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No. of Recommendations: 35

I may suggest to you that the best way to win over (or at least quiet) the skeptics up once and for all would be to prospectively and specifically describe what transactions you are doing or suggest doing in your posts. This way, we can simply watch and see precise results. You could set your own goals and time frame. This would take a lot less effort than the lengthy ideological discussions and defense of CANSLIM you have made over a period of years. A lot of us would even consider paying you for this information, assuming we could get a refund if you did not do well.

I'm glad you brought this up because it hasn't been addressed in a while and there are a lot of newcomers, and it's a point of bewilderment to those who wonder why I don't post anywhere else (except for the GG board, but that's no longer worth the effort, so the members there will be spared any further contributions from me; Dan is perfectly capable of taking over).

First, I couldn't care less about quieting - much less winning over - skeptics, either temporarily or once and for all. There's no reason for me to care. I have no system, no strategy, nothing to sell, no agenda. I have only one interest, which is helping beginners to learn how markets work.

Second, as a consequence, the idea of "proving" something - much less providing stock tips - just doesn't come up. If I were interested in being admired and in attracting a "following" and in feeding off of the numbers of recommendations my posts rack up, I could easily make this board the most popular in TMF. But why would I want to do that? The chief result would be - as it is on every other tip board - to act as a snowball rolling downhill and attract more and more tip-seekers along the way, accomplishing the exact opposite of what you propose, which is I assume to learn how to select and buy and sell stocks.

Third, I can't imagine why my personal goals or strategy or timeframe should be of the slightest interest to anyone. All that should matter to the individual is learning how to determine his own goals and his own way of meeting them in whatever timeframe is appropriate for him. Anyone who follows a group of gurus, however select that group might be, would do well to examine his own goals and determine exactly what they are. If he can't come up with anything more incisive than "to make money", then he must also ask himself what he is to do if all these gurus simply drop dead tomorrow. I take some satisfaction in knowing that if such a fate were to befall me before the day is out, at least I'd have something to leave behind other than a series of posts on yesterday's news. Yes, the website can be excessively cute at times, but there is justification in that based on neurology. At least I don't sell Burrow baseball caps or t-shirts or call the members elves and dwarves and orcs.

Fourth, if I haven't already pissed you off to the point of breaking your interest in this reply, discussing strategy and "proving results" in real-time has no value other than to demonstrate that such and such a system or strategy "works". "Skeptics", as you call them, snort and walk away at this point because it seems like the same old snake-oil pitch. But anyone who wants to know if anything that is done here "works" is asking the wrong question. There is no system or strategy that "works" for everyone at every time, something that many Fools have learned and that many Fools will soon learn. One's goal instead should be to determine - or learn how to do so - his own personal objectives and the best way(s) of achieving those objectives in whatever timeframe is most appropriate for him and is most beneficial for him. In order to provide beginners with some guidance in this effort, I offer detailed examples of what to look for in situations that have already come to pass, though we do sometimes track markets in real time as we did in March of this year in order to detect the top. The purpose of this is not to learn anything about buying a particular stock, but to learn something about the nature of demand and supply and the auction market. Asking is this "works" is no different from asking if demand and supply "works". What "works" is growing up, taking responsibility for one's life, and not seeking advice and reassurance from people who one believes know more than he does, but are more likely to know less than his/her hairdresser or doorman or the high-school kid next door.

Fifth, the purpose of CANSLIM, as stated elsewhere more than once, is not to tell people what stocks to buy but to teach them how to select stocks (and entry and exit points). Anyone who doesn't understand the difference between the first part of that sentence and the second will be understandably confused and possibly even repelled by what goes on here. Those who do understand the difference may have found a home.

Sixth, if you're still with me, the fact that you or anyone else would actually be willing to pay me to tell them what I think says a great deal about what they expect from message boards and the total strangers that inhabit them. It also says a great deal about how much responsibility they're willing assume for their own lives. Unlike the guru nomads that spend a truly extraordinary amount of time posting to literally dozens of message boards, I don't tell (or persuade or encourage) people to buy or hold anything, partly because I couldn't care less what they buy or hold. I don't do any of this because I want people to like me or admire me. That would be unimaginably sad. I do it because I had acquired years of teaching and business experience and a knowledge of the neurological bases of learning and task analysis by acquiring a doctorate in developmental psychology before I first went online. When I witnessed the staggering amount of misinformation that was being propagated on the web, I began working with beginners through email, then through the website and this board, then through clubs. This doesn't make me the Schlinder of investing, just someone who wants to make use of what he knows.

As far as charging for it goes, the thought of setting up a fee-based group for those who need coaching or who are reluctant to open themselves up to the kind of ridicule and belittlement that has become common has crossed my mind. But selling advice on what to buy would be no better than selling someone a nice shiny apple that just happened to have a razor blade inside.

And if you're wondering if I'm always this obnoxious, the answer is no. Not always. Occasionally I'm a real sweetheart.

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