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If you want to read about the headline of this post, just skip to the bottom. If you want to read a small primer on how to make a fictitious claim against a whole industry group for the sake of selling a competing financial product or two, and whether or not it is "Foolish" to do so, read top to bottom.

TMFJeff: I believe it is true (how could it not be?) that all institutional-based stock research has some conflict of interest. The business structure essentially dictates this. That said, it would be much more Foolish for us to say MOST, rather than ALL, and so I'll change our wording in the article. Thank you for this good suggestion.

Thank you, but I see as of this post that it is not yet changed. It also appears in other places. And of course I'm not convinced that even most of it is biased. And I also see this, under the Goals of Fool Research:

Well, most of it [stock research] comes from Wall Street firms who either have or hope for financing relationships with the very companies they are "analyzing."

http://www.fool.com/research/about/about.htm

Again, not true at all. Most of it comes from private research firms, Hoover's, O'Neil, S&P, ValueLine, etc., which do not have financing relationships, and which make it their practice, for great business reasons, to remain sternly unbiased. It is certainly not in any of these companies interest to entertain any bias whatsoever when touting industry groups or stocks. In the words of William J. O'Neil, founder of Investors Business Daily, in How to Make Money in Stocks" (2nd ed, 1995):

"It is naive to believe companies are going to tell you when they are starting to have problems. By using our own data and research, we also thoroughly discourage any reliance on tips, rumors, and inside information. We just don't need, want, or believe in the use of inside information."

Additionally, some financial research comes from investment bankers and brokers such as Credit Suisse First Boston, Wedbush Morgan, etc. These companies analysts have about as much incentive to be biased as those at the S&P and Moody's. Sometimes they do get cozy. I wouldn't dare say it doesn't happen. But it doesn't happen most of the time.

You go on, Jeff, and you get worse:

All institutional-based stock research reports are presented under a conflict of interest....If these conflicting interests seem criminally Wise, they are! And consumers are hurt most by this whole charade.

You know, this is about as reckless a claim as one can make when selling your own financial product or service. Now all the others are criminally Wise? Now it's all a charade? How do you prove this without hundreds of federal court verdicts on your side? Remember, you made the claim in support of trying to sell your product.

And finally, here's the coup de grace, the final words of the disclaimer:

The Fools associated with this report may own shares in the companies they write about.

If that's not the most powerful incentive for biasing a report I don't know what is. It makes it impossible for me to believe that Fool research has a leg up on other institutional research--of any kind.

jeanpaulsartre
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I don't mind reading this sort of post. I DO mind when it's posted again and again IN THE WRONG BOARDS. Do tell me what this post has to do with CALIFORNIA.


Washu! ^O^
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I DO mind when it's posted again and again IN THE WRONG BOARDS. Do tell me what this post has to do with CALIFORNIA.

Sorry, Washu.

I imagine that the board here is full of people who think about this issue, and who think the Fool very unFoolish for venturing into financial research. I particularly think it's an especially resonant issue for those of us here in California, for not only are many of us especially close to the companies likely to be analysed, but so many of us are active in posting stock recommendations, indeed, whole portfolios, of our own, and weigh the merits of institutional research habitually.

I've also had a lot of exchange with a lot of the people here who post to this board, and know them to be people for whom this issue may be of interest. But if I see any strong evidence otherwise, Washu, I'll gladly take it someplace else.

Finally, I like to think I've helped make this board the forum that it is, and helped to bring a lot of people together over a couple of years, and I wish you'd cut me a little slack for that, or even indulge me a little bit.

But hey, I think I'm done with this issue anyway. The last one felt like a final release.

And of course, if you don't like the content here, you can always make some of your own.

jps
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I don't mind reading this sort of post. I DO mind when it's posted again and again IN THE WRONG BOARDS. Do tell me what this post has to do with CALIFORNIA

The post is a continuation of a dialogue several CALIFORNIANS are having with the Fool, and as such, it involves CALIFORNIA.

If the topic doesn't interest you, don't read the post. The Folly in CALIFORNIA board has in the past been a forum for CALIFORNIA members of the community to discuss a wide variety of topics.
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<I don't mind reading this sort of post. I DO mind when it's posted again and again
IN THE WRONG BOARDS. Do tell me what this post has to do with
CALIFORNIA.>

The Fool is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia so jeanpaulsartre should probably place some of these posts in the Folly in Virgina board.
I didn't mind all the commentary on the selling of Echelon shares, since the company is based in Palo Alto (CA).
But my guess is that until TomDave relinquish their plastic at 28 this will remain an agitated, set its own rules, kinda board. Unfortunately, I don't see it letting up.

Michael
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<< But if I see any strong evidence otherwise, Washu, I'll gladly take it someplace else. >>

I've actually seen this issue on other boards several times in the past, in different "conflict of interest" flavors. The Fool does have several TMF-specific boards. "Improve the Fool" is one of the boards I'd like to see it on, because, indeed, you are trying to improve the quality of this site. It will also draw a wider audience who might not have otherwise seen it. I do also appreciate your well-written response and thank you for it.

If you didn't care about TMF, you wouldn't have posted.


***

To TMFPinky: As I've been told that this message board belongs to a community other than what its title implies, I am requesting that if you do have additional announcements re: TMF within the Bay Area, please also post on the Silicon Valley Fools board.


Washu! ^O^
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No. of Recommendations: 4
To TMFPinky: As I've been told that this message board belongs to a community other than what its title implies, I am requesting that if you do have additional announcements re: TMF within the Bay Area, please also post on the Silicon Valley Fools board.

Washu,

The Silicon Valley Fools board is an investment club board. This is the general "Folly in California" board. I think TMF Pinky goes out of her way to try to post on the Folly boards when she could simple post in the Events area and leave it at that. To ask her to wade through the Investment Club boards is a little much don't you think?

To post on the Silicon Valley board would attact the interest of the group of Fools that know about the board. Personally, I had no idea the board existed. To post on the Folly in California board reaches Fools in California.

As for your remarks to Joseph, he is welcome to post his comments here. Although we have a lot of fluff on this board, we also talk about issues. I think this board has allowed several friendships to form among Fools both in and out of the state. I would no more suggest that Joseph posts his thoughts on another board than I would suggest MomAtHome not post her because she lives in Michigan.

Sorry Washu, but I'm taking you to task. You rarely post on this board and critisizing those that do because you think the discussion belongs elsewhere is inappropriate. How about using some of your energy to help some of the recent Silicone Valley area posters form a dinner instead?

TMF Dawn
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To TMFPinky: As I've been told that this message board belongs to a community other than what its title implies,

I must have missed that post. I could have sworn that a couple of posts said it was a forum to discuss issues of interest to CALIFORNIA
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JJinLA:The post is a continuation of a dialogue several CALIFORNIANS are having with the Fool, and as such, it involves CALIFORNIA.

Old Danny boy was involved in California!

"I love California. I practically grew up in Phoenix."
- Dan Quayle

Don't forget to vote!
SANO
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"I love California. I practically grew up in Phoenix."
- Dan Quayle


Sano,

I do miss Danny Boy. Politics is not as fun without him. Just remember, the future will be a better tomorrow. How true that is.

JJ
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<< To ask her to wade through the Investment Club boards is a little much don't you think? >>

**Shrug** Depends on if she wants people on that board to know of the event.

<< Personally, I had no idea the board existed. To post on the Folly in California board reaches Fools in California. >>

It reaches the Fools on this message board, whom, as can be inferred...

<< As for your remarks to Joseph, he is welcome to post his comments here. Although we have a lot of fluff on this board, we also talk about issues. I think this board has allowed several friendships to form among Fools both in and out of the state. I would no more suggest that Joseph posts his thoughts on another board than I would suggest MomAtHome not post her because she lives in Michigan. >>

...are their own community.

It's a natural property of a message board to create its own culture. Likewise, such cultures are a result of how closely those on its board restrict themselves to the charter (eg. USENET) or title of the board. Should the board culture not restrict itself to the charter/title, it has the potential of allowing Off-Topic posts to be acceptable. That causes a conflict, which, of course, this thread shows.

<< You rarely post on this board and critisizing those that do because you think the discussion belongs elsewhere is inappropriate. >>

The original post is off-topic to the title, but falls within bounds of the board's culture. I'm reading from your post that the latter is more acceptable than the former.

<< How about using some of your energy to help some of the recent Silicone Valley area posters form a dinner instead >>

Probably an inopportune moment to link it, but:
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1331217000018000&sort=id


Washu! ^O^
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It's a natural property of a message board to create its own culture. Likewise, such cultures are a result of how closely those on its board restrict themselves to the charter (eg. USENET) or title of the board. Should the board culture not restrict itself to the charter/title, it has the potential of allowing Off-Topic posts to be acceptable. That causes a conflict, which, of course, this thread shows.

And occasional conflict is not desirable? Value stocks or growth stocks, Fool research or institutional research, AnejoPort or IcedTeaPort, Dow index or Now index, TomDave or Zweig, martinis or iced tea, NoCal or SoCal, SF or LA, rule of law or rule of java--conflict, I think, builds better understanding within than the simple provision of information does, as long as a dialog continues.

Where there is no conflict, no "dialog" in it's classical sense, there is no story--and too bad, for we learn through stories. When there is no dialog, or when dialog becomes too aggressive, or too sensitive, and breaks down--that's when we have fragmentation, isolation, and live in the general despair of sysops and bankers.

jeanpaulsartre
dialog not analog
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The original post is off-topic to the title, but falls within bounds of the board's culture. I'm reading from your post that the latter is more acceptable than the former.

<< How about using some of your energy to help some of the recent Silicone Valley area posters form a dinner instead >>

Probably an inopportune moment to link it, but:
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1331217000018000&sort=id


Washu,

Thanks for the link to your event! To really catch the attention of others in the area, please post it again within its own thread. I'm sure there are people here that would love to join you and I'd hate to see the event get lost within this thread.

Btw, since I went to the board, I took the time to read a few posts. (Actually just hit "next" I didn't pick them out.) I noticed the board had a thread on "Dating". That doesn't exactly fit under the heading of "Investment Clubs" but it proves something else. Every board DOES have a culture that is formed by the people that post there.

As for the Folly in California board, I find it to be one of the most welcoming boards in Fooldom. Rarely do we see a flame war. Often times, new Fools are welcomed into the fold personally.

I encourage the Silicon Valley Fools to drop by often to lurk or join in if the wish. Also, if you would like to announce events with a link to your board, it would help new FiCA Fools to find your group. In return, I will add a link to your board in the next update of the FAQ (if you wish) to help Fools in your area meet with others.

TMF Dawn
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jps,

Hoover's, S&P, etc, is not "institutional" research as it is commonly defined. Institutional research is that research offered by investment banking institutions, and it is the research that MOVES the market by making buy, sell or hold calls on stocks. (Hoover's and S&P I don't even call "research reports" -- I'd call these services information consolidation. They don't offer analysis, typically, just numbers and data.)

At the Fool, we want our writers to own stocks, because that is how you best come to understand them -- the Fool is investors writing for investors. It has always been that way. And if disclaimers are given, there should not be an issue here. It is a positive.

It was obvious from day one that the money in the Fool Port (now Rule Breaker) was David and Tom's money, so of course they were biased about the stocks they owned and wrote about daily. Better to have the bias out in the open. The end objective is education anyway, which is unrelated to specific stocks.

Finally, I haven't tweaked the pages you refer to (it's been one day) because I've been ill and out of the office.

Thanks for the suggestions.

Fool on,

Jeff



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<< Thanks for the link to your event! To really catch the attention of others in the area, please post it again within its own thread. I'm sure there are people here that would love to join you and I'd hate to see the event get lost within this thread. >>

Thanks -- Still working on the details. How do you know you're talking with someone from the Silicon Valley? They say they have no life but their weekend and evening schedules are still booked.

<< I noticed the board had a thread on "Dating". That doesn't exactly fit under the heading of "Investment Clubs" but it proves something else. Every board DOES have a culture that is formed by the people that post there. >>

Actually, Alifool who prompted the board to be created didn't want it to be an Investment Club. Someone did try to form one and it didn't work out. (I couldn't make it because I'd have to drive two hours to San Francisco for a distance of a whopping **forty** miles.) I'll suggest on "Improve the Fool" some folder organizational structure that message boards for regions within a state within a state folder of some sort.

The dating thread was pretty much started by an article about dating in Silicon Valley. I really hope that the article does not apply elsewhere.

<< Also, if you would like to announce events with a link to your board, it would help new FiCA Fools to find your group. In return, I will add a link to your board in the next update of the FAQ (if you wish) to help Fools in your area meet with others. >>

Thanks, and would appreciate it.


Washu! ^O^
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