Lee McClennahan has an extensive background in finance. After working at Merrill Lynch, fresh out of college and newly married, Lee established his own research firm in 1970 where he specialized in offering small cap research to more than 300 institutions. In 1974, he sold his company to a large regional firm. During the next 30 years, he worked in real estate finance, and American Funds and The Capital Group. Lee's vast experience in research and service meant that, when he sent comments to The Motley Fool, it excited us. Just last month, he wrote:

Thank you for taking the time to write such a helpful response and for providing good service to your clients. 

I’ve been a stock market investor for over 50 years, owned my own research/investment banking company and was head of marketing for The American Funds (part of The Capital Group) in LA so I have worked with some of the nation’s leading analysts and portfolio managers. The point is, that I know good research when I see it -- and you guys do great work. I also appreciate the book you recommended which I will order shortly.

We love to hear from our members, and Lee's comments point to the work that we hope all our members appreciate. The research that we do here is an integral and core aspect of our work. When speaking at a Fool One member event in Minneapolis, Tom Gardner explained some of what our Foolish work includes: helping you reach your financial goals. We do that, in part, through putting together top-shelf research from a variety of perspectives. Lee found The Motley Fool within the past year and our research drew him in:

I also make it a point to follow the best investment professionals in the industry and that’s how I discovered the excellence of The Motley Fool -- from an article in the WSJ on August 3 of last year. The more I studied the Motley Fool’s process and their recommendations, the more attractive they became and the more I realized that they are largely in sync with the way I want to manage my portfolio. I have told my friends that The Motley Fool is like investing with Warren Buffett but with a tech bent (which I like). 

Lee is one member of our Fool family, but he's an important member -- as are all of our members. His professional experiences offer us the Foolish chance to learn continually through emails, message boards, and more. He also helped us learn more about what we're doing right. Lee recently sent us a list of things he likes about The Fool: 

  1. Analysts seem to have a maturity beyond their years, i.e., analyze companies like investment professionals with many years of experience
  2. Long term orientation
  3. Patience
  4. Ability to focus on what’s really important in a business
  5. Not overly influenced by Wall St analysts (very important)
  6. Constantly striving to be better -- I’ve enjoyed their book recommendations and video interviews immensely 
  7. Emphasis on strong management, financials, and overall company valuation
  8. Willing to pay up for a sustainable growth company
  9. Good at sifting through the noise to address the key issues
  10. Addresses the potential negatives in a factual way
  11. Recommendations are brief, easy to read, and address the key points
  12. Communications on technical issues for non techies is excellent
  13. Research gives me confidence to sit still in rough markets and to add to positions on declines (this is a big deal)
  14. Helps satisfy my entrepreneur itch 
  15. I use MF as my primary starting point for the majority of my new purchases

As Tom Gardner pointed out, we want to help our members succeed. Through our research, diverse analysts, and our members, we can get one step closer -- together.