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No. of Recommendations: 15
It's laughable that a financially distressed company such as the Motley Fool (or were all those hundreds of Fool employee layoffs a misprint in the Wall Street Journal?) is recommending that specific stocks be shorted, ie. SIRIUS SAT RADIO. It truly takes a lazy man of little imagination--and Jeff, that is you in my opinion--to be recommending short stock picks at a time when economic recovery is just around the corner. There are probably at least 100 different stocks that will at least double in value during calendar year 2002--why don't you help your readers/listeners identify these winners rather than recommending a terribly risky shorting strategy?

Just look at the stinking performance of your RULE BREAKER PORTFOLIO these last two years: if you were as smart as apparently think you are, you would have recommended in the Spring of 2000 that each and every one of your RULE BREAKER stocks be shorted. In fact, instead of shorting SIRIUS, I believe I could make more money over the next two years by currently going long on SIRIUS, and currently shorting each and every one of your RULE BREAKER stocks.

If you, the Motley Fool, was a publicly traded company, an investor would be prudent to short you.

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No. of Recommendations: 9
It's laughable that a financially distressed company such as the Motley Fool (or were all those hundreds of Fool employee layoffs a misprint in the Wall Street Journal?) is recommending that specific stocks be shorted

I'm sure Jeff will reply too, but statements like that irritate me to no end. What does the financial condition of the Fool have to do with what they choose to buy or short?

No where that I could find does the Fool RECOMMEND shorting a specific stock.

why don't you help your readers/listeners identify these winners

What makes you think they aren't? I've seen far more articles about potential longs than I ever have seen about shorting. You make it sound like shorting is the only strategy the Fool considers. Take a look at the last month and see how many articles they've written about shorting stocks and how many they've written about buying stocks long.

The Fool is here to educate, amuse, and enrich. Shorting stocks may not be right for everyone (and the Fools who run this place will probably agree wholeheartedly), but it's up to the individual reader to decide if shorting should be a part of their strategy or not. They discuss several investing strategies, and shorting stocks is just one of them. That's also why they have several real-life portfolios and not just one. Each of the portfolios follows a different strategy.

No one strategy is right for everyone, and the Fool discusses different strategies for different people. I see no reason certain strategies should be off limit.

to be recommending short stock picks at a time when economic recovery is just around the corner

Says who? Since when have you been able to forcast economic recoveries? Alan Greenspan can't even do that, and I'd bet he's far more educated about such matters than you are. When stocks first started dropping 2000, I'd read all over the place that they expected the economy to pick up in the "second half of 2001". THEY WERE WRONG! The economy WILL pick up--someday. It may be this year. It may be NEXT year. Or the year after that. Nobody really knows, and if there's one strategy the Fool does NOT encourage, it's market timing.

I believe I could make more money over the next two years by currently going long on SIRIUS

And let me guess, nobody is allowed to have a different opinion, because you're so much wiser than everyone else in the world? You've never made a mistake in the world of investments, and that's why you're as rich and famous for your investing prowess as Warren Buffett or Peter Lynch.

Just look at the stinking performance of your RULE BREAKER PORTFOLIO these last two years:

What's that have to do with anything? Look at the stinking performance of the stock market as a whole in the last two years. Tough years causes poor performance. The Fool has always said the Rule Breaker strategy was a HIGH-RISK strategy and is not right for everyone. The concept of RISK means you can LOSE money, which is exactly what the Rule Breaker portfolio has done recently.

The Fool does not recommend people copy their portfolios. The portfolios are meant for educational purposes, and whether they succeed or fail doesn't really matter on this website because you can learn just as much from a failed strategy/portfolio as you can from a successful one.

If you're as wise and astute as you think you are, start your own investment company.

-- Ryan
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No. of Recommendations: 3
Ryan, from your post you're either looking for a job at the Motley Fool or you have too much time on your hands. Let Jeff defend himself, of all sites I know, the Motley Fool is among the better and the only replies that count in this case are from them!
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No. of Recommendations: 2
Ryan, from your post you're either looking for a job at the Motley Fool or you have too much time on your hands.

I admit it. I'm guilty of too much time on my hands. =)

Let Jeff defend himself

I fully expect he will, but I still wanted to express MY thoughts. And, one of the things about these boards I like is that I can express MY thoughts and opinions as much as I'd like. Anyhow, I can say I'm an unbiased third party with no financial interest in the Fool or in Sirius, which could give me a different perspective than Jeff or someone who does have a financial interest in seeing Sirius succeed.

It is okay to defend myself on this post, right? =)

-- Ryan
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No. of Recommendations: 5
ProfessorMJ,

Thank you for your thoughts. They're appreciated. I've always loved that the Fool provides a voice for literally a few million individual investors. Even more important, this community is smart enough that people will actually listen, respond, converse and in general take other posters seriously (at least when merited).

I don't see what I need to defend myself against after your "open letter" (which I'll copy below). I don't see what I should answer to.

"Somewhere" did answer you well, in my opinion, and I appreciate that. As he pointed out, we did not recommend in the column that people short this stock. Our portfolios are examples to learn by (and often we're wrong -- luckily, one can learn a good deal from mistakes).

Other than that, I'm not sure what you're upset about. You believe that I'm lazy and of little imagination. I can't prove otherwise unless you wish to visit me and spend a week with me. Then you can decide for yourself, but at least with some real context.

Other than that, let me know what I can answer to, if anything, because I'm unclear following your open letter to me. Perhaps because it seemed more like an open attack than an open letter. Which is fine. You're allowed that as long as you remain polite. But then you should call it an attack, so rather than try to respond to you in open letter, I would know to respond with a hearty volley of counterattack and we could have a fun little war here as long as it didn't waste readers' time. Which so far I'm afraid it is. For that I apologize to readers.

Thank you again for sharing your emotions.

Foolishly,

Jeff Fischer

your post:
It's laughable that a financially distressed company such as the Motley Fool (or were all those hundreds of Fool employee layoffs a misprint in the Wall Street Journal?) is recommending that specific stocks be shorted, ie. SIRIUS SAT RADIO. It truly takes a lazy man of little imagination--and Jeff, that is you in my opinion--to be recommending short stock picks at a time when economic recovery is just around the corner. There are probably at least 100 different stocks that will at least double in value during calendar year 2002--why don't you help your readers/listeners identify these winners rather than recommending a terribly risky shorting strategy?

Just look at the stinking performance of your RULE BREAKER PORTFOLIO these last two years: if you were as smart as apparently think you are, you would have recommended in the Spring of 2000 that each and every one of your RULE BREAKER stocks be shorted. In fact, instead of shorting SIRIUS, I believe I could make more money over the next two years by currently going long on SIRIUS, and currently shorting each and every one of your RULE BREAKER stocks.

If you, the Motley Fool, was a publicly traded company, an investor would be prudent to short you.

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No. of Recommendations: 0

Other than that, I'm not sure what you're upset about. You believe that I'm lazy and of little imagination. I can't prove otherwise unless you wish to visit me and spend a week with me. Then you can decide for yourself, but at least with some real context.

Jeese,

you going to feed the guy too, can any of us come? LOL

db
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db,

I'll be too lazy to feed him. There are plenty of restaurants right nearby, though, that he can go to. :)

Jeff
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No. of Recommendations: 0
You know I actually agree with the gist of this post, does it have to be so freaking personal? What exactly has Jeff Fischer done to deserve this?
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No. of Recommendations: 0
Next, the rule breakers are going to add Enron, Pets.com and Exodus to the long side before pooling what's left of their money in a lotto fund. I'd put more stock in the recommendations of Jeff Fisher, coach of the Tennessee Titans.
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