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I've been around a long time so I decided to look it up. July 1998. So that's 23 years (I think).
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I am coming up on my 22nd anniversary as a Fool in about 4 1/2 months. Gosh, it feels like so long ago and many things have happened over the years. When my anniversary month rolls around I will have just turned 67 years-old so I could make it another 22 years, right? My dad lived to 91 years-old so it is a possibility.


Robyn
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I am coming up on my 22nd year also (member since 1999 - did I do that math right?)

I wonder when the Motley Fool first went online. I think I was reading one of their books, maybe before they had a website?

Footsox
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Wow, we’re getting old. :)
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I am coming up on my 22nd anniversary as a Fool

Interesting to see several folks posting that they also jointed in 1999.
I also showed up in 1999, 4/29/1999 to be exact.

Wonder if there was something in the water that year . . .

2000 zero zero party over oops out of time
So tonight I'm gonna party like it's 1999
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I was first here may 17th, 1995. The era of Iomega. I think their first presence online was in 1993,but that is a vague recollection at best.


JK
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I showed up in 1998.

PSU
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Interesting to see several folks posting that they also jointed in 1999.
I also showed up in 1999, 4/29/1999 to be exact.


I seem to recall that they made some change such that one needed to register to read the message boards or something to that effect. I think that there was even a cost for a short time, which they later rescinded. I'm a little fuzzy on the details, but maybe someone else remembers.
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Part of the story. January 2002 was when they began charging for message boards.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/business/2002/01/31/m...
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PSUEngineer: "I showed up in 1998."

I joined in 1998, too.

IIRC (back in the day), one could read but not post without joining, and I think I did read for awhile before joining.

Regards, JAFO
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Joined in 1999....so I guess I'm coming up on 22 years in August.....

Was really fun at the start - after 10 years, many topics/boards get repetitive.

t.
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I joined in 1998, too.

IIRC (back in the day), one could read but not post without joining, and I think I did read for awhile before joining.


Ditto to all of the above.
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They would comp some of those that were active posters.
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I’m a member of the Class of 1999, joining the free TMF discussion boards on April 14, shortly after hearing guests David and Tom Gardner speak on a radio talk show.

Back then there was a plethora of very active boards representing a broad spectrum of topics. One of my favorites was the Gorilla Game with highly knowledgeable participants like Bruce Brown, Mike Buckley, and TinkerShaw. Who could forget Trenchrat with his short posts to his TA bandwagon gang. Also gone today are the former very active boards on specific stocks, e.g., Qualcomm, Intel and Rambus.

I believe the air went out of the balloon in 2002 when TMF decided to change their free discussion boards to a paid subscription. The discussion boards lost many participants who were not only highly knowledgeable, but also very generous with sharing that knowledge in their posts.

Regards,
Ray
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I just realized that I have been a member of the Fool community for *gasp* 22 years.
==========================
Me, too, but it's really even longer. My "official" Fool Anniversary date, with the balloons and all that, is August 9, 1999. But I originally began following The Motley Fool, and the message boards, back around 1995, when it was a separate area inside AOL.

And I followed them after they set up their own website and charged an annual fee to use the message boards. So I left for a while, then came back because I missed it. (The annual fee was $20 a year or probably less.) Then they dropped that because there was resentment over the fact, when it became well-known that if you were considered a good contributor and not a trouble-maker, you probably got comped in for free. I know I did after my first year.

So it's possible that 1999 was the year it became free for everybody. Their subscription services didn't become a big thing until after that. I think they had one paid newsletter for a while.

But even for a free site, guaranteed to be worth every penny, I've learned a lot from the other people here, more for their shared experiences and philosophy, than any hot stock tips, of which there is no shortage anywhere.

Bill
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My profile says I've been around since September 6, 2003 but I feel like it should be the late 90's. It's possible I changed user names but at my age I can't remember if I lifted the lid on the toilet this morning or not.

I know for a year or two we had to pay. Seemed like it was $50 a year but I could be wrong.

Like others I've gained some financial knowledge and hope I've given out some useful tidbits as well.

Just seems like I use to frequent the fool before I retired and I retired in 2003.

Regards,

ImAGolfer
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September 11, 1997. 23+ years.

My balloon day though ...September 11. Ugh.
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Made me look, I thought it was further back, but it was in the late days of LU/ALU, June of 2001.. As it turned out a year before I retired. Nearly 20 years. Quite a ride....
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22 yrs and 6 wks for me. Wow!

I guess a lot of us got on board during the dot com days.

Mike
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Me too. 😀 September 1999.

I do not recall anything specific in 1999 that would cause people to sign up for the Fool, but I've been online with my personal computers since early 1989 (earliest in the most elementary of ways with connections via local individual computer hosts). I barely remember how it was done then, but I certainly remember the sound of the modem.

Wessex
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A Foolish friend who has mentioned starting in “the AOL days” has the following in his profile:

Fool Since:
at least December 1997
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Old modem sounds plus You’ve Got Mail

Used to love hearing this every modem I got on. :)
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Every time I got on…
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I think it was 1995...very early in Motley Fool days....and I used another nom de plume.

Motley Fool gave me the courage to keep playing with my portfolio. ( not the family's main portfolio) and got me involved with several stocks that have done well for me.Living Below Your means was one of my early favorite boards...
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My company had introduced this newfangled thing called a 401K. A guy from Fidelity came and showed us charts that went up and up. I jumped on the bandwagon.

I was investing before that, a little, investors business daily, but discount brokers (only 2%) made it really take off for me. I got married and started managing investments for both myself and my husband. We later bought Quicken and could watch our own net worth go up and up with pretty colorful graphs.

Been reading 30 years. Liked the community here when I stumbled upon it, started on this board I think.
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I had a similar experience. It was when the company switched from a pension plan to a 401k. I checked my profile and found I signed up in 1997, or possibly earlier. The Fool has served me well.















I
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No. of Recommendations: 4
I've been around a long time so I decided to look it up. July 1998. So that's 23 years (I think).
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1999 for me.....although I lurked on sundry finance boards for a good few months before joining. Stumbled initially onto the credit card board as my office manager was looking for ways to get out from under about $15k of credit card debt (seemed like a lot at the time!). .....and a good many of the tips folk gave out were equally good at helping prevent the problem.

Bought a couple of books that I saw recommended one of which was Andrew Tobias's "The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need"

I was about 46 at the time and in some ways I felt that I'd missed out on opportunities that should've been more obvious to me. Fortunately I listened to the mantra of "It's never too late..."

Reason I mention this is that I came across that book a few weeks ago and decided to purge it (probably the 1996 version) I just happened to think about it this morning at the library and, yes, the 2016 update was on the shelf. It'll be interesting to look back and see how many shouldda, couldda, wouldda moments have come and gone in the intervening years.
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Started in '99 myself.

Seems a lot of us still here started in the late 90s early 00s.

It would be interesting for everyone to share where they were, what changed, what they did and some messages for those that are coming here now. How to navigate the time ahead of them that they have not, and cannot experience until that time passes.
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No. of Recommendations: 3
It would be interesting for everyone to share where they were, what changed, what they did and some messages for those that are coming here now. How to navigate the time ahead of them that they have not, and cannot experience until that time passes.

Mine would be boring. Since 1999, my wife and I have been living in the same house, working for our same employers, saving for retirement and living frugally. Actually, my wife has been working at the same location but her employer has had three different names.

PSU
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No. of Recommendations: 12
I”m in for about 26 years, I think. Could be 25, but certainly not less.

In the early 90’s I was working in NBC Tower in Chicago, which is next to the Chicago Tribune Tower. As it turns out, the Trib was a part owner (investor?) in AOL, and they invited me to come over and see. Which is to say, there was nothing to see. Four cubes buried in the middle of the building somewhere with four guys punching computer keyboards.

They gave me a free account so we could post “content” (I worked at a radio station.) The trib wanted “news” and maybe “fan pages” for announcers; I’d never heard of the Gardner Brothers. The Fool was already part of AOL, it started in their “incubator program” (I don’t know if that’s the official name.) At the time you paid AOL by the minute and tied up a phone line.

I found the Fool fairly quickly because my wife happened to be taking an “investment course” led by a guy from Dean Witter, and of course we opened an account at Dean Witter. (Funny how that works.) My father had an account with Merrill (Merrill, Lynch, Pierce, Fenner, & Smith at the time) and I had invested a little through that account - and always lost money. I read the Fool.

I started posting, and one of my first acts was to buy some AOL, post IPO obviously. I bought a couple hundred shares in the Dean Witter account, and - to show Mrs. Goofy that it wasn’t hard - a couple hundred in a Schwab account I opened. The commission at DW was a few hundred, at Schwab $29. (The Dean Witter account mgr. said “are you really sure you want to buy this? It’s awfully speculative.” He had us in Morton Salt, McDonalds, Walgreens, Sears, and a bunch of other Chicago based companies, as well as a half-dozen DW mutual funds with high fees.

Within a year AOL doubled and split, and I bought more besides, and it doubled and split again and I bought more besides, and from that point on Mrs. Goofy let me at it. I was a frequent poster on the AOL Fool boards, which lasted a few years, at least, and then on the web Fool boards, and finally sold everything in 1999-2000, almost at the top. (Luck. Mrs. Goofy and I were going on a months’ long RV trip and would be out of touch with the world, such was the state of communications around then.)

During the 90’s I also bought a bunch of other stuff, some with great success (Starbucks, Cisco) and some with modest failure (@Home, Lucent). I have gotten some excellent “tips” from the poster hereabouts, as well as pretty good discussion from esteemed posters. I have also subscribed to ValueLine, watched CNBC (ugh! There’s a waste) and done other things in my investment career, but I have have to say one of the most fortuitous was walking across the street to the Tribune Tower and chatting with those guys in the cubes that was to become (part of) AOL - and getting a free account.

Eventually all the AOL accounts were free, they started charging the very magazines and newspapers they begged to provide “content”; then the Fool abandoned AOL and went on the web and started their real money making ventures: their investment newsletters. The boards never really amounted to much, or so the story goes, but they’re a good and cheap way of marketing and drawing potential customers in, and I’m happy to participate. They tried various other strategies, including requiring people to pay to board access (fail) and their own mutual fund (ditto) and probably several others, but here I am, here we are, still standing - even after the debacles of the internet bubble of 2000, the mortgage fiasco of 2008, and the pandemic of 2020.

If they give out pins for longevity, I guess I’m in line for one. Glad to still be here. People rec posts, or hit the heart button for “favorite” or whatever they do, and it’s apparently enough for me, because here I still am. The only thing longer in my life is my wife, and that’s an entirely weird thing to realize.
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No. of Recommendations: 8
October 23, 1997 is what the Fool says, and who am I to second-guess? So 23.75 years, more or less.

Not much posted, a lot read. Bookgrrrl, Thai Thai. Goofy, and Aruba. Now, thank God, mungo.

Bought Berkshire and held it. Bought and then sold eBay, Amazon, Microsoft and later Apple. Bought more Berkshire and held it. Lost some on Celera, and a local bank. Bought Costco, sold it, bought some back. Abstained on almost everything else. A little more Berkshire. No net capital losses on anything but Celera, and that stupid bank. But even those two taught me lessons, presumably, as I haven't (yet) repeated those specific mistakes.

Started a business. Put profits back in. Pledged the house for a bank loan. Went to sleep every night for eighteen years thinking about the business, and stared at the ceiling many nights at two a.m. Put more back in to expand the business. Took some out; bought Berkshire, and some TIPS.

Sold the business. Retired.

Now selling 1%/quarter of my pre-retirement balance, and living debt-free. Doing pretty much whatever I want, yet the capital continues to grow. Even bought a 'harpsichord' a few months back. (Still don't believe we did that. Details in some later post).

Thanks, y'all. And, God bless mungo (did I say that already?)

--sutton
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Just over 23 years here. I’m pretty sure the first person I rec’d was Goofy.

One of the first stocks I bought was 3dfx and I spent a lot of time on the MF 3dfx board. We used to have something we called the 3dfx Cup. No, not like the Stanley Cup, like the cup you wear because the company didn’t treat us well. I still own the shares (worth a penny or two, if that) as a reminder NOT to buy a stock because you fall in love with a product they make. Financials matter.

I also bought Apple at $20 a share four or five stock splits ago. Unfortunately, I sold it a few weeks after I bought it because it dropped to $16. Sigh. If a really good company is a deal at $20, it’s a better deal at $16.

As the great Jose Casablanca once said:
“ You may learn much more from a game you lose than from a game you win.”

True with stocks, too.

I’m still learning although my batting average has improved.

AW
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My profile shows I joined on 1/31/1998 and first post was 7/9/1998

I guess that puts me in the 23s somewhere.

Time flies when you are having fun.

I'm more a reader than poster. Thanks to all
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