No. of Recommendations: 4
Nonsense. Once you've become familiar with a company's structure and their financial statements that learning curve is behind you and you should be able to review recent performance in considerably less time than you can digest a company you're just starting to study.

Maybe yes, maybe no. If one is doing a through job, there are still 10-K's and 10-Q's like clockwork every single year/quarter. And just because you read the last "X" quarters doesn't mean you won't find a surprise tucked away in the details. Add in changes in personal, competitive landscape, new markets/products, dilution issues, exec compensation changes, etc. etc. No sense going through the whole list of possibilities...but I expect someone at TMF to be doing this with a fine tooth comb. So, I stand by my hypothesis.

If you take 60 per year for five years we're talking 300 stocks

Are you going to invest in 300 stocks in 5 years?...200?........100?
For the less sophisticated investor ( who expects TMF to do all their FA/DD and also tends to have a smaller portfolio ), a simpler world may be desireable. Playing the %'s game on a 9000 stock universe ( I did mention that it IS a big universe of stocks out there in my original post ) does not speak to this point...nor the next one. And oh, by the way, define "worthwhile" in this context.

Your presumption is that Tom and Phil and Shannon, et al. are each working solo on their tasks..

I don't know where you fathomed I presumed that...quite the contrary. I know that Tom, Dave and the others have lots of other people resources at their disposal. My point was that there are certain top-level function/judgements which, IMHO, ought not be delegated. Thus, there is some limit on the number of stock picks/year that these top guys can handle at the same level of quality.

You imply that it's a heavy workload to find two worthwhile stocks in a month..

Not at all...what I said was that it is going to be hard to find two equal-to-past-quality rec's AND maintain the ever-growing stable of picks that need ongoing maintenance work. You almost totally discount this maintenance work with the word "nonsense" to justify the above. I suggest you try and infer the level of Tom's involvement/attention on stocks like FLML, TKTX, REDE and the like, with special issues ( isn't it funny how many stocks eventually end up with new "special" issues. If it isn't mold one day, it's calculating hurricane impact the next....or a new management team...or trying to jawbone greedy management out of unfair dilutive stock option programs, etc. etc.)

Using a reasonable screen and Googling the executives and pursuing (via Internet) stories about the company in the business press, one should be able to find two worthwhile stocks in an evening ... and that allows time for dessert and either a movie or an episode of your favorite hour-long TV drama.

Might I suggest that such prodigious talents as you infer ( two a night easy! ) qualify you to do your own newsletter. Heck, if more picks are better....and the universe is large, you could recommend 700+ stocks per year ( less than 8% of the universe )...why stop with 3% if it's so easy to get good picks?

The number of TMF newsletter picks isn't going to continue growth at a 17% rate any more than the market will continue growing at the rate of the late 90's.

Now this one really confused me. Let's REAL easy to pick good five years they will only add 300 more picks....from a current base of 191....hmmmmmmm

Is it dire to get stock picks that are in the top 3% rather than the top 1%? Is there any way to judge in advance whether the one-stock-per-month is in that top 1%? No and no.

Well, you may be extrapolating beyond my post. I didn't play the % game and won't. I simply want the best possible picks for the money I pay TMF. Where would YOU draw the line on number of stock picks that the top guys can keep up with WITHOUT that little creepy monster called "step-wise degradation" sneaking in....little declines/changes that aren't noticeable when measured in the short term, but over time result in significant change..change that is often noticed after great harm has been done to a company/product. Is it simply the more picks the merrier for you? It isn't for me. Different strokes for different folks, with different needs.

Were these problems ( FLML & MPX ) discernible from publicly available information?

It is my understanding that both were, subject to someone with more facts. I not sure, but I seem to remember Tom or some TMF'er admitting they missed the MPX 10% deals.

Why do you believe that the one dozen stocks picked in a year will necessarily perform better than the two dozen? I'd bet that the performance difference between a portfolio of the twelve and a portfolio of the twenty-four would be indistinguishable

As I said before, the numbers game is not for me. Where does your logic path cut off? If 12=24, does 24=48? 48=96? 200=400? I simply said/implied that better quality picks...those that one spends more in-depth time on ( both picking and monitoring/maintaining over time )...will outperform those with less. Every business I can think of has limits on healthy growth rate....why do you seem to think TMF doesn't?

If I subscribed to any of the newsletters (I don't) I would like them to give me five in one month if they found five and none in a month if none survived their scrutiny.

Ah! At last something I can agree with ( other than your somewhat begruding agreement that the big boys have certain "intangible functions that they shouldn't delegate )....totally agree, so long as "scrutiny" means constant, rigorous standards.

Given a fixed one pick per month, how many people would feel they're getting their money's worth? Subscriptions would collapse.

Maybe yes, maybe no. I can't help but note that across the boards I posted this thought it has received over 100 rec's. Now, a rec certainly does not equate to agreement, just interest in the topic. However, the e-mails I've received have generally been very positive.

More importantly, my marketing gut thinks that the real long-term
dollar growth for TMF's services lies with the masses of time-strapped, relatively unsophisticated investors of the baby boom generation....the biggest group of which are know entering their late 40's/early 50's...and beginning to realize how much they don't know....and don't really think they have the time to learn in depth FA/DD, for example, but are desperately searching for a reliable investment resource that won't rip them off as the large brokerage houses did me over many decades.

Perhaps TMF should segment their products on this basis...some for the sophisticated, knowledgeable guys like you and others here ( more picks, more detail, higher price)...and some for those you don't have the time, talent or inclination to learn in-depth investing techniques ( fewer picks, Trust TMF to do the FA/DD...lower price )

Most newsletter subscribers want focus and that's what specialized newsletters offer.

I heartily agree...specialized, and IMHO , segmented newsletters are best.

Finally, a word about tone. I have answered your post in a more brisk ( and sometimes even sarcastic ) tone than normal. Why? Perhaps when someone chooses to term my thoughts "nonsense" it makes me irritable and defensive.

To disagree is disagree repectfully is much better.

So, in that light I apolgize for giving in to my evil twin "Bebo" and fighting fire with fire. I think that the dialogue is great, I just wish the tone ...on both our parts..had been also.

Best regards,


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