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Foolish Collective FAQ
I've decided to attempt to write an FAQ, I'll probably leave a lot of stuff out, so if you need to add anything please do.
Also most of the FAQ is take from Admiral's FAQ.
1. What is the Foolish Collective and what is its mission? It is a true Collective of Fools learning how to research companies and build an investment portfolio(s) together. It is a subset of The Motley Fool and accordingly the Foolish Collective's overall mission is to help TMF “Educate, Amuse and Enrich”. It is respectful, tolerant, nurturing and inclusive of all persons and ideas. It welcomes both experienced and beginner investors alike. It particularly encourages beginners to become involved in a safe environment. It also encourages all to have some fun in their research and online relationships with each other.
2. How did the Foolish Collective get its name?
The Foolish Collective originated as the RM Seminar Grads March 2001 board. At the beginning it started much like many seminar boards as a place to continue seminar homework and research. It then became more organized with several Fools setting the tenor and standards for posters on the board. Not wishing to discourage those Fools who had not taken the RM Seminar and to differentiate ourselves a little from other seminar grad boards we came up with the name Foolish Collective RM March 2001. The “RM March 2001” had to be included to conform to TMF guidelines. Here is a post by Tom (1000) explaining the reasons for the name change. http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15418732&sort=recommendations On 22nd November 2002 we became simply the “Foolish Collective”
3. What are the Learning Objectives of the Foolish Collective?
Goal 1. To establish a growing network of friends that through cooperation increases our Collective knowledge in general and investing knowledge in particular.
Goal 2. To record that knowledge in such a way that is easily accessible and available for future learning.
Goal 3. To increase our net worth, both as a Collective and through our own individual investments and to learn to do so whilst minimizing risk.
Goal 4. To learn to use different investment strategies to achieve goal 3. These may include TMF RuleMaker (RM), TMF Rule Breaker (RB), TMF Foolish 8 Smallcap, Stock Selection Guide (SSG), Fisher 15 point analysis or any other strategy that may assist us in our learning.
Goal 5. To Collectively assist each other in understanding and/or applying anything that is relevant to our learning in the investment field.
Goal 6. To never stop growing, evolving and establishing new goals as the Collective deems appropriate
The first three question are taken right from Admiral's FAQ which is right here: http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=18309076
4. Does The Foolish Collective maintain any portfolios?
Currently, no. But hopefully we will create a few soon, to help the other posters learn.
5. Wow, this board seems like a gold mine, how can I get to the best posts? Unfortunately The Foolish Collective has over 37,000 posts, so going thru them all would be near impossible. However our historian, TMF1000, got thru the first 1430 here http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=22163022 and people continue go thru the rest of the posts, hopefully one day we will have all of them summarized.
6. Does the Foolish Collective do any research on stocks?
Yes, currently we are researching COHT, http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=22183775. The research archive is here: http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=21416370 . And the projects board is here: http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?bid=116159 .
7. Did this board really have elections?
Kind of. I posted this http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=22205788 , but we have yet to actually vote on anything, maybe we'll start the nominations soon.
8. Is it okay if I ask a stupid beginner question?
Well, first of all your question isn't stupid  I don't know why you would say that. But, yes you are certainty welcome to ask any investing/personal finance question that may be wondering about. Your question will probably be answered by veteran experts who know what they're doing, and how to teach.
9. I have a question about the history of this board, what should I do?
Our historian, TMF1000 who had the first TMF post  before he was a TMFer  knows just about every thing there is to know about this board. Heck, if you ask him he could tell you what # poster you are :). His profile is here: http://boards.fool.com/Profile.asp?uid=135154
10. I am beginning and really don't a clue as to how to go about researching a stock, how can I learn?
Right now, as a team we are researching Cohesant Technologies (NASDAQ:COHT). You can read the posts about it already here:
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=22207270 http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=22205595 http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=22197451 http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=22187744 http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=22202319
Feel free to ask questions to any of the posters, and stay tuned as we evaluate the rest. You should probably print or bookmark these pages so you can take notes for the future.
11. Is it true that there is a 14 y/o kid who posts on this board?
Actually yes that would be me :).
What do you think?
Again I'm sure I left something out, please reply with some more stuff.
Mike

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A link to the archive?
Buffy (who would like to be that motivated at this age, let alone 14...)

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ver. 3.142857
Where did that number come from? At first I thought it was pi, but that is wrong starting at the "2".
Ah, 22/7 (close enough).
The question then becomes, why that ratio?
gebin

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I figured out it was wrong a little bit ago but I was told in 6th grade math that pi was 22/7, for this post I just typed in on my calculator to get a similar number to pi, I thought I took it to where it is still the same.
Mike

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", for this post I just typed in on my calculator to get a similar number to pi, I thought I took it to where it is still the same."
HI Mike,
To the best of my knowledge the value of π has not been found...
"Most accurate value of pi As continuation of a longrunning project, Yasumasa Kanada of the University of Tokyo has calculated the number pi to 1,241,100,000,000 decimal places. It has been done using an HITACHI SR8000/MPP computer." : http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/content_pages/record.asp?recordid=47055
Regards, Ken

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PS: Forgot to say, that I also believe that so far π does not repeat...
Regards, Ken

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so far π does not repeat...
Definition of an irrational number. The base of natural logarithms, e, is another one. I believe square root of two is a third one. The concept of irrational numbers really offends some people, such as the ancient Greeks and some modern Americans.
Here's a concept for you. Everyone knows that there are an infinite number of rational numbers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,... and all the fractions that these produce and all the negative numbers and their fractions, etc. But did you know that there are larger infinities than that?
For instance, the infinity of irrational numbers is larger than the infinity of rational numbers in total. For every irrational number, you can multiply it by a rational number to obtain another irrational number. Three irrational numbers are already listed here (π, e, and square root of 2) and I'm sure there are others. Then there are the products of those, such as pi times e, and powers of these, such as pitothefourth power. All of those can be multiplied by a rational number to get an another irrational number. Quite a few in total (!) and infinitely larger than "normal" infinity. :)
Isaac Asimov had an essay on this concept in his collection "Asimov on Numbers" http://tinyurl.com/6tfgp (Amazon listing).
gebin

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"Three irrational numbers are already listed here (π, e, and square root of 2) and I'm sure there are others."
Hi Jim,
Thanks for your post. Got me curious so I did some Google searching... sq root of 3,5,6,7,8 & 10 here: http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/htmltest/rjn_dig.html
"The Digit Warehouse
* The first 2 million digits of the number e. * The first 5 million digits of the number e (currently unchecked). * The first 10 million digits of the number e (currently unchecked).
* The first 2 million digits of the square root of 2. * The first 5 million digits of the square root of 2. * The first 10 million digits of the square root of 2 (currently unchecked).
* The first 1 million digits of the square root of 3. * The first 1 million digits of the square root of 5. * The first 1 million digits of the square root of 6. * The first 1 million digits of the square root of 7. * The first 1 million digits of the square root of 8. * The first 1 million digits of the square root of 10."
http://mathworld.wolfram.com/IrrationalNumber.html
"The most famous irrational number is , sometimes called Pythagoras's constant. Legend has it that the Pythagorean * philosopher Hippasus * used geometric methods to demonstrate the irrationality of while at sea and, upon notifying his comrades of his great discovery, was immediately thrown overboard by the fanatic Pythagoreans *. Other examples include , e, , etc." ( * = Eric Weisstein's World of Biography, modified for easier reading, original text uses picture to reference source.)
Take care,
Regards, Ken

Recommendations: 1
Here's a concept for you. Everyone knows that there are an infinite number of rational numbers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,... and all the fractions that these produce and all the negative numbers and their fractions, etc. But did you know that there are larger infinities than that?
Rational numbers are those that don't have repeating decimal places such as 1.00000000000000000000000000000000000000.... 1.232323232323232323232323232................. 1.678678678678678678678678678678.........
so if you go through the number line you see that rational numbers are much more constrained than irrational numbers. If you were to count them then irrational numbers would grow faster than rational ones.
Reminds me of the limit calculus problems. You could have both the numerator and denominator going to infinity but whichever grows faster decides whether the answer is 0 or infinity.
2 cents rruyy

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Has anyone heard of the "Timothy Planbased in Winter Park, Florida"? It's supposed to be a family of mutual funds for people who are interested in valuebased investing: buying mutual funds that avoid companies involved in pornography, gambling, tobacco, abortion, and alcohol. The reason I am asking is because, I want to invest retirement money in the "Timothy Plan's Large Mid Cap Value Mutual Fund"which mirrors the activity of the Standard and Poor 500 Index Mutual Fund. I was just wondering if this is a reputable company, because I noticed they're a member of the NASD, but not the SIPC eventhough they've been around since 1994.
Also has anyone heard of "Wells Real Estate in Atalnta, Georgia?" They have REIT funds for valuebased investors. I am interested in investing retirement money in a "Wells Standard and Poor REIT Index Fund" which mirrors the activity of the Standard and Poor REIT Index. I would like to know if it is a reputable companythis company is a member of the NASD and SIPC.

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Hi Hawk  this advice is not originally mine but is what I have adapted from a variety of great sources. There are, in the universe of around ten thousand mutual funds, a very very small number that:
1) have significantly outperformed the broader market for at least 1520 years (this is to eliminate random chance  i.e. "luck"  from dominating the results)
2) have a true value approach, well described by their managers, and that are consistently followed (i.e. do not change the strategy to follow the "hot" thing)
3) have had the same managers in charge for a very long time (at least the last 1520 years)
4) the managers have the majority of their net worth in the funds, so their interests are well aligned with yours
5) they hold cash, or even close the funds, when good opportunities cannot be found
As jackcrow mentions in a separate thread, just because a fund calls itself "value" does not mean they use good value investing principles. It is much better to check on track records and against the tests above.
Most of these funds are noload and fees average maybe 1.2%/year (as a rough guess). Paying 0.5%  0.8% more per year for a outperformance on the order of 5% a year over a broader index fund  and with much lower volatility  is a good deal in my book.
Some example funds meeting these criteria are the Longleaf family (note: the Longleaf International fund is about to reopen), Sequoia, Oakmark, Oak Value, Third Avenue Value Fund, Polaris Global Value, FPA Capital, Century Management. Clipper used to be on the list but the managers recently left. I'm sure there are more and I would really like to be able to expand my list of great funds.
These types of funds are the only ones I would consider owning, because the managers have proven outperformance through a consistent value strategy, and because their own personal money is on the line just as mine is. The only mutual fund I currently own is Longleaf Partners Fund (unfortunately, currently closed).
Mike


