No. of Recommendations: 48
Pro Closing;

I need to get some of this off my chest and then move on. What MF has done is disappointing. But it goes beyond disappointment; this has had a real financial and emotional impact on many of us. MF, as a professional organization, has handled this wrong and should have done better.

My Pro journey began five or so years ago (I’ve been with MF much longer) when I was first moving towards an early retirement. Investment decisions mattered to my retirement plan of course. I was deciding whether to leave money with investment vehicles offered through my employer or take another path. Those vehicles offered a range of investments types etc. at very low fees. But, I was interested in having a more active role.

As I studied it, Pro was looking like a service that would help me so I took a subscription to try it out. Early on I could see that Pro was dependent on Jeff, although there were certainly smart people around him. An obvious question was what about Jeff’s future plans and what about succession planning if/when he left. I posed the question on one of the chats that took place and received assurance from Jeff. I don’t recall the exact answers but they satisfied me to make the switch. I committed a big part of my portfolio to Pro. As that decision had looked so smart, I more recently increased my commitment to the Pro part of my investments. I closed out other accounts and was deploying more when trouble surfaced. Signs showed up including poor communication and explanation of price increases, one year only subscriptions, lack of attention on the Pro boards by MF staff, etc. It was clear something was going on, but I underestimated the likelihood of shuttering so went ahead with some of the best buys now, etc. That was a bad choice on my part as I’ve now got even more to unwind and reconsider for future investment.

Although it should be obvious that every Pro member has a similar tale to tell, I wonder if the MF comprehends the impact of this decision. This isn’t some ubiquitous service that can be easily switched, like from Sprint to Verizon. The closing of Pro has a real impact on me and many others because we have made real life decisions based on our belief in the service. It’s our financial lives and it’s serious stuff, otherwise we wouldn’t be here. We have all made decisions with a reasonable expectation of MFs long term commitment to Pro.

And though there are alternatives being suggested by MF, I don’t see any that give me the confidence that Pro did with its North Star goal, long and short activity, options and hedging techniques. And even if I find something that looks good, I would be doubtful as it could be dumped too and I would again feel duped. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, well you know the rest.

Another personal way this affected me is that during my time with Pro my confidence in the service leaked out into praises to friends and family. At least a couple of people jumped on board with MF based on my input. There may have been others as I wasn’t shy when investment discussions came up. I sincerely regret that now and I’m embarrassed for my endorsement.

The feelings I have towards MF and even Jeff are not great (I know, I hate saying that part about Jeff but it’s how I feel.) I certainly don’t hold it against him for taking another path but as the leader of Pro, I won’t know how much he fought for it or worked on a succession plan. All I know is what has happened.

In my career, succession planning was an important part of my job and managements in general. If our organization was too dependent on one person for a project, product, leadership, etc, it was a management problem. Succession planning is paramount to effective management. MF has failed in this.

I will make a decision about where to turn and getting this off my chest hopefully stops me from dwelling on Pro’s closure longer than I already have. I am more knowledgeable to make investment decisions than I was four or five years ago. Much of that knowledge has come from the educational aspect of Pro. And thanks to MF, I now know more about what to be skeptical of when choosing service providers and products for my future.

I wish all the great Pro members here the very best of luck in moving forward and will miss the community that had existed here.

Paul
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No. of Recommendations: 1
Well said Paul. Fortunately for me, I diversified and have used other MF services for other parts my total portfolio but I always held onto my PRO percentages and kept adjusting to match PRO's recommendations. I am disappointed in the lack of succession planning because there are a number of talented people at MF and surely one of them could have been selected and migrated over into Jeff's shoes. From that point the new person could slowly morphed PRO into his or her portfolio. This was done with at least one MF service that I had followed (Million Dollar Portfolio?).

In general, my perception is that MF is adding too many new services and discontinuing existing services that a number of readers follow faithfully (Special Ops, Hidden Gems, Million Dollar Portfolio, Income Investor) are a few that come to mind that have either shuttered completely or been absorbed into other MF services. At the same time I count six new services that I don't remember being there two years ago.

I do appreciate what MF Options has done in terms of recognizing that Jeff was a key contributor but will continue to use the MF Options staff to carry on.

As I start selling off my PRO holdings and morphing them into a portfolio mix from other MF services I also realize that I will have to recognize Capital Gains taxes now, rather than deferring them as I sell a PRO recommendation ands the funds to buy another recommendation, as you say having real tax implications.
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No. of Recommendations: 6
Very well-said, Paul. Expresses my sentiments closely. I invested particularly in Motley Fool Pro for my and a family member's retirement funds. There should have been a well-thought out succession plan to keep Pro going. Not " We'll give you Premier Pass and maybe you can find something suitable in there for you or cobble something together. And btw, next year we'll charge you $3999 a year."
John
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No. of Recommendations: 0
Hi, Rob!

As I start selling off my PRO holdings and morphing them into a portfolio mix from other MF services I also realize that I will have to recognize Capital Gains taxes now, rather than deferring them as I sell a PRO recommendation ands the funds to buy another recommendation, as you say having real tax implications.

I would humbly suggest that this would be a most un-Foolish thing to do. In my opinion, and much more importantly in the opinions of our erstwhile advisors Jeff and JP, most of the positions are excellent positions to continue to hold indefinitely, with or without guidance. I found much useful information in the What To Do Next article posted at the top of the Pro home page: https://www.fool.com/premium/pro/coverage/1228/coverage/extr...

Bruce
Who is also sad about Pro closing but is looking forward to whatever comes next.
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No. of Recommendations: 14
I could really do without the Kool-Aid comments continually inserted by the CMF guys here. There’s been some strong words said, so rather than try and deflect, misdirect or excuse, how about just listening and either take them on board or say nothing? This action has shattered my faith in TMF. Strong but also fully thought through and meant. Keep in mind this is not completely isolated as I saw a number of other services shuttered with next to no notice earlier this year. But what has been done here is inexcusable. Baiting me weeks ago with a very expensive extension to then switch me into a mess of services that I have absolutely no interest in is nothing short of disgusting. I embrace change, but when I see TMF ‘flogging’ credit cards etc. I should have known that this was not a path I wished to be taken on. That’s enough for me, and I certainly won’t miss the ‘groundbreaking’ new investment service with a ‘can’t beat investment philosophy’ that gets punted at me literally every week. It’s a bit of a joke to be frank. So many different services with so many different angles are continually sold. I know there are more ETFs available than actual stocks in the market. At this rate they’ll be more Motley Fool services than ETFs!
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No. of Recommendations: 3
Let me interject a slightly different view.

I don't see ANY positives in the changes the Fool has made in recent months (except for closing Hidden Gems). I don't like the elimination/consolidation of the various services into one mishmash. I don't like the addition of "flavor of the month" services like crypto and mj. I don't like the ongoing onslaught of all these "best buys".

BUT....it is what it is. There is nothing (IMO) to be gained by moaning about a corporate change in direction, except personal venting of angst. Although I understand that some want to do that.

Regarding the PRO shutdown, I see posts for and against continuing without Jeff. Personally, I think Billy (and perhaps others) could have done an adequate job but its not to be. I doubt the Fool will backtrack on that.

Regarding what's next. The Fool has said there is another, similar, venture Jeff will be involved in (at least as I understand it). And folks are anxious to hear more. And they aren't. Realize that the Fool has another "wealth building" service out there that Fools like me can't comment on. But its there. And everyone "should" be aware of it's existence. I figure it'll be the same with Jeff's future endeavor. Everyone will be made aware of it's existence. And Fools like me won't be able to comment on it.

WHEN will everyone be made aware? Answer: When it is legally possible. When is that? When you hear about it. That's not specific, but that's the only answer.

Hopefully I haven't said anything that will cause trouble. :)

Rob
Rule Breaker / Market Pass Home Fool & STMP/MTH Maintenance Coverage Fool
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.
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No. of Recommendations: 6
Wrong. If people don’t ‘vent’ then how is TMF supposed to understand the direction and strength of feelings? I also doubt it will change their mind but that’s not the full point. People are entitled to their opinions, no matter how strong.
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No. of Recommendations: 1
Baiting me weeks ago with a very expensive extension to then switch me into a mess of services that I have absolutely no interest in is nothing short of disgusting.

Ally answered this in her post on point #1:
https://boards.fool.com/1228/answers-to-some-of-your-top-pro...

There never has been any intention for bait and switch. Refunds have been offered at the outset here and there is no hard sell on any TMF service to roll off from PRO as is the case with a bait and switch technique. TMF is acknowledging this is a hard change and the options provided don't suit everyone.

Anurag
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No. of Recommendations: 6
No there was only the advertising of a perpetual service upon which people relied to invested millions and payed a bunch fees for. No, you didn’t bait and switch. There was no bait. You just terminated the service. No transition, no transition advice, you just disappeared, leaving your members in the lurch.

I was going to use your wealth management. Not a chance now. I have lost confidence in Fool’s integrity and customer empathy.
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