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When is the next issue? I thought it is the 2nd Wed. of each month.

Mark
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Mark,


Joe announced, via the front page of last month's newsletter, that they will vary the distribution date each month from now on. I'd explain, but I'll just give you a link because Joe does a much better job than I ever could.

http://newsletters.fool.com/1066/coverage/issues/2014/05/14/...



Lee
HG/SPOP HOme Fool

Big Time IV Fanboy
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Lee beat me to it.

Ralph
II/One Home Fool

--but we both tend to hang a bit in IV too I guess.
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Doh, I read this. So not to be a complete fool, was there a new rec since AMZN?
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Hi Mark (and I'm sure others who are wondering this same thing),

Nope, there's been no rec yet. Although there will still be a recommendation every month, it's no longer on a fixed date. We actually think this is one of the best things about our new format. When opportunity knocks, this allows Joe and team to immediately answer rather than wait around and see if it's still standing outside the door days or weeks later. This format helps them make the best recommendations possible, but it also means you won't know in advance when they're coming.

Meanwhile, the rest of the issue-type content we used to publish has been broken up and now arrives in your inbox throughout the month -- see the Best Buys Now (previously on Page 4), Scott's piece on what financial statements can't tell you (Page 5), and Joe's letter today (Page 1). If you want to see all the issue-type content collected in one place, you can always simply go here:

http://newsletters.fool.com/1066/coverage/tag/Features/index...

That list there will automatically update with the latest content as we continue to publish.

Nathan
IV editor
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Now I get it! Thanks for the fine explanation.

Mark
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Sorry guys, I love the service, but I don't understand your logic for the changes.

I have a life and I'm inundated with email every day and I never get to read all of it. I understand that you guys don't want to be restricted to set deadlines, but I don't know why you wouldn't give us a monthly report. I knew I was missing emails regularly and not keeping up, but I always felt that reading the monthly letter caught me up on anything I had missed.

How would you feel if Amazon told you they were going to stop publishing financials when we expected them to, but claimed that it was so they could keep us up to date on a more timely basis?

I know that I wouldn't be impressed, and the funny thing is, I'd expect you wouldn't be impressed either and you'd probably even recommend selling to move on to something we could follow and understand.

Sorry if I appear grumpy. Maybe I'm getting old and I'm just not as receptive to change as I used to be, but if you could set up a link on site that would allow those of us with lives to periodically bungee jump into the site and get the most up to date content for the past month in a format that's reasonably familiar and easy to follow, I'd appreciate it. That's generally the value that I got from the monthly updates.

Again, just to reiterate, I love the service. I really like what you guys do. I just feel a bit disconnected now.

Thanks,

Morse
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Hi Morse,

Thanks for the feedback. Very much appreciated.

All the the parts of the issue you'd come to love can be found on the Inside Value home page 24/7/365. Our latest recommendation, Best Buys Now, guidance changes, sell recommendations, commentary and more are all right there. You can drop by anytime and get immediately up speed on your schedule, and not just on the second Wednesday of every month.

For the Amazon example, what's different is that Amazon's first quarter results won't change whether they're reported in early or late May. The actual event and timing of our finding winning ideas is fluid, though, and the date upon which we communicate that to members was not. That was a structural misalignment with our opportunistic approach that cost you money. Several times over the years the shares of a company we wanted to recommend ran away while we stared at the clock and waited for the second Wednesday of the month to roll around. It was painful and cost you money.

I appreciate the convenience of knowing when ideas would come your way. It's something you can build your month around. When it gets down to brass tacks, though, we at the Fool are always going to choose the option that gets you the best investment returns possible.

To keep the monthly schedule when we knew it wasn't the best approach to maximize returns for our strategy would effectively have been a statement that we are a publishing company that writes about investments, instead of an investment company that communicates our recommendations through writing. We're the latter and put returns first and foremost.

I hope that helps and, again, I appreciate there are some trade offs. Still, I think we've gained a lot by making the change and I'm confident that more timely, opportunistic guidance will help members make more money.

Best,
Joe
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Hi Morse,

I'm sorry you feel a bit disconnected from the service -- we're certainly not trying to do that. As with almost anything, the changes to IV have benefits and drawbacks, though we think the benefits outweigh the drawbacks and we're trying to minimize the drawbacks' effects on members.

First, as Joe has mentioned repeatedly, we think the new system will allow us to be more opportunistic in our stock recommendations, potentially improving our picks and therefore member returns, and that is the core of what this service is about. Second, we're now providing more (Joe, Philip, and Scott are modest and wouldn't mention it, but they are writing more total articles now) and more timely content. The new daily scorecard emails, for example, have gotten a very positive response from members so far and are seeing heavy usage.

The downside, of course, is that what we knew as the issue has disappeared. (Joe, Scott, Philip, and I had put in a lot of hours on those over the years, and we were little a sad to see them go, too.) But not being able to set a specific time each month made printing an issue impractical, and the issue was so labor-intensive (think computer systems that don't talk to each other) that committing that much time only to create an online-only PDF of it when the content is already on the site made no sense. Forgoing that is part of what enables us to now provide you with more content overall. And to be honest, as we kept adding content over the years, the issue was no longer incorporating all the content we produced in a given month anyway. Rather, it was more of a "best of" collection, while the Weekly Updates contained additional information. Now, if you're willing to check them once a week, the Weekly Updates will provide you with links to every piece of content we have published in the past week, so they can be your overview -- just weekly instead of monthly. (Monthly would be daunting for readers, as under the new system we may publish upwards of 50 separate articles in a month during earnings season.)

But we'd like to help you and others who miss the issue by making it as easy as we can to find the kind of content you're used to when you want to "bungee" in. So in addition to the link I provided above, I've now created "This Month's Featured Content" on the IV home page (look on the righthand side, under Joe's smiling mug). These are our best, most important pieces from the month, similar to what you're used to from the issue. We've also worked to make our article pages more printer-friendly, so if you'd like, you can print them out to read. So to find what you're used to, you now need go no further than the IV home page. Hope that helps.

Nathan
IV editor
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Thanks chaps. I know your intentions are good. I still have some difficulty with the logic but I trust you guys are trying to do what you think is right. If at any point, as you work through the transition, you intend to review how it's going, I'd appreciate it if you could consider a couple of things:

(1) There are long term Fools who love that your goal is 'to educate, enrich and amuse'. Focus too much on the 'enrich' part and you risk becoming just like any other service.

(2) Consider issuing an Annual Report. Even Buffett issues an Annual Report. And he does that very deliberately, on a Friday, so investors have time to digest the information. Like every Annual Report, the information is out of date by the time it gets to the reader. We all know that, but it's still highly valuable information. I still believe that if any company said they would stop issuing an Annual Report because they could keep us up to date on a more timely basis, by issuing a few hundred emails a month, I think we'd all race to the exits. I understand why you don't want to do a monthly report, but you might give some thought to doing an Annual one?

Thanks again for taking the time to respond to me. You guys are great. I'll make sure to use the "this month's featured content" to catch up with where you're at, when I get disconnected from time to time. Thanks for drawing my attention to that. I also discovered your scorecard tab and will try to make time to update that with the stocks I hold, and those that interest me most so I'll try to get that going and see if it helps me to stay connected.

All the best of luck with the transition.

Morse
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No. of Recommendations: 1
You should be flexible and allow readers to choose which service they prefer. Personally, I want to see 1 pdf with everything. I don't care about your timely recommendations, but find your views an interesting read. So I simply want everything in 1 pdf, once a month. I don't care if its 1 month delayed. So where can I go and click on 1 link and see a pdf with everything for the month? Its very simple and would make people like Morse and myself very happy.

Another comment is that you should change the name of the publication, Inside Value is misleading. Personally, I thought it was a value investing newsletter but it is far from it. The stocks you buy have good and interesting stories but are way too expensive for value investors like myself. The only stock we have in common is WLP.

It is my understanding that Joe was more of a value investor but has moved away since he joined the Fool. I'm sorry to hear that.
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Hi Sophocles,

I'll talk to our editor about the one-click option. We're not likely to split the service options but I'm happy to explore any and all features you folks are asking for.

As far as as the name of the service and its focus, I replied to a post where you commented on this previously but you never responded: http://boards.fool.com/1066/poll-are-you-buying-31249883.asp...

Best,
Joe
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Hi Fools,

Just to follow up, I asked our Biz Intel team to look into site printing patterns among Inside Value users to get a feel for how often folks printed out batches of our content to read later. Based on our site data, it seems only 0.1% of Inside Value member site visits include a print session. So, even if we hustled to 10X that figure, it would still leave us with 99% of site visits not ending with a print job. Makes me reluctant to shift our team's gears in that general direction.

I'll chat with the team some more about other options, but for the time being I'd encourage folks to make good use of Scorecard -- it's a streamlined, real-time way to keep up with all the premium coverage on all your stocks -- and to regularly check in with the Inside Value scorecard, which always has our current Buy Below prices, intrinsic value estimates, and other assorted data. I'm also talking to the team about adding a column for risk.

Thanks again for the feedback, all. We'll keep exploring.

Best,
Joe
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