What are the Rising Star Portfolios?
The Motley Fool is providing some of its most promising stock analysts with cold, hard cash to manage on the Fool's behalf. We'd like you to follow along and benefit from these real-money, real-time free stock picks.

Why is The Motley Fool doing this?
For the past 17 years, the Fool has been identifying and developing great investors like Bill Mann, Jeff Fischer, and Andy Cross, just to name a few. Currently, we have a particularly impressive crop of up-and-coming investors, and we thought it would be fun to provide them with a forum to share their very best investing ideas with our readers on Fool.com.

These "rising stars" already provide market-thumping investing ideas and analytical support to our premium services and Fool.com. Now, they'll also be managing their own portfolios for the whole world to see. We believe that our investing talent matches up very favorably with what Wall Street has to offer. But rather than boast about it, we intend to show you. Ultimately, our primary aim is to make this new feature an enjoyable and rewarding experience for our readers.

Are Rising Star picks official recommendations from our premium services?
No. The Rising Star Portfolios are a free feature on our online site, Fool.com.

How are Rising Star picks different from recommendations from our premium services?
Each of our premium services has a dedicated investment team that provides thorough and extensive research and coverage on new and existing stock ideas. And every one of our services is led by a seasoned investor with many years of market-beating performance under his belt.

Our Rising Star Portfolios, on the other hand, are run by our most promising analysts, who also work on our premium services and Fool.com. So our rising stars are managing their real-money portfolios, in addition to their day jobs as newsletter analysts and online writers and editors. Like Michael Jordan, who famously had a love-of-the-game clause in his contract that allowed him to play basketball wherever and whenever he wanted, our analysts have always wanted to be able to offer up their own stock ideas directly to our readers. We're confident that this passion for investing will lead to great results for everyone who follows along.

What if a Rising Star pick contradicts the thesis from a premium service recommendation?
The Motley Fool has always been dedicated to promoting open, honest, and civil debate, and this feature is no different. Indeed, we suspect there will be quite a lot of differing opinions that emerge from our rising stars. We will celebrate that. And profit from it!

Will the portfolios trade on a regular schedule?
Each analyst is required to make at least one investing recommendation per month. Outside of that broad guideline, there will be no regular schedule for the Rising Star Portfolios as a whole. The fun will be watching how each analyst constructs and manages his or her portfolio. We wanted our rising stars to have maximum flexibility, so that they can -- in Seth Godin's words -- "create, connect, and surprise."

Will you track the returns of these stocks?
Yes. Returns will be tracked on the Rising Star Portfolios main page, and each analyst's individual page will also track the performance of their picks.

Does the analyst recommending a stock have a position in it?
We will fully disclose the position of each contributor in a disclosure section at the bottom of each article. We will also track whether The Motley Fool has a position in the stock.

Where do I get started?
Check out our Rising Star Portfolios main page. Each analyst has a short bio and brief description of their investment strategy. Find a couple of analysts who interest you and start following along. Who knows? You may stumble across the next Peter Lynch!

Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.