Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
No. of Recommendations: 28
Dear Loyal Pro Members,

Thank you all for sharing open thoughts here in the Pro community about what’s next for Jeff and Pro. Although I can’t change the outcome, as the head of our U.S. Membership business, I wanted to address some of the top questions that have come up around how we came to this decision and what it means going forward.

Thanks to Anurag and other Farm Team Fools for putting together this list of questions, and if you have others, I will gladly post again, answering those I am legally allowed to answer in this space.


(1) What is the reason for renewing at a steep price in the last few months and then closing Pro? It feels as if Fool was trying to make a quick buck.

About a year and a half ago, we made a decision to be more consistent and transparent with renewal prices across all of our services. This did mean higher prices for some, but also eliminated discrepancies in what people were paying at renewal. While that decision was not Pro-specific, but across all products (and well before we had any knowledge of Jeff’s new opportunity), we totally understand that this can be frustrating, especially for such a loyal and dedicated member base as we have here in Pro.

While we waited to see whether Jeff’s new venture came to fruition and led to changes in Pro, we had members coming up for renewal. So we decided to limit the renewal terms to 1 year -- with a full refund on the table should we move forward with shuttering Pro. Now that Pro’s changes are announced, we hope that any members who are unhappy with what they paid for Pro will reach out to Member Services and figure out what we can do to make you happier -- because the Fool plans to be around for decades, delivering market-beating investing advice and helping members outperform Wall Street.

(2) Why no one else from TMF could replace Jeff and JP? This was a successful service after all.

I can understand this feeling -- Pro has performed well, and has an avid fan base, so why not keep it open? After talking to Jeff and several Fool analysts, I came to the conclusion that Jeff’s unique philosophy, personality, and holistic approach to building the Pro portfolio -- which he conceived of from the very start -- wasn’t one that could be continued under another investor.

So we’re taking this opportunity to transition Pro members slowly, over the course of a year, to new Foolish offerings -- and making sure our Member Services team is available to help members figure out what’s right for them.

(3) Why the sudden nature of closure and distancing of Jeff?

I can imagine that this shift felt sudden -- and I’m sorry for that. My hope is that including a year of ongoing coverage helps slow down the transition for members heavily invested in Pro holdings. Timing-wise, there are legal and process factors that contributed to when Jeff left Pro and his need to be silent in that service -- so he worked on a final note to convey how much it’s meant to serve all of you in Pro and how it’s felt to decide to leave the service for new opportunities.

(4) Premier Pass has lost 2 major values -- MDP and Pro. What replacements is TMF bringing in? Tom's new Long/Short service -- will it be a part of PP? As a PP subscriber, I feel as if I got nothing as Pro collapsed.

I can see that losing Pro would be a big blow to avid fans of the service in Premier Pass. Any Premier Pass subscriber who has a question about their subscription can talk to Member Services and see what we can do for them. We're here to make folks as happy as we can and the team is armed with make-goods and other offers to help our folks affected by the Pro closure as best we can.

In the meantime, although Tom’s Discoveries (including the upcoming Long-Short Portfolio) are not currently included in Premier Pass, we have added Instant Income 2018, Biotech Breakthroughs, Artificial Intelligence: The Next Wave, and Marijuana Masters in the past year, and we’ll only continue to add more services to Premier Pass as we learn more about what our members find most useful to their investing goals.

(5) PP appears like a vast collection of stocks and information. How do we navigate across it?

As with Motley Fool One, if the amount of information is overwhelming, it’s probably best to find which offering in Premier Pass serves your needs best, since those needs are different for everyone. Market Pass will be adding another layer of hand-holding in the coming months, which should help members navigate all the stock picks they get in that service. Explorer is another service that highlights just four stocks across a theme every month, which may feel more manageable to many members. That plus Total Income, which shares income-generating ideas at a slower pace, could be one solution (of many!) that works for members who want a more streamlined, curated supply of stock picks.

(6) Why should I trust my money with TMF portfolios? They can be closed at any time after all whether or not there is a robust subscriber base, leaving me in the cold with my real money on the line.

I apologize for creating this worry; and yes, as we see changes in markets, investing tools, and investor behavior, our product suite will continue to evolve. Our plans are not to stand up services just to shut them down. The success of a service depends on what value that service is driving for members, and for Pro, that value was closely tied to the irreplaceable style of Jeff, who understandably after a decade is ready for his next challenge of helping investors in another way. I share the sense of loss with you all and wanted to make sure we help with the transition across the “what to do now” guide, ongoing coverage, and choices of other services or if needed a full refund depending on each member’s situation.

(7) How should we handle the short term uncertainty ahead with our real money portfolios deployed in Pro, given that Tom's new service and Jeff's new venture details are away for presumably a few months? Especially the options positions?

I can imagine this uncertainty is tough. Tom’s new service will be launching the first week in January. In the meantime, you can follow our final Pro reports for guidance on what to do with the longs and options in the service -- and look for quarterly updates to continue to guide you on what to do with these positions.


Thanks again for your passion for this service and all the feedback -- many of us here at Fool HQ are listening, and we hope that we can find new ways to deliver investing outperformance to you for many years to come.

Ally Wines
Head of US Membership, TMF
Print the post  


What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.