Skip to main content
No. of Recommendations: 15
TMFGetFit wrote:

Second, I hope you also realize that we will listen more closely when comments are made constructively and those making them truly make an effort to see things from different points of view.

In this case, I responded to jps's comments because I felt they were unfair, sensationalized and made erroneous assumptions about our customer base.

So you'll listen closely to constructive comments but respond when they are unfair and sensationalized? I guess that explains why so many reasonably worded posts questioning the Fool's policies seem to be ignored...;)

Seriously, it is not sensationalism to say that the creditbility of the Fool is at stake here. The fact that laopera/jds has realized this before most of your customers doesn't mean a great many won't eventually come to a similar conclusion.

Finally, I'm getting really sick of the conflicts of interest discussion. Lets not make more of this than it actually is.

Get used to it. The Fool has always been open to this criticism and some have always made it. Their ranks will increase and their voice will get louder as The Fool tries to increase the amount of revenue generated directly from their customer base. That said, this latest product launch, as laopera/jds has correctly pointed out, leaves you more open to this criticism than ever. This is not merely the rumblings of the perpetually disgruntled.

Of course we have potential conflicts of interest. Who in the online space can avoid a business relationship with AOL, Amazon or Yahoo? The real question is, "Do those conflicts manifest themselves in a way that compromises our editorial integrity or mission?"

You've either missed the point or willfully chosen to ignore it. His point was that you can't have it both ways -- you admit to potential conflicts of interest and yet market the Fool's research as an alternative to traditional sources which shouldn't be trusted because of... umm... potential conflicts of interest. Hellooo?

Why should I as a potential customer of both ignore one and worry about the other? I have to evaluate each and every source of information before coming to a decision. As a shopper, I am aware that I am constantly being marketed to even when I am visiting a free website. That is fine. When I decide whether to buy something that costs more than time, I instinctively cast a more suspicious eye at that marketing. When The Fool points a finger at an entire industry that could just as easily be pointed back at The Fool, I hear a voice saying beware. When an employee of The Fool tries to gloss over such glaring hypocrisy, I only have more reason to question its trustworthiness.

I understand and sympathize with the fact that you, as an employee of The Fool, are tired of hearing conflict of interest complaints about an employer in whom you believe. I hope you don't think I'm being obnoxious when I suggest that by defending an obviously flawed policy you are only fanning the flames of dissent.

In my opinion, The Fool has two options if it wants to maintain an acceptable level of credibility:

1. Stop selling research if it wants to continue criticising brokerage houses for conflict of interest.

2. Stop criticising brokerage houses for conflict of interest it wants to continue selling market research.

Personally, I'd vote for the first but either one would be an improvement over the current approach. Attacking the direct competition for a problem the Fool also has is way too sleazy a marketing tactic.

Print the post  


What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.