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Author: EllenE Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 11198  
Subject: Thoughts from a lurker Date: 4/2/2000 8:02 PM
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I've been lurking on this board on and off for quite a while--I hoping to be able to follow and participate more in the future.

What's happened on this board lately is something I've seen on other boards as well: a first-time poster comes out, guns a 'blazin. On one board it was a direct attack on a long-time, well-liked and respected member. On another it was a totally off-topic attempt to give unsolicited advice (in that case I was the receiver of the advice, and I can tell you, I did *not* appreciate it!) In both cases the first-time poster seemed genuinely puzzled that they weren't greeted with open arms. I like Angela/gradfool's analogy--if you go to someone's house and immediately insult them, chances are good you won't get a warm greeting.

Yes, I we should be gentle with newbies, but I believe newbies also have responsibilities--to read the FAQ and a good portion of the board, and to try to understand the "culture" of the board *before* posting, and to treat established and respected members of the board with some respect. I'm continually checking out different/new boards here at the fool. Before I jump in, I read the FAQ, and try to read the board from the beginning. I admit, this isn't always feasible--so I'll maybe go back 2-3 months, depending on activity.

Every board has it's own culture and establishment--I think it's a little presumptuous to attack or try to change this on a first post. If you want more discussions on investing, instead of posting an insult or attack, post your own thoughts and strategies! If there's something you want to discuss, bring it up in a courteous way.

(BTW: redhed, I had the same thoughts you had when first reading those posts!)

Now, to make this relevent to *investing*: I'll admit--investing doesn't excite me. But, I believe there are some skills we simply *must* know in order to function at an optimal level in our society: reading, basic math, reading a map, personal finance (saving and investing)... Unfortunately, that last one isn't often taught in schools. I've learned a lot over the past year, and found a strategy that's within my comfort zone. Since I don't get excited poring over a company's financial statements, my strategy doesn't involve this. Right now I'm going with index funds--QQQ, S&P 500, small-cap, and international for starters. This way I'm diversified, and can at least get market returns.

On a tangent: I met my now-fiance a little over a year ago. Like me, he was great in the savings part (that is half the battle, isn't it?), but knew nothing of investing. He's learned with me over this past year (actually, I think he's lapped me!) Neither one of us will have sole control over the finances; we'll both be making investment decisions together.
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