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BigShoes,

Thanks for the note. Although I disagree with your concerns, it's great that they're expressed so that we consider what is and isn't risky for investors.

I continue to hold 100% of my long-term savings in the stock market -- in my online portfolio and in my personal portfolio. The Rule Maker Portfolio just doesn't look very risky to me, with Microsoft, Pfizer, Coke, Cisco, Gap, Intel, etc. I think this is entirely appropriate for any investor with a minimum five-year time horizon (as we've outlined in our books, on the radio and here online). We simply do not believe that our investment ideas are applicable to folks with less than a five-year investment horizon.

On the Rule Breaker side, naturally there's more risk. But I think the returns of that portfolio speak for themselves -- they are conveniently forgotten by many of our critics. This portfolio has outperformed virtually every single mutual-fund in America over its five years of existence. It does bring with it more volatility, but I also think it's appropriate for someone with a five-year time horizon and the stomach lining to endure 20% gains or losses in a single month.

In the end, our forum is an open forum. . so our ideas carry a certain amount of weight, but don't carry the forum. The majority of content created on the site each day is created by individual users, sharing their individual ideas and concerns about investing. Thus, the forum is really driven by the people for the people. Our editorial overlay, I think, is extremely valuable. But we don't operate as the traditional media does -- with no public accountability. Were the environments the same, do you think we'd be seeing Mario Gabelli on Squawk Box each week? Hmmmmm.

So I appreciate your concern, glad you voiced it. I'll be interested to see the responses. That said, I think we've done a fine job here of outlining the potential risks and rewards of investing in common stocks, in ways that no other financial service online or offline has. Thus, it's up to the people to decide. . and the growth rate in the user base of our service indicates to us that folks are taking value from fool.com. Time will tell, of course. But I expect the patient among us will be very satisfied twenty years from now.

Fool on, and again, thank.

Tom Gardner
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