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Author: JohnnyX Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 137  
Subject: Questions and a suggestion... Date: 2/5/2001 12:30 PM
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I've been following the disclosure issue for a while, and have been particularly interested in the privacy issues that catdaddy bought up.

All things considered, the disclosure policy seems like a good one, and the policy of only disclosing some material interest, without disclosing the amount, avoids the bugaboo of revealing a person's financial situation to the world.

Question: Does the policy restrict trading based on articles only, or also based on message board posts? E.g. TMFJohnnyX posts a message on the RAD board, responding to some question, or just letting the other denizens know about some news. Is he enjoined from buying shares of RAD for the next 5 days?

Question: Why does the disclosure policy, which in most ways seems related to the disclosure issue, enjoin employees from selling any stock they have bought within 30 days of purchase? If I, as a Fool employee, wish to dabble in a little folly, why should the Fool have any interest, assuming I'm following the other rules of disclosure? The Fool has beaten into us the fact that their investment philosophy is not Gospel, nor should it be taken as such, so why are they making their employees toe that particular LTBH line? It seems it could lead to 'very bad things'.

Consider: TMFJohnnyX buys 1000 shares of WWY @ $20/share. Two weeks later, a report comes out from the Surgeon General, linking chewing gum to lung cancer. Turns out it wasn't the cigarettes after all. Because of the disclosure policy, I am not allowed to divest myself of my WWY holdings for 16 more days, during which WWY files for bankruptcy. My $20,000 has dwindled to $63.05, after commissions. I think I would have a fair case for holding the Fool liable for my material loss, since their proviso 'locked in my loss', so to speak. Problem, non?

Suggestion: As the disclosure of holdings has an unintended happy consequence of helping to eat away at the unhealthy taboo we have about discussing things financial, I think it would help the cause if all registered users had the "Stocks I Own" field in their profile. This would allow the rest of us to show some solidarity in disclosure, with our TMF brethren (and sistren), and allay that feeling of being 'singled out' for public scrutiny of their holdings.

Yours truly,
Mr. X

...policy must needs evolve in the face of reality...
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