No. of Recommendations: 35
About 15 years ago, I used to own an interstate service station right next to I-95. Everyday, about 10 times, someone would come up to me an ask...How do you get to 95?
I couldn't believe my ears....heck you could SEE the interstate from where they were asking the question!!
After about a year of getting frustrated that these people(obviously different people all the time) were still asking the same question, I made a map.
It showed them exactly where they were at that time and how to get to where they wanted to be.
I know how frustrating the simple, obvious questions can be, to those who know the answers...I used to had them the map with a simple "Thanks for stopping by".
Guess what?...there were still a few that had a problem reading a map.

Being not computer savy, it would be nice if someone would develope a page or site where all newbie questions could be shown with the same explaination that "The answer to this question requires that you do the following DD at this page"... or something along those lines.
We have a wealth of information available to us, and an abundance of great thinkers and minds among us.
Let's put a little collective effort into developing a place for these newbies to go and begin their learning process.
Please include the book from LAPROPDOC and SUX.
Even though I have been lurking here since 1997, where I first found Keystone, The books brought all that I thought I knew into some type of order and reference.

Will we still get lost newbies....absolutely.
Will we still feel frustrated by their questions...absolutely.
Will we get better educated newbies from this site...absolutely.

I have read some really nice posts in the past directing newbies to here or there. Let's set up a standard response and see if it works.

ChuckAmos



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No. of Recommendations: 29
I have read some really nice posts in the past directing newbies to here or there. Let's set up a standard response and see if it works.

OK, I'll take a stab at creating a standard reply. I'll post it on the web at http://www.jps.net/donna/mi.html also.


Welcome, New Mechanical Investor!

This is the advanced Mechanical Investing board, where research and development of new stock screens is carried out. Basic questions about MI, and questions about your individual portfolio allocation, are dealt with on the Foolish Workshop Board at http://boards.fool.com/messages.asp?mid=13197982&bid=100136. It can be quite confusing the first time you stumble in here, so here's a little help getting started:

A brief overview of what is going on here by TMFTwitty:
What is MI? http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1030013004972000

LAPropDoc's Guide for New Mechanical Investors:
A very detailed guide that takes you from "What the heck is MI?" right through buying your first stock screen.

Doc's Guide, Part 1 http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=12500126
Doc's Guide, Part 2 http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=12500238
Doc's Guide, Part 3 http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=12500238
Doc's Guide, Part 4 http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=12500306
Doc's Guide, Part 5 http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=12594893
TMFElan's Guide to the Foolish Workshop:
FW FAQ http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1030063001715000

And when you're ready to play with the big kids, check out oitsubob's page for links to valuable MI investing tools:
MI Reference Page http://www.qis.net/~manymice/foolweb/index.htm


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No. of Recommendations: 2
dsehabiague:
Very good.However I believe I would re-word that last part about:"And when you're ready to play with the big kids...".This could be interpreted as a little bit demeaning.
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No. of Recommendations: 5
OK, I'll take a stab at creating a standard reply. I'll post it on the web at http://www.jps.net/donna/mi.html also.

What I do is bookmark some of the better replies, then when I see a newbie, click over to a bookmark, copy to clipboard then copy that into my reply. So all we need is a good initial post, everyone bookmark it, and when ever anyone new shows up, post that as a reply.

doc
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No. of Recommendations: 17
OK, I'll take a stab at creating a standard reply. I'll post it on the web at http://www.jps.net/donna/mi.html also

A good start dsehabiague, let me add some to it.
xxxxxxxxxxxx

Welcome to Mechanical Investing.

Unfortunately you have strayed onto our advanced research and development board. We usually recommend
when first starting out that new investors spend some time on our beginner's board the Foolish Workshop.

The first post to read is TMFElan's excellent Foolish Workshop FAQ which you can find here
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1030063001715000
Take some time and read thru it. There are many good links for the new investor.

Two Boards?
From TMFElan's post
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1030063000379005&sort=id
My view is that the MI board is the right place for all research, rankings, lists, and other contributions
to the "advancement of science" in this area. If you're posting something that you believe is of
general interest to this community then I think it belongs on the MI board. That way, people who want to
keep abreast of developments know that the MI board is the one place to go. They don't have to browse the FW
board in case there's new info here.

The FW board is for questions and answers of a personal nature. If someone doesn't understand or
can't find some information, or wants help and opinions regarding their personal situation, they can
ask here and get their answer without taking up bandwidth on the MI board.

Of course EVERYONE is invited to read everything on the MI board, assuming they have the time. ;-)

Elan

Also take a look at this humorous post by William Lipp
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1030013012244001&sort=username

So begin with the Foolish Workshop FAQ.
After that, check out this series of posts for the beginner
Doc's Guide, Part 1 http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=12500126
Doc's Guide, Part 2 http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=12500238
Now Part 2 covers costs, but Doc made a math error, so when you finish reading Part 2 go to this link.
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1030063003061000&sort=collapsed
Doc's Guide, Part 3 http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=12500238
Doc's Guide, Part 4 http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=12500306
Doc's Guide, Part 5 http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=12594893

LAPropDoc has also updated this series into a Soapbox.com report entitled "Doc's Unofficial Guide
for the New Mechanical Investor" available for sale at
http://www.soapbox.com/english_exec/v?op=d&d=292&a=MEM0000000177&c=274

Since much of what we do here is momentum investing another great report to consider buying is Sux2BeU's
"Relative Strength Investing" availbe here http://www.soapbox.com/english_exec/v?op=d&d=273&a=MEM0000000201&c=274

And just to really overload you with homework, the Workshop has many good articles which post on Tuesday
and Thursday on the main Motley Fool page. An index by date is here
http://www.fool.com/workshop/2000/workshop2000.htm
You also can see a index by subject for 98-99 here
http://www.soapbox.com/english_exec/user_forums?op=show_message&messageid=93&forumid=91&display=0&size=20&threadid=39&treeleft=1&authordisplayname=LAPropDoc

Some other good resources for the new investor include:
MindsEye's Compilation of Backposts
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1030013011278000&sort=postdate

The MI Convention website hosted by Foolishly Free
http://tmf.e-possibilities.com

Monkban's Website has great details and practical resourses of MI
http://www.realityboard.com/MI_update.html

Jjackel's website
http://www.geocities.com/jjackel/

Brian Finney posts the weekly picks at his site
http://www.phillysites.com/screens/locator.htm

oitsubob's site is the FAQ for the Mechanical Investing board. It contains many useful links -
http://www.qis.net/~manymice/foolweb/index.htm

Brian Finney's site includes an awesome back testing tool and very timely updates of many screen rankings
on Friday afternoons -
http://www.phillysites.com/foolishness/

Jamie Gritton's site provides a variety of back tests of the basic strategies, "overlap" strategies,
screen-of-screens strategies, and blends of screens -
http://www.gritton.org/ws/

Peter Kuperman's Website
http://MIBDatabase.netinc.ca/index.html

Rayvt's investment advice for newbies wanting to do monthlies
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1030013008960010&sort=id
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No. of Recommendations: 0
OK, I'll take a stab at creating a standard reply. I'll post it on the web at http://www.jps.net/donna/mi.html . -dsehabiague

At first this seems much like the idea behind the FW FAQ in the first place. If you look at the FW FAQ at http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1030063001715000, Elan answers 23 of the most common newbie questions right off the bat. He lists them up top in a table of contents. What could be better for most newbie questions? [Even though, as Elan has stated many times, it needs some updating, it still answers a large percentage of newbie questions.] The 5 part undergrad course offered by LAPropDoc is great for a newbie who is serious about getting serious. But I think that something like Elan's question-and-answer format with table of contents is just what many walk-in-tire-kicker newbies need, and IMO, they need it right up top so they do not immediately become overwhelmed.

A principal advantage of a newbie webpage such as you propose, IMHO, is that it is independent and so its content could be frequently updated with newbie questions and answers. If someone (maybe you) would do this and keep it organized to be a useful resource it would probably be referred to and accessed often.

Incidentally, check your webpage at http://www.jps.net/donna/mi.html :
When I click on the link to Doc's Guide, Part 3, it leads to post 13215. Shouldn't it lead to 13216 at http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1030063003042003&sort=id

-Dave Heinrich
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No. of Recommendations: 1
What I do is bookmark some of the better replies, then when I see a newbie, click over to a bookmark, copy to clipboard then copy that into my reply. So all we need is a good initial post, everyone bookmark it, and when ever anyone new shows up, post that as a reply. -LAPropDoc

This makes especially good sense due to the fact that it allows for new developments in the questions and answers. FAQs and webpages, as valuable as they are, become a maintenance headache to keep totally up to date and relevant for every possible occasion and so are best used as a repository for reference material that is expected to remain more or less stable for long periods (which even then requires frequent maintenance).

The typical newbie question often needs both:

1) An answer to their immediate question without sending them to night school
2) Direction to information such as found in a more repository like FAQ or other webpage.

JMHO. -Dave Heinrich
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No. of Recommendations: 17
dsehabiague:

Your idea for a standard reply is a great one. I've already bookmarked your post for future use. My one modification would be to make sure that its clear that the newbie can ask his question immediately on the FW board and not just after he's reviewed several months worth of material (which, while not a bad idea, is simply not realistic for all).

Such a modification could be accomplished by simply tweaking your initial paragraphs, as follows:

Thank you for showing an interest in Mechanical Investing. Although this community welcomes your participation, you have inadvertantly placed your post on the advanced Mechanical Investing board which is occupied with the research and development of new stock screens. Basic questions about MI (including your individual portfolio allocation) will be answered on the Foolish Workshop Board at: [link omitted].

It can be quite confusing the first time you stumble in here, but don't worry as the Foolish Workshop board is specifically designed to help you out. And, don't worry about the quality of the assistance, most of the regulars on this board also patrol the FW board in order to give their expert guidance to newcomers. So: (1) copy your question; (2)click on the above link; and (3) paste your question on the FW board. Most likely, you'll soon receive a quick and informative reply.


If you want, you can include the remainder of your post:

As this place can be quite confusing the first time you stumble in, here's a little extra help you might want to consider when getting started with MI . . .

However, this info is already contained in a bunch of places and the above polite response will most likely to the trick. Once on the FW board, we can hit them with the rest of the links (including all the great ones connected by LAPropDoc.

What does everyone else think?

Gany

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No. of Recommendations: 0
I love it; it's more courteous than a number of crude rejounders that would only inflame. Besides, I'm tired of this heifer dust. rob
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However I believe I would re-word that last part...

Thanks, BassAttack, will do. I just threw that out hoping we could work together to come up with a standard reply.

Any other suggestions?

--Donna
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No. of Recommendations: 0
A good start dsehabiague, let me add some to it.

Eeeek, Doc, I was trying to keep it short! I was initially thinking of just a canned reply that we could toss out. But as someone else suggested, since it's on a web page, it could be expanded and updated on a regular basis. Which I have no objection to doing.

I'm looking at the best way to incorporate your suggestions... but I'm about out of time for the project today.

--Donna
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No. of Recommendations: 2
Eeeek, Doc, I was trying to keep it short!

Something I often do is provide a short reply on the board sirecting them to the FW Board, then a followup email with a longer messages/links.

Sometimes this lets the newbie follow up with other questions via email, not wasting bandwidth.

doc
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No. of Recommendations: 1
Being not computer savy, it would be nice if someone would develope a page or site where all newbie questions could be shown with the same explaination that "The answer to this question requires that you do the following DD at this page"... or something along those lines.

This is amazing....just like your I-95 analogy, there is a link at the top of each page here on the board that says "FAQ"....which means "Frequently Asked Questions" It is designed specifically for newbies. There is also a nice "What is this place" link at the bottom of each message that links you to an earlier message which gives a nice overview of the Foolish Workshop boards. If these are not sufficient, or if they leave some things unanswered, let's just expand them and not reinvent the wheel.


my .02


Glenn Dixon
glenn@thedixons.net
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No. of Recommendations: 1
There is also a nice "What is this place" link at the bottom of each message that links you to an earlier message which gives a nice overview of the Foolish Workshop board.

But you get there by clicking this link at the bottom of the MI board, which I think would confuse someone seeking clarity (the link predates the board split). Still, Elan's FAQ is excellent, and is a true FAQ, so just redirecting the top-of-page link to that page seems the easiest and best solution. Then the response to newbies could be a simple, polite, "Try the FAQ" sort of thing.

-Jim
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No. of Recommendations: 1
After about a year of getting frustrated that these people(obviously different people all the time) were still asking the same question, I made a map.
It showed them exactly where they were at that time and how to get to where they wanted to be.
I know how frustrating the simple, obvious questions can be, to those who know the answers...I used to had them the map with a simple "Thanks for stopping by".
Guess what?...there were still a few that had a problem reading a map.
-ChuckAmos

This is amazing....just like your I-95 analogy, there is a link at the top of each page here on the board that says "FAQ"....which means "Frequently Asked Questions" It is designed specifically for newbies. There is also a nice "What is this place" link at the bottom of each message that links you to an earlier message which gives a nice overview of the Foolish Workshop boards. If these are not sufficient, or if they leave some things unanswered, let's just expand them and not reinvent the wheel. -webwide

And

But you get there by clicking this link at the bottom of the MI board, which I think would confuse someone seeking clarity (the link predates the board split). Still, Elan's FAQ is excellent, and is a true FAQ, so just redirecting the top-of-page link to that page seems the easiest and best solution. Then the response to newbies could be a simple, polite, "Try the FAQ" sort of thing. -JimStrott

IMHO the above expresses the core of it.

The frustration that I sense in this thread [and in others where even renaming the board is discussed] might subside dramatically if appropriate updates were made to:

1) The Fool Workshop Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) hot linked material (hot link at upper left on each MI post) so that we truly have an MI FAQ - maybe the same one as used for the FW, as suggested by JimStrott.

2) The What is This Place? hot linked material (hot link at lower left on each MI post) - which is obsolete and irrelevant to a newbie.

Personally, I think that the hot linked material should be upgraded before too much complicated stuff is done - but that is JMHO. As much as the idea of a newbie website strikes a chord now, how seriously would we be discussing it if these hot links were more useful?

I would offer to Elan that I write some of the stuff for upgrading the hotlink material but IMO there are several MIers more qualified than me in board experience and writing skill so I hesitate. Actually, I can think of no one more qualified than Elan by virtue of knowledge, writing skill, and temperment for this salient task which I regard as fundamentally different than simply writing a post. 'be glad to help collect material for it however.

-Dave Heinrich

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