In having read David Gardner's column this evening a chill went down my back when I read the following:"One week ago, on a test basis, we began offering for sale outside investment research, written by some of our top discussion boards contributors. One is Greg Carlin, a.k.a. ElricSeven in Fooldom. Greg's report spends the first half giving an overview of the biotech industry, and the second focusing on -- which company? Human Genome Sciences. The research might be a good purchase, if you're interested. (Also, you can find Greg for free directly at his ElricSeven discussion board.)"A long time ago David Gardner was attacked for holding on to IOM and proposing that it be part of a contest to see if it could have the highest return over a given period. I defended him because we all make our own investment choices and to have bought IOM because him was not an excuse. Having left the Wise I understood and acceptd the original message of the Motley Fool, to enrich, amuse, and educate. Part of that original philosophy was to share research and discuss ideas. The first time I read that Motley was selling spreadsheets I accepted this as a "tool" to help others invest. I picked up one of the original books from the Gardner Brothers and read part of it, I believe it was Rule Makers Rule Breakers, and saw it as a primer on investing methodology. Unlike others who saw this book as what to invest in, I saw it as only another tool. When the research reports came along I began to cringe. I cringed because at some point you can share research and not charge someone for it and it's a discussion. When you charge someone for your research you know longer are researching and discussing, you are telling people what to invest in. The original message of the Fool was to attack the Wise, attack the Mutual Fund industry, and attack the full service research brokers. In selling the research of the members of the boards you are now saying these people's oppinions and research are better than others', are you not?Isn't that Wise?I admit I participate in the Stockjungle.com contest to rate analysts, but all of my picks are open to the public. I also have used the Iexchange.com service to sell my oppinions. In doing so though I am rated on different criteria. When people look at my record than can see my accuracy. What it looks like the Fool is doing is selling it's Wisest pickers research. Are they being held accountable by tracking their entry and exit points, as is the case with the Rule Breaker and Rule Maker ports? Are they certified experts in their areas of research? I have no problem with the Fool working to turn a profit. That is part of business. What I have a problem with is saying that the Wise are stupid for screwing up research and now accountability, while simultaneously beginning to sell research on specific industries and companies. The lines are becoming more and more blurred between the two.Are the posters getting paid for this? If they aren't they should be.
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