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Author: jmboyd Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 5980  
Subject: TTD site Date: 7/5/1999 12:22 PM
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I've read Ken's book and loved it! But I too was a bit put off by the high price, and the lack of a 'sample' newsletter, etc. At these prices, there at least ought to be an escape clause if you find the actual product to be not what you expected it to be. A short term, say monthly, option ought to be available to give the potential subscriber some options. Am still trying to decide what to do, but it seems like a lot of subscriptions at $200 per is a windfall for Ken, considering the potential number of subscribers. Welcome to the brave new world of instant millionaire's, which I'm sure we will all be making of Ken, due to his new web site. I doubt if things at the BI folder at TMF will be the same. $$ and power corrupt! (Wish it had been my idea!)

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Author: dowbuys Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 632 of 5980
Subject: Re: TTD site Date: 7/5/1999 12:57 PM
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I've read Ken's book and loved it! But I too was a bit put off by the high price, and the lack of a 'sample' newsletter, etc. At these prices, there at least ought to be an escape clause if you find the actual product to be not what you expected it to be. A short term, say monthly, option ought to be available to give the potential subscriber some options. Am still trying to decide what to do, but it seems like a lot of subscriptions at $200 per is a windfall for Ken, considering the potential number of subscribers. Welcome to the brave new world of instant millionaire's, which I'm sure we will all be making of Ken, due to his new web site. I doubt if things at the BI folder at TMF will be the same. $$ and power corrupt! (Wish it had been my idea!)

Dear Fools: I'll try to stay off my high-horse as I respond to jmbody's and others' similar remarks about the new www.trouncingthedow.com site.

The publisher -- (Rick Notter, who also publishes Inside Indiana) -- and his partners wrestled with how best to price the web site and newsletter. In the end, they came to the conclusion that they have a unique product to offer serious investors that is invaluable. So they justified the subscription price with the realization that saving investors from one bad trade a year would more than make up for the tax-deductible membership price.

For example, last year at this time J.P. Morgan and Travelers (now CitiGroup) were way overvalued at $135 and $48, respectively. The newsletter let investors know that those two were too expensive at those levels and to avoid them. However, the newsletter also recommended them as bargains a couple of months later in early October at their 1998 downside price targets of $79.80 and $28.50.

Not only would you have "saved" by avoiding the stocks at their highs, but you also would have enjoyed superior gains by buying near the ultimate lows for the year. FYI, those "gains" were not counted in our annual returns.

The web site will never be a Motley Fool, but the publishers do have plans to continue to improve what it offers investors. As a result, it will be a continuing work in progress, with lots of historical data you won't be able to find anywhere else for the Dow 30.

It's also intended for serious investors with little time on their own to do hundreds of calculations. What's your time worth? Not to mention having to go to the library to hopefully find the data necessary for benchmark investing.

Now, I know this is gonna sound a little high-handed -- but what's wrong with making a million bucks? This is America, isn't it? Do you begrudge Michael Jordan his millions (no, I'm not comparing myself to Michael Jordan)??

Finally, the site will offer a sample issue and money back guarantees if you're unhappy with the product. But the publishers felt strongly that benchmark investing is a long-term approach that can't be viewed in the short-term of a monthly membership.

I didn't even mention that the site will offer a quality message board for serious investors to ask questions and interact with each other. That alone is worth a lot, in my humble opinion.

Of course, you may disagree with me. And I realize you might since there's so much "free" investment advice on the web. But hey, it's my birthday, and that's my 2 cents worth!

Ken

P.S. Glad you "loved" my book!


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Author: BigHoo One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 636 of 5980
Subject: Re: TTD site Date: 7/6/1999 8:36 AM
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jmboyd wrote:

I've read Ken's book and loved it! But I too was a bit put off by the high price, and the lack of a 'sample' newsletter, etc. At these prices, there at least ought to be an escape clause if you find the actual product to be not what you expected it to be. A short term, say monthly, option ought to be available to give the potential subscriber some options. Am still trying to decide what to do, but it seems like a lot of subscriptions at $200 per is a windfall for Ken, considering the potential number of subscribers. Welcome to the brave new world of instant millionaire's, which I'm sure we will all be making of Ken, due to his new web site. I doubt if things at the BI folder at TMF will be the same. $$ and power corrupt! (Wish it had been my idea!)

I have to say I'm a little surprised by a lot of the "sour grapes" I'm reading here. What gives? I mean, I can understand and relate to selfishly wishing that something I wanted were cheaper. I wish Ferrari's were $5. But at least I can admit that it is my own selfish desire to get something that I can comfortably afford, rather than call it corruption on the part of the seller. People who say that this is "too expensive", what do you mean? Maybe you are right, or maybe you feel it is just too expensive for you, but the goal is to maximize revenue. If this price point doesn't do that, you can bet it will change. But I don't understand why people are acting like it is somehow unethical to charge what the market will bear for a product? What if you owned stock in TTD? Would you want them maximizing revenue, or making sure that everyone who wanted to could comfortably afford to receive a subscription. I doubt I'll be subscribing, because of the price, but I don't hold that against Ken. Why should I? If I want to get upset about it, I should get angry at all the people who are willing to pay that price, because they are the ones really setting it.

It will be interesting to see what happens with this venture. It is true that currently, we all have access to the data that is graciously provided for free at that one website. And of course, it would be easy to set up some type of investment club, where each person were responsible for say, 5 stocks, so that collectively we could cover a lot of ground, but each individual person isn't swamped with work. This is the type of thing Ken will be competing against. But he also offers other services, like the newsletter, the e-mail updates, etc. We'll just have to see what happens. So be disappointed that the information is more costly than you had hoped or would like. But admit that it is our own selfish wishes, not something evil from the publisher.

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Author: JDelvecchio One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 638 of 5980
Subject: Re: TTD site Date: 7/6/1999 9:44 AM
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I am surprised Ken has been so heavily criticized for charging money for access to his website. Fans of Benchmark Investing should not expect him to pay out of pocket for establishing a site and not recoup some of his costs (and even make a few bucks as well). Like Ken said, this is America. And that means each person has a choice. It may be worth $300 to you to have everything located at one place to make your investing much easier. Maybe it won't be. In that case, you can find the same information elsewhere. Meteofool has a website, everyone knows Ken's formula, and Value Line is accessible in almost every library.

I don't buy the argument that you make up the cost by saving from bad trades. Everyone knows the formula. Just don't make mistakes using it and you won't make bad trades. The real argument for charging in my mind is ease-of-use. And I personally feel that may be worth it for some people.

I personally decided not to subscribe because I don't subscribe to content on the web. The same information is out there. Plus, I get tons of free information at work. So, my choice was no. Now, you need to make your choice. But, don't lambaste the guy for being capitalistic. Not too long ago he was everybody's hero. Hopefully, he will still participate on this board and offer his insight.

Just my opinion.

J


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Author: MeteoFool One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 639 of 5980
Subject: Re: TTD site Date: 7/6/1999 11:38 AM
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I didn't even mention that the site will offer a quality message board for serious investors to ask questions and interact with each other. That alone is worth a lot, in my humble opinion.

Of course, you may disagree with me. And I realize you might since there's so much "free" investment advice on the web. But hey, it's my birthday, and that's my 2 cents worth!

Ken


Ken, there will still be many serious investors here at the TMF Benchmark Investing message board. So I guess we need to ask - can we still fire our questions about TTD your way? I guess the answer is yes since you have since already answered more questions about Boeing and the 5-year numbers the past couple of days.

-- Happy birthday by the way.



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Author: rabsparks One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 640 of 5980
Subject: Re: TTD site Date: 7/6/1999 11:42 AM
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Ken: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Now to the fun part.

Since we do live in the USA and you are offering a service, you have the right to price that service anywhere you want. Us "buyers" on the other hand, have the right to reject that price, and if I remember the theory of free market, if you intend to garner any revenue from the website, the price will have to come down. Obviously that won't happen until you, the supplier, realize that we, the buyers, aren't going to pay what you're asking for your product/service.

That's the economic bent. Now for the marketing one.

You've got a brand new website, and not that many "followers"-people who have decided that BI is the way to go. I don't know how many copies the book sold, but I do know how many posts (and by whom) are appearing on the board. Right now, your market isn't as big as your publisher thinks/hopes it is. And from the feedback, those who are BI advocates aren't willing to shell out what you're asking for the product. This does to forbear good news to me if I were the supplier.

Yes the information is of value. Yes, it would save some of us some time, but not a tremendous amount. But your BI site has competition and the information's being posted already. Finally, if those of us who follow BI split up the Dow 30 with each of us taking one or two stocks, we could easily post the entire Dow 30 complement whenever ValueLine updates appeared.

Since you've been and will apparently continue to run the BI calcs yourself, the question comes down to "how much money can the website generate without me (ken Lee) doing a lot more work?" and "How do I price a service witht the aforementioned strengths and weaknesses competitively?"

Fortunately I don't have to answer either.

Regards,
rick

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Author: garyhw Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 642 of 5980
Subject: Re: TTD site Date: 7/6/1999 1:43 PM
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Let me start off saying that I was the initial complainer on the trouncingthedow website and the subscription cost (see message #615). Since then I've had a change of heart. While I hope the full subsciption prices will come down from $299.95 and original $199.95 for the 12 months and 6 months subscriptions respectively (I've sent e-mails to Ken and Rick Notter recommending the full subscription prices be lowered to $249.95 for the 12 month and $149.95 for the 6 month. - Note: in my 615 message I felt that the yearly price should be $100.oo, I've since increased it by 150% - My primary reason being that the e-mail service does not add any value), I do feel that the service deserve a premium rate; initial coverage of 150 stocks which will most likely increase in the future, money back guarantee if not satisified, more in depth analysis, message board, etc.

Lastly, Rick and Ken, when will the service be fully functional?


Thanks


Gary


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Author: Choey Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 643 of 5980
Subject: Re: TTD site Date: 7/6/1999 4:15 PM
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I had previously leapt to Ken's defense (I'm not sure which post). If you don't want to subscribe - fine. Your choice. If you have complaints about the site - so do I (although I am subscribing).

What I don't understand is the idea that Ken has suddenly gone from hero to goat because the site isn't free. I work to earn money. I invest to earn money. I've always assumed that Ken and everyone else on this board does the same. We have every right to refuse his services or not buy his book, but we have no right to expect charity. IMHO.

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Author: tm255 Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 821 of 5980
Subject: Re: TTD site Date: 8/22/1999 6:23 PM
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i'm surprised at the complaints about the price of the www site.

if i think something is priced unfairly, i do not buy it. if a majority think the same, the product will likely die in the market. but if enough people buy in, the product will survive.

so let's see how it goes. i hope the www site stays afloat.

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Author: dowbuys Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 822 of 5980
Subject: Re: TTD site Date: 8/24/1999 12:48 PM
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if i think something is priced unfairly, i do not buy it. if a majority think the same, the product will likely die in the market. but if enough people buy in, the product will survive.

so let's see how it goes. i hope the www site stays afloat


Thanks for the good wishes! Fool regulations restrict me from talking about a paid web site. That's why you haven't heard any discussion from me.



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