This Is a Teaching Portfolio
Please read this
Models, Not Recommendations
We don't offer our portfolios as models for you to copy. They're funded with our real money so that we can show you how some real investors -- relatively ordinary people like yourselves -- can build and manage investment portfolios. They're meant to be teaching portfolios. If the market tanks, come see what our portfolio keepers think about it. If a stock surges and swells to represent 50% of one of our portfolios, watch what we do about it.
Our Right to be Wrong
Know that not everything we do is the right thing to do. We don't know everything. We're not seers and we're not perfect. We've made regrettable investment decisions in the past and will continue to do so. We believe that our successes will more than make up for our failures (and so far that seems definitely to be the case) -- but we might be wrong in that, too. Observe our mistakes, though, and learn from them.
A Motley Array of Strategies
We run more than half a dozen real-money portfolios. Each has a different approach. Some are more risky than others. Our Rule Breaker approach is the most aggressive one, taking on the most risk. It's not for everyone and definitely not for beginners.
Think for Thyself
Know that you don't have to swallow any of our approaches hook, line and sinker. You can read about them, think about them, discuss them, and disagree with them. You may have an approach that works better for you.
Mix 'n Match
If you find yourself drawn to some of our approaches, consider mixing and matching them. Having a portfolio that's just full of Rule Breakers is exposing yourself to a lot of risk. Consider carrying a mix in your portfolio of different kinds of investments. Perhaps make it 75% Rule Maker and 25% Rule Breaker, or 50% Rule Maker and 50% your own system. Invest in whatever way makes sense to you.
A Motley Array of Opinions
We employ many writers and each is permitted to think for himself or herself. We agree on many issues and on the merits of certain companies, but we also occasionally disagree. We even sometimes disagree on the attractiveness of companies in our portfolios. Don't be surprised to see one Fool write glowingly about one company and another write pessimistically about it. Also, know that some Fool writers are better at financial analysis than others. We're all still learning, just as you are, and just as every good investor is.
You Can Do Better Than We Do
Know that the companies in our portfolios are not (by a long shot) the only worthy investments out there. They're simply the ones the portfolio manager(s) studied and came to know well enough to invest in. You may well outperform us by choosing other companies in which to invest.
Buy What You Understand
Know that you should never invest in anything until you understand what you're doing and are comfortable with it. Never invest just based on some "expert" advice. Don't copy others, as they may not turn out to be as smart as you thought they were. (Even smarts isn't enough -- some Nobel Prize winners have lost bundles.) Take the time to read a lot, think a lot, discuss a lot, and perhaps even practice a lot. Don't rush. Even taking a year or two to get up to speed can be worthwhile.
We're Real People, Too
Our portfolio managers are busy people, just as you're probably a busy person. They don't tend to their investments every day or even every week. If some big development occurs with one of their holdings, they may not have a chance to read up on it for a while.
Your Situation is Different than Ours
If you're tempted to invest in the companies we bought for our portfolios, keep in mind that we got into various stocks at prices different from the current price. So although we may be holding Company B, it might be overvalued in your opinion at its current price, but may still be worth hanging on to for us. If we bought at a much lower price, then the risk proposition is different for us than for someone buying in today. Which is not to say that you should or shouldn't buy what we own. Just that everyone needs to do their own research and thinking and deciding.
Copy our buys and sells at your own risk. We're not recommending that anyone copy us. We believe that all investors should make their own decisions. We're here to teach by example, through our successes and mistakes. We're here to raise questions, offer some opinions, and generate a lot of thought.