Post of the Day
July 20, 1998

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Subject: Re: A thought...
Author: zaxbowow

"If the TMF boards and Amazon.com have this cozy a relationship, doesn't it take away a bit from the Fool's objectivity re: AMZN?"

TMF has never claimed to be objective. They have posted sufficient disclaimers with regard their portfolios that it seems they could make any sort of deals with the companies they promote as worthy of their four portfolio's involvements in, and not be liable for investor's moves based upon those publications.

I'm not into conspiracy theory myself, so I won't try to guess if TMF is involved in the Amazon incentive hyperlink referral program. Whether the FoolPort is money it's handler has personal interest in or if he only makes picks for it and the writes on the performance of it. After reading very positive evaluations of Iomega, howevever, following about the most negative earnings report a company might release, even the most avid fan of TMF gotta have their suspicions elevated.

  "TMF posts a great deal of useful information, articles, often with very solid analysis, and the like. TMF does clearly state you should think for yourself and make your own investment decisions."

Your observation here about this direct link to Amazon built into their server software, under the profiling feature, was about the first thing I noticed after enrolling as a member on the boards here (also the day before I shorted the hell out of AMZN). Be smart and don't believe that everything you read here is objective, even if from the sponsoring board itself.

TMF posts a great deal of useful information, articles, often with very solid analysis, and the like. TMF does clearly state you should think for yourself and make your own investment decisions.

Anyhow, the most knowledge is certainly to be gained from the community of opinion and independant factfinders on the boards themselves. Thats gotta be the truly the great thing about the internet, IMHO. Its capacity to amplify, speed up and concentrate research. Thats why it does place us on the dawn of a new age... replete with the snake oil saleman of every frontier.

Any other opinions?


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Subject: Re: A thought...
Author: CouchPoDATO

The pig slaughter guy said:

"I'm not into conspiracy theory myself, so I won't try to guess if TMF is involved in the Amazon incentive hyperlink referral program."

Let's put the conspiracy theory to rest.

1. The Motley Fool is a real business, designed to make a profit for its shareholders.

2. By my last reading, the Motley Fool has about 90-100 employess (maybe even more now).

3. The amazing gain on AMZN for TMF has been $58,407, which is barely enough to pay the salary of 2 employees. If you think the online portfolios are their main source of income you're out there. As a matter of fact, the returns in their online portfolios are never withdrawn, but reinvested. If you question this, you're calling them outright liars about the most basic thing they do (pretty strong accusations to just toss around with no facts, and probably the basis for a legal suit against you!).

4. As a business designed to make a profit, is there anything wrong with participating in an associates program to earn extra revenue? Of course not, it would stupid if they didn't.

5. As a shareholder, wouldn't you be a customer of your holdings? Wouldn't you refer your friends or business associates to them? Of course you would, because only an idiot would steer people to the competition of your holdings. By the way, have you noticed that the BoringPort owns Borders? Could you imagine the lunacy of these people if they referred B&N the business from their site?

"The Motley Fool does everything they can (beyond reaching through your computer screen and slapping you around) to convince you to do your own homework. The FoolPort, or any of their other portfolios, are not investment advice (this is not a stock picking newsletter), but an educational tool."  

6. Do you really think that this internet start-up called the Motley Fool, or any of its 30-something owners really have enough spare cash to make this "supposed stock manipulation" worth their while? Anyone with a clue about evaluating an internet content company like TMF can easily estimate their revenues (advertising, radio, books, etc.) and their expenses (payroll, office, computers, web site, etc.). Do this and you'll understand that TMF is just another company struggling to succeed in this new medium.

7. The Motley Fool does everything they can (beyond reaching through your computer screen and slapping you around) to convince you to do your own homework. The FoolPort, or any of their other portfolios, are not investment advice (this is not a stock picking newsletter), but an educational tool.

These accusations are ridiculous, irrelevent to AMZN, and a waste of my time to read. Continue making them if you want, but those who do immediately lose credibility in my eyes (and I would guess a lot of other readers here feel the same way). By making ludicrous comments, you demonstrate your inability to properly evaluate a business.

The above discussion is fact-based. These facts are available to anyone who, in addition to reading the Motley Fool, reads articles that are written about them and the industry that they operate in.

Fed up with mindless babble,

CouchPoDATO

P.S. If people on SI want to engage in these empty accusations, let them, but please don't clutter this board any more than it already is.


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