The Motley Fool has hit double digits. That's right, it was the summer of 1993 when a newsletter called The Motley Fool first rolled out of the printer. It would ultimately morph into The Motley Fool you know today. (Read more about our history -- and how we trace our roots to pudding.)
As one who has labored in Fooldom for some 75% of that time, I've seen a lot over the years. I thought I'd try to come up with a Top Ten list of Motley Fool milestones and achievements. I'll state at the outset that I'm sure I'm forgetting some wonderful events -- and I invite you to share your memories and additions to my list on our free anniversary discussion board.
Top 10 milestones and achievements
- Back in 1996, the Fool was a question on Jeopardy!
- It was also in 1996 that Fool co-founders David and Tom Gardner published their first book, The Motley Fool Investment Guide, which became a bestseller, as did some of the many books that followed, penned by the brothers and Fool staffers such as yours truly. (Peruse our stack of Fool books! They address topics such as teens, retirement, personal finance, investing strategies, couples, direct investment plans ("Drips"), college, etc.)
- Long before Wall Street's recent wave of corporate scandals crested, we were, with your help, urging the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to pass Regulation FD (Fair Disclosure). It did pass, with then-chairman Arthur Levitt giving us Fools much credit.
- As you probably know, we often try to fool the world on the holiday that we claim as our own: April Fool's Day. In my opinion, our best gag was in 1999, when we announced that we were bringing public a remarkable company called eMeringue, which specialized in selling meringue pie tops (just the meringue, not the pies) online. It featured many pages of rib-tickling details and photos, including an extensive company website at www.emeringue.com, and at least one newspaper fell for the joke, listing eMeringue as a recommended food purveyor. (Scroll down to the bottom of this page for links to other gags of ours.)
- Over the past few years, we've helped pioneer online seminars, with great success. Tens of thousands of people have taken our seminars and How-To Guides, giving them rave reviews.
- We've helped pioneer online discussion boards since the mid-1990s. Our Fool Community of boards sports thousands of boards and thousands of Fools conversing on them.
- In 1997, we launched a nationally syndicated newspaper feature, which is now carried by some 200 papers in nearly every state, reaching some 20 million readers. Here's a sample of its content -- ask your local paper's business editor to consider picking it up, if you'd like.
- A year later, in 1998, The Motley Fool Radio Show debuted, broadcast first on commercial airwaves and now hosted by NPR.
- In 2001, The Motley Fool Money-Making Life-Changing Special was broadcast on public television stations across the nation.
- And finally, just as we've offered up a gag each year, we've also been raising money annually for some amazing non-profit organizations that epitomize "Foolanthropy." So far, we've raised more than $2 million for charity -- that's done an awful lot of good in the world. (Read about five fascinating organizations -- and consider sending them a little something, as we've done -- it's never too late, or early.)
Some more Fool positives
Here are a few more notable Foolish highlights:
- We're international! We've been running Fool U.K. in Britain for many years now.
- We've been promoting index funds for years -- since long before it became fashionable to do so.
- We've long been advocates for the small individual investor, too.
- Having begun as a print newsletter, we've now come full circle, as we offer a bunch of printed stock research newsletters now.
- We've been able to secure some good deals for our loyal readers (which admittedly benefit us, too -- but we did work hard to design win-win products): an affordable personalized financial planning service, a suite of credit cards with attractive terms, discounts on credit reports, and special interest rates on short-term savings such as CDs.
Tomorrow, I'll be back with my Top 10 Fool Community moments. In the meantime, here are 10 Ways to Make More Money Now.
At Selena Maranjian 's potluck parties, guests have had to have pizza delivered. For more about Selena, view her bio and her profile. You might also be interested in these books she has written or co-written: The Motley Fool Money Guide and The Motley Fool Investment Guide for Teens . The Motley Fool is Fools writing for Fools.