If you've been on Fool.com in the past couple of weeks, you might have read a thing or two about pending changes on our website. Well, some of those changes become reality this week.
Don't worry. You'll still find the most irreverent money commentary on the Web, our award-winning discussion boards, simple solutions to your money challenges, and our famous jester logo. But believe it or not, we actually do try to improve things around here from time to time.
So, we hope this week's changes offer you better, easier-to-find content and help you answer questions with greater ease. Here's a quick rundown of what you can expect:
Farewell to Real-Money Portfolios
You've probably already heard this, but in case you missed it, we formally eliminated our real-money portfolios last week. You can find more details about that decision here and here and here.
New Motley Fool Commentary
Instead of the old Portfolio Reports geared around the Rule Maker, Rule Breaker, Drip, and Foolish 8 strategies, our writers now have their very own columns. Those strategies will still inform our work here, but our writers can now offer more free-ranging opinions on the stocks and money issues that interest them most -- and hopefully you, too.
We're finally unleashing our writers -- for better or for worse. The first evidence of that is at the top left corner of the page you're reading right now. You can see what we look like. Well, almost. We've asked our creative team to airbrush our beauty flaws. The next time you read an article by Bill Mann (TMF Otter) that really annoys you, at least you can pity him for having to go through life with a face like that. (We kid because we care, Bill.)
The truth is, we do agree on many core Foolish principles here. If you've read our 13 Steps to Investing Foolishly, you know all about that. But we have distinctive -- sometimes opposing -- voices, too. We want you to hear them and get better acquainted with each writer.
Have you ever wanted to find everything your favorite Fool has written in a nice, tidy archive, but ended up scratching your head, befuddled? That's because we've never had writer archives -- until now. They begin from Jan. 1, 2003 and will go on into infinity. All you have to do is click on a name in the "Browse Stories By Author" dropdown box on our home page and -- voilà! -- you're whisked away to a special page that includes a short writer bio, self-selected favorite stories, most recent articles, and a link to the rest of that writer's archive.
Try it on one of our fresh faces, LouAnn Lofton. Did you know Lou wrote more than 30 stories for Fool.com last month? Neither did I. But talk about accountability -- as we do all the time. You can come back months from now and see just how wrong -- or right -- her opinions were.
The New Motley Fool Take
Once upon a time, we published only a monstrous Motley Fool Take at the end of every market day to keep you abreast of all the news that's important to you. We still do, but you no longer have to wait till 4:00 p.m. to read about what we think really happened in the market. Our shorter commentary pieces, our Takes, will be punched out all day long. And now, you can easily find them on our home page in a time-stamped, bulleted list under the Today's Fool Take heading. Come back often. You don't want to miss anything.
Beneath Today's Fool Take, you'll find our Community Chest area. It's no secret: The Fool Community is the best, most informed, most thoughtful community on the Web. Each day, we highlight some of the most provocative conversations on our discussion boards. From Living Below Your Means and Credit Card Debt to Tax Strategies and debates on almost any stock under the sun, you'll find it here. We also hope you'll be our guest in the Fool Community -- after all, we'd like to hear your voice, too.
Get It Done on Fool.com
We don't just publish stock market commentary here, either. Our personal finance content is second to none, but we even take that a step further. With just a few clicks, you're on your way to achieving most of your money goals. See the orange box at the top of the right-hand column on our home page? Whenever you need to handle a money issue in your life -- whether it's comparing online brokers, refinancing your mortgage, or finding a financial advisor -- it's there for you. Not only will you get the straight scoop on getting out of debt or making the most of your short-term savings, but, with the help of our partners, you can get a great rate, a good deal, and great service. Right here on Fool.com.
Rest assured, these won't be the only improvements we make this year. In fact, we're here to serve you. If you ever have suggestions, let us know on our Improve the Fool discussion board.
Now, get out there and enjoy the Fool!
-- Bob Bobala (TMF Bobala)
Bob Bobala is the managing editor of The Motley Fool, where investors write for investors.