O how they cling and wrangle, some who claim
For preacher and monk the honored name!
For, quarreling, each to his view they cling.
Such folk see only one side of a thing.
-- Jainism and Buddhism. Udana 68-69: Parable of the Blind Men and the Elephant
Remember the tale of the group of blind men who feel different parts of an elephant and draw different conclusions? The one who feels the tail thinks the elephant is like a brush. The one who feels the body thinks it's like an old minivan. The one who feels the ear thinks the elephant is like a decorative throw rug. You get the idea. It occurs to me that many folks familiar with The Motley Fool may be in a similar situation. If you spend most of your time on our discussion boards, you may forget (or never know) that we have a lot of personal finance resources. If you just listen to our radio show, you may not realize that we have daily articles on investing and stories in the news.
Here's a modest solution to that problem. I've assembled below links to many nooks and crannies of Fooldom, to try and reflect what a many-sided dodecahedron the Fool is. I hereby dare you to not stumble upon something surprising or interesting or useful. In fact, I invite you to bookmark this page right now and revisit it, because there's a lot to refer to here. Without further ado:
Interested in learning how to evaluate companies? Want to be a savvier investor? Check these articles out:
- How to Evaluate Management
- Using ROA and ROE
- The Importance of Enterprise Value
- Four Great Investing Equations
- 10 Things to Look for in an Annual Report
- An Investor's Guide to Conference Calls
- Calculating Cash Flow Ratios
- Analyzing Industries
- The P/E Is Not a Magic Number (part 1 and part 2)
- Rule Maker Metrics (part 1 and part 2)
- The Uselessness of the Price-to-Sales Ratio
- Four Ways Investors Are Tricked
- What Is Your Company Hiding?
- Where Fools Do Their Research
Our Personal Finance area can help you save money in many different parts of your life:
- Are you up to your eyeballs in debt?
- Got tax questions?
- Thinking about buying or selling a home?
- Buying a car?
- Refinancing your mortgage?
- Need to learn anything about insurance?
- Worried about paying for college?
- Want to bank smarter and save money?
- Confused about your 401(k)?
- Planning for or living in retirement?
Did you know that as a registered member of Fooldom (registration is free), you can take advantage of many freebies and special discounts? These include or have included: free trial subscriptions to The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and Investor's Business Daily; stock scanning software, and special interest rates on savings, among other things.
Radio, Newspaper, and Books
If you want to learn more about investing but get cranky sitting at a computer monitor, then check out our Motley Fool Radio Show. After several successful years on commercial radio, it's just launched on National Public Radio. If your local station isn't carrying it, ask for it -- or listen to it online. We've also got a syndicated weekly newspaper feature that's been picked up by more than 200 papers around the country. If your local paper doesn't carry it, give the business section editor a jingle and ask for it, if you're so inclined.
When it comes to books, we've got lots of our own books, and we also sell many other folks' money-related books, in FoolMart. Scroll down a bit on our Specials page and you'll see some links to special lists we've prepared, of books recommended by Fool staffers -- including some fiction, even.
Discussion Boards -- The Fool Community
One of the things the Fool does best is provide a home for thousands of conversations on thousands of topics. We've recently begun charging for full access to our discussion board community, but you can check it out via a 30-day free trial.
We have a dedicated discussion board for almost any stock you can think of, and boards for industries and investment approaches and personal finance topics. Here's a non-comprehensive list of a hundred or so interesting boards in Fooldom -- such as:
Astronomy; Photography; African-American Fools; General Aviation; Humor and Urban Legends; Card & Board Games; Death and Grieving; Great Movies; Eclectic Library; Single Fools; Foolish Golf Tips; Television Banter; Quitting Smoking; Fools Fighting Fat; Poems and Quotes; Surviving Cancer; Christian Fools; Islam; Atheist Fools; Major League Baseball; Genealogy; Haiku; Beer; Help with This STUPID Computer!; Military Fools; NASCAR; Pet Lovers; Retired Fools; Teachers; College Fools; Newlywed Fools; Divorce; Gardening; Health and Nutrition; LASIK Eye Surgery; Music & Musicians; Parents and Expecting Parents; Adoption; Single Parents; Homeschooling; Political Asylum; Aspiring Writers; Recipes/Cooking; Vegetarian and Vegan Fools; The Wine Cellar; Wireless World; Gay, Out, Loud, Proud; The Juggler's Club; Living Below Your Means; Computer Games.
(We've got scads of investing-related boards, too.)
You're probably aware that we write about several investing strategies here at the Fool. What do the Rule Breaker, Rule Maker, Drip Portfolio, and Small-Cap Foolish 8 styles all have in common? Each in its own way is a business-oriented approach, focusing on the characteristics and promise of a given company's business. From our Strategies page, you can click on an article on each strategy. We run about one article per week per strategy. At each article, just above the article's title, you can click on a small "Learn More" link for background info on the approach.
Over the years we've closed the shutters on some investing approaches. You can learn from our discontinuation reasoning and our mistakes.
Every now and then we roll out a special article on some financial topic. Here -- browse through a year of specials and see if you don't find something intriguing -- such as: "Give BIG Gifts This Year," "My Life as a Berkshire CEO," "Are You a Compulsive Shopper?" "Ten Things to Teach Your Kids About Money," "Wartime Investing," "Tips for Investors at Every Level," "Paying for College at the Last Minute," "Seven Financial To-Dos for New Couples," "Is Shorting Stocks Foolish?" "Books for the Beach," "Money Tips for New Grads," "Socially Responsible Investing," David Gardner interviews Vanguard founder John Bogle, "The Lowdown on Your Credit Rating", "Penny-Pinching for New Parents," "Do You Take This Woman's Debt..." "How Companies Evolve," "The Use and Abuse of Credit Cards," and "Eight Ways to Beat Debt." (2002 specials)
If there's a bit of the archaeologist in you and you enjoy exploring, poke through our archives and the archives of discontinued features and you'll be able to find all kinds of things, such as:
- Tax Strategies articles
- Fribbles written by folks like you
- Dueling Fools on Microsoft, Intel, Disney, and more
- Long, thoughtful Rogue articles on corporate governance and other topics
We also offer you:
- A Quotes and Data area, where you can research thousands of stocks, look up earnings announcements and conference calls, and order free annual reports.
Online portfolios that you can create, so you can track your holdings as often as you'd like.
- A Discount Broker Center, where you can learn about what to look for in a brokerage and compare some of the best.
Online seminars, taking you through various financial topics in an organized way, with the support of teaching assistants and classroom discussions.
- Quick online Crash Courses, helping you reach a specific investing or personal finance goal in an hour or less.
The Motley Fool Select, a subscription product that delivers research reports on at least three stock ideas each month.
- TMF Money Advisor, featuring personalized financial planning advice via online tools, books, seminars, and financial pros available by phone to help you get your house in order and deal with life changes such as births, deaths, job changes, home purchases, retirement issues, tax issues, employee stock options, and more.
The Kitchen Sink
Here's one last lightning round...
- T-shirts and hats!
- The Unshaven! (a poem)
- eMeringue: online pie toppings!
- Dr. Ruth on the Fool Radio Show!
I know I left a lot of things out. Feel free to share some of your favorite corners of Fooldom on our Specials discussion board.