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Hi Rich,

I agree with you on the Pro portfolio size. I have taken the following mental approach to accounting for my Pro membership fee:

Year 1: 100% of the fee was educational value. Surprisingly, I got some entertainment value out of it as well, and I adjusted next year's numbers accordingly.

Year 2: 80% of the fee was educational. 10% is entertainment; 10% is a management fee.

Year 3 (where I am today): 50% of the fee is educational. 20% is entertainment. 30% is management.

I plan to adjust my mental accounting next year as follows:

Year 4: 30% to education, 30% to entertainment, 40% to management.

It will likely stay fixed like that forever. I expect to always learn something and always enjoy the service, but will place slightly more emphasis on the performance angle, since I'm here to make money, after all.

Hmm... As I write this, I realized that this seems to map pretty well to the Fool's mission statement to entertain, educate, and enrich. I really, really didn't mean for this to be a TMF-boosting post, but this is actually how I think about it and how I break it down in my mind. Maybe I've been brainwashed and this is just the result. Hopefully not, but if the brainwashing was really good, I guess I would never know, would I?

Side note: Jeff, I hope I'm not putting too much of a burden on you by expecting equal amounts of entertainment and education... you can consider yourself to be only responsible for a fraction of the entertainment component if it takes some of the pressure off, since most of my entertainment is derived from board posts by other members like Rich.

Now for the acid test: is my portfolio big enough to justify the Pro fee? Since I only plan to account for 40% of the Pro fee for management going forward, and I'm locked into a multi-year plan that IIRC amounts to less than $1000 per year, my management fee for Pro services is less than $400. It is a goal of mine to never spend more than 1% of my portfolio on management fees. So I (or someone using similar mental accounting) would need a portfolio of $40,000 or more to clear the bar.

Whew! For a moment there, I was afraid I might need to cancel the service if the numbers didn't work out, but it looks like I can hang around awhile longer.

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