cent on your investment advice, which isn't that great anyway. I am Unsubscribing from any of your email pushes, you folks really really blew it this time! Good luck, your going to need it!

  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2012, at 3:17 PM, unicorn7peg wrote:

    I found it very interesting that TMF, some time ago, gave IPO advice that went like this: don't run off the diving board unless you know if the pool has water. TMF also adviced to wait and see how the stock performed before purchasing. Case in point, Red Hat, if memory serves, ran up in the first day like it was a rocket, only to fall back to the reality of a hard landing. Red Hat is a good company, but I waited just long enough for reality to sink in.

  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2012, at 5:52 PM, bblaw wrote:

    I was in middle of high-level multi million dollar negotiations when I saw your email. Maybe many readers have lots of time on their hands. I don't. I quickly sent an email- just to be safe. Didn't know what the hell was going on, but figured rather be safe than sorry. You should fire whoever had this idea. In the long run you saved me a lot of time; since I will never read your materials again. Yes, you are indeed fools.

  • Report this Comment On April 03, 2012, at 6:10 PM, RioTango wrote:

    I guess that would mean the Gardner brothers need to fire each other! I agree with your post, never going to follow these idiots again!

  • Report this Comment On April 04, 2012, at 11:05 AM, karlisaac wrote:

    Thanks for the joke. As I am new to investing, it really thought me a lesson. Read S-1 form and understand the business first before you buy. The Fools always preached that! Gosh, I was Fool'd!

  • Report this Comment On April 04, 2012, at 2:59 PM, richbyondblief wrote:

    I wonder how this year's installment of the MF's April 1st prank ranks with past years. This year's installment was actually plausible on the surface. My own personal view was that if MF was going public I'd be interested in participating, so I read on. Because of that plausibility I'll bet you amused or fooled more people this year than in the past. I caught on to the joke after a few minutes of reading. Despite the fact that I am a long time MF reader I forgot about the tradition on April 1, you had me going for a while. Once I realized it was a joke, I remembered the annual tradition I came to a fuller appreciation of the humor, mixed with the disappointment of no MF IPO participation in my near future.

    I feel bad for those people that got angry, and for MF if they loose subscribers over this prank. I feel really bad for the responders/commentors that actually lost money because they were fooled. Although I also wonder if they are not "getting even" by playing a prank on MF in return. Afterall, it would be difficult to liquidate any securities on Sunday in an attempt to fund a transaction. I would hope no one actually lost money.

    So I guess my original inquiry about the ranking of this year's April 1 installment is a popularity and a quality question. Did you get more responses this year than other years or was this about an average year? As far as the quality of this year's prank I think this was probably your most clever, maybe ever because the plausibility on the surface was dead on. Did you get more negative comments/replies than previous years? Just curious. I don't recall as many negative comments/replies in previous years.

  • Report this Comment On April 04, 2012, at 3:28 PM, FoolTheRest wrote:

    Yeah, TMF! ANGRY!!!! (pounding the keyboard) How dare you be so unprofessional and waste my time and all the other things said above?

    I was up all night after leaving high-level multimillion dollar negotiations after spending all weekend in class or studying trying to free up money by selling stocks and wiring funds to my broker. Now because of commissions, taxes, and fees I am out a significant percentage of the only money I have, which my family and I need to live on. Never mind that I should not be investing or speculating with this money anyway.

    How dare the Fool play an April Fools Day prank like they do every year for our education and amusement? I expected this year to be different, for some reason.

    What a bunch of entitled, narcissistic cry babies and whiners. Fool On every year, TMF.

  • Report this Comment On April 04, 2012, at 10:10 PM, Vince1172 wrote:

    first of all, april fools jokes are rarely funny... attempting to trick people is akin to putting a "kick me" sticker on someone's back: at best juvenile; at worst cruel. furthermore, any joke u have "explain" is even less funny. moreover, what company would think it a good idea to "prank" customers? that's just ridiculous. and i would further argue that, if u thought this WAS funny, its YOUR sense of humor that is seriously dysfunctional. maybe you are the type that laugh when someone is tripped or ripped on... you know the type -- the bullying type. guess what? this was a lame prank.

  • Report this Comment On April 04, 2012, at 10:18 PM, Vince1172 wrote:

    fooltherest, your attempt at sarcasm was lame

  • Report this Comment On April 05, 2012, at 11:46 PM, madmaven wrote:

    `It was my first day as a motley fool, having signed up the night before with a fabulously good offer for their insights. Well, I was ripe. You had me going... told one or 2 friends, and waited for that immediate email with the forms. HAHA. when I didnt hear back i started to read more and some of the red flags became more outrageous. I watched your video and finally realized. I'd been fooled. I had played 3 "April Fools" jokes earlier in the day so I was subject to karma. Very good... rather odd.....I now see the point. I am the fool... a little bit like dodge ball in middle school...somewhat cruel ...... but still funny......."the rueful smile"

    Someone has way too much time on their hands!.

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2012, at 1:30 AM, lellis wrote:

    Having been a proud member of MF since 1998, I look eagerly forward to the annual April Fools event. This year has to be one of the best so far, only slightly surpassed comically by some of the ensuing pitiful comments!

    One of the undeniable strengths of the Fool is the quality of the community it fosters. If those commenters who have threatened to withdraw their subscriptions will only promise to do so, I look forward to a much improved MF user experience almost immediately.

    Culling the obligate mouth breathers is a measurable "value add" whose only downside is the lost opportunity to enjoy

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2012, at 1:34 AM, lellis wrote:

    ...the ever-present ridiculous posted comment.

    Looking forward being Educated, Amused, and Enriched for another 14 years,

    Fool on!

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2012, at 12:57 PM, GolfKen7 wrote:

    Your 'going public' IPO joke was pretty funny, if it hadn't been for the fact that I sold some of my loosing stocks, thinking I could cover those losses through the indicated profits of this IPO. I'm guessing that I can still recover those losses over time, but I would rather have done it via a plan VS 'a joke'. I guess I had higher expectations for a company that is supposed to be educating the public on good investment principles. Thanks for the 'joke'...and this opportunity to say...april fools back at ya. (:

  • Report this Comment On April 06, 2012, at 10:32 PM, RCREZ754 wrote:

    Fool me once shame on me , fool me twice than shame on you is the saying and with that I will not be renewing my Stock Advisor after this year runs out Fools, hope you had a nice laugh on all your followers, once a fool no more

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2012, at 2:32 AM, Libor8erBlake700 wrote:

    John Heywood (AD 1497-579). Konsidering his unkle-in-law (Thomas More) was exekuted by Henry 8, Heywood, a devout katholik, none the less led a charmed life, surviving most of the relijious reversals of 4 Tudor Terror-reigns.

    Building on Kong-Fushous' (Master Kong in English, & BC 550-478) suksess with the fortune-kooky, Heywood koined some of his own life-rules, including:-

    "THERE'S NO FOOLE (kompared) TO THE OLDE FOOLE"

    Meaning in our kontext even @ 20, or younger if we're properly edukated not brainwashed by sozializm, we're OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW BETTER.

    GHOST-BUSTERS. While Mutly's IPO was meant as a prank, it was also valuable training lesson prompting, inter alia, the question,

    "WHOM YOU GONNA BELIEVE?" Your parents? teachers? tax-subsidized leftwing media (BBC)? polise? government? union-kartels? or you gonna....

    THINK FOR YOURSELF & TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR LIFE.

    On a sane planet there'd be NO TAXATION - all publik subskription would be VOLUNTARY, even for standing army. Yet 2/3rds of people think inkome etc are RESPONSIBILITY of God & Govern-mental Gun-toting tax-Gangsters of the Nanny State.

    Florence Nightingale (1820-910) may've believed in God, but also BELIEVED IN HERSELF. Sure, she had private wealth but instead of insulting & taxing the wealth-makers like pampered heiresses & royalty do, in 1854 she skooted off to Skutari in Konan-kountry where soldiers were dying of dysentery amid the arroganse of army staffs & doktors. While authoritive support from England was long unforthkoming, she was powerless to dekrease the death rate other than slow its inkrease, but 10 years nursing training equipped her to relieve suffering & she purchased herself food & supplies to improve konditions in the interim.

    STARK KONTRAST is WHINJING Ruth Sunderland in English Daily Mail (2012 April 6 paje 8) whining re "Moral Repugnanse" & "Sordidity" of tax-avoidanse by APPLE; AMAZON paying Luxembourg 3% instead of English 20% VA-Tax; FASEBOOK paying Irish 12½% rather than English 25% Korporate Tax & similarly GOOGOL paying <0¼% English Korporate Tax.

    TAX is Amoral, Repugnant & Sordid. NOT its avoidanse!!! What rate would OVERPAID, UNDERBRAINED TAX-EVERYONE-TO-DEATH Sunderland deem ok? Rapashous Roy Jenkins' HUNDRED & TWENTY-NINE% during England's Nazionalized Sozialist '70s????

    ABUSE OF LANGUAJE, as evinsed by Milton Friedman. Greek rioters & English strikers whinjed for dekades about "KUTS". Tax-viktims should protest re REAL KUTS to both earnings & savings!!!!!

    PROSPEKTI normally komprise reams of paper in incomprehensible legaleze. The MUTLY MODEL IPO had a pikture! Worth a thousand words!!

    Blessings from Master Kong, Master Po & Student Karradine @ Tibetan Monastry.

  • Report this Comment On April 07, 2012, at 5:56 AM, carsondyle wrote:

    Anyone that read the information should have known that this was not real, this deal had so many typical red flags, insiders selling there entire stake, guaranty of big gains, etc. If you were going to invest in this you should be very careful in the future.

  • Report this Comment On April 08, 2012, at 1:39 PM, hedgehopper62 wrote:

    Stupid and a waste of my time. tks hedge

  • Report this Comment On April 08, 2012, at 2:04 PM, franklins123 wrote:

    Radiocaroline309 it appears that you are insane!

  • Report this Comment On April 09, 2012, at 8:20 AM, Libor8erBlake700 wrote:

    BBC. While rarely rushing to praize a radio-station both siezed by govern-mental fiat from its 7 orijinal owners (Markoni et al) & tax-subsidized from 1926, we noted this remark from last night's poetry & muzik programmer:-

    "Wisest kourse is to perhaps DOUBT ALL, BELIEVE NOTHING. And never, never take things too seriously".

    Her 2nd sentense is danjerously near to believing Voltaire's Dr PANG-LOSS, Monty Python's SPANISH INQUIZITION & LIFE OF BRIAN; but READ IN KONTEXT is sound motto.

    KOMMONSENSE. Not testing what you're told, but believing an ill-taught teacher or each new rabid pedagog (no, not the Motley krew!), gave us 2000 years of un-christian popes, kings & prophets like Stalin, whoze thugs murdered 10x more people even than Hitler's. Watch the film ΑΓΟΡΑ (AGORA (2009)): it's historik konjekture but April Fools & Fables still hold valuable lessons.

    RENDER UNTO KAESAR... said Jesus reportedly, tho' not in English, which wasn't invented yet. But he kould've said, WORK IT OUT YOURSELF, like HE had to. How much government will you tolerate b4 it's too late? WE'RE WARNED by Aldous Huxley (BRAVE NEW WORLD (1931)), Jeorje Orwell (1984 (1948)), Ray Bradbury (FAHRENHEIT 452 (1953)), Patrikk MkGoohan (PRIZONER (1967)), Terry Nation (BLAKE'S 7 (1978)) & thousands other novels & plays yet we still had kommie apolojists like Peter Useless-Knob preaching Globular Government. Thank heaven for....

    GLOBAL FIRMS, like AMAZIN, APPLE, FASEBOOK, GOOGOL etc, who transcend (so far but for how long?) kompeting tax-rejimes &....

    GLOBAL MARKETS, like the Eurodollar, an EX-PATRIATE kurrensy sparked off by IRONIKLY - a KOMMIE government depoziting dollars OFF-SHORE!!

    SANDBAGGER, were he a true karpetbagger, would've appreciated that!!

    Master Kong, Master Po & David Karwardine, Shaolin Temple, Yellowbrikk Rd, Tibet.

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