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Author: TMFLou2 Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 137  
Subject: Re: Personal Disclosure is unFoolish Date: 2/1/2001 6:12 PM
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Hi catdaddy,

As an employee of the Motley Fool, I'd like to respond to your post. I understand your concerns, certainly, but I think perhaps there are some issues you aren't considering.

When we started coming up with this disclosure policy, we wanted it to be the best, most consistent one out there. While we could have just required that writers like me disclose our holdings, that doesn't address what goes on on our discussion boards. Our employees are free to post where they want and what they want (within our Fool Rules, of course), but with that freedom comes responsibility. And that responsibility, in my opinion, is full disclosure.

Here's why I think that. I believe that for new users on our boards, a heavier weight is given to what a "TMFer" says as opposed to non-employees. I'm not saying I wish that were so, because I believe that our community members are our true most valuable assets - but I do think it *is* so. For fun social boards, this doesn't matter much, but the same isn't true for the stock/investing boards.

We wanted to address these stock ownership disclosure issues for the boards and this was really the only fully consistent solution. I don't think we have any techies or any ad folks or production people or anyone at this company that wants to go out and hype a stock that they own on our boards, but I believe erring on the side of caution is a sound policy. Our reach as TMF employees goes beyond the editorial content on this site. Therefore, so does our disclosure policy.

Personally, I've always disclosed all my stock holdings in my profile, even before I worked here. Employees aren't required to say how many shares they own of something, or how much they have invested in the market, or anything like that. Just tickers. I'm not scared of that. I'm learning, just like everyone else on this site.

I appreciate your valiant defense of our privacy, but I don't think it's necessary. I'm very proud of our new disclosure policy. I would hope that every single employee here is, too. I'd bet that they are.


Best,
Lou
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