The Feste thing caught me by surprise yesterday on an otherwise pretty busy day, so please accept my apologies for not posting sooner. Become a Complete Fool
I think the Feste award is an honor, but I'm not really sure yet. It doesn't seem to come with any strings attached or anchors dragging or whatever.
But the one thing for sure is that apparently more people voted (or, some people voted more often) for me than the other very worthwhile candidates. I really don't understand it but that's how it turned out, I guess. There are many things I could say about this but maybe I'll just stop there and be appreciative for all the people who voted, for all the candidates. I personally think at least a few of the others that I'm familiar with were clearly more deserving based on longer and broader histories of contribution to the Fool's community, but given my belief in the large role of randomness in life, I'm not going to look for any deeper explanations :-).
As I said in my little personal writeup on the Feste page, I really only started looking at investing seriously about 4 years ago, and the first year or two were kind of blind poking around, so to some extent I'm still a neophyte at this. But I turned 100% of my attention to it and my posts here and the charts, screens, etc., are all really just a record of my own personal path in trying to learn how to invest successfully. There have been many twists and turns on that path, and I am now following a strategy that a year ago I would have thought was crazy. A year from now I'll probably say the same thing. Everything I'm doing and providing for others to use comes directly from what I have personally found most useful.
The feedback from others has been TREMENDOUS over time and has greatly influenced my own directions. While some will say that once you find a good investing strategy, you should keep it secret, my own experience is that is just completely wrong. My personal investing success is far, far better than if I had developed my strategies in secret. I can totally guarantee that. The Motley Fool community is, in my opinion, absolutely second to none in providing such a lively community of good feedback and ideas, and I am a huge fan of the company for that reason.
So I intend to just keep doing what I've been doing -- reading lots of posts, articles, books, etc.; listening to feedback, thinking about how to integrate that into my strategies, and reporting on the results. So far that has produced a wonderfully successful feedback loop for me personally, and while 2 or 3 years ago I didn't know if I could continue doing this full time (this is my only real "job" and it has to achieve decent returns or my wife will send me back to "real work" :-), it is looking like it's a definite "yes" from here on. From reading some of the posts in the last day, it looks like others have been able to get good results as well, and that is fantastic.
Speaking of the posts in the last day, I am overwhelmed by your kind thoughts, and it's going to be impossible to thank everyone individually. But please remember what I am trying to say here also -- that many, many other board contributors can take a lot of credit for this -- that all of our ideas are somehow munged together and formed into the strategies we are pursuing. My contribution has been maybe to pick some of those that "click" with me, develop them a bit more, and push them back out to the community they came from. Along the way we have uncovered some classic ideas, some novel ideas, learned some pleasant and some painful lessons, but overall I hope we have all gotten better and more confident at investing.
Thanks again, to everyone who not only voted, but especially who helped in true community spirit to develop a few good investing strategies along the way! It has been a really great couple of years, and I'm looking forward to many more.
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The Feste thing caught me by surprise yesterday on an otherwise pretty busy day, so please accept my apologies for not posting sooner.