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No. of Recommendations: 1
The author's brain reached critical mass before that article was written.
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No. of Recommendations: 9
Yes, by all means, we should all sign up for the many, and expensive, TMF newsletters. That would save us lots of money, LOL.

RDW
*Tired of the constant barrage of "articles" on TMF that turn out to be just sales pitches to purchase something....

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She uses this board to promote yet another MF newsletter. Seems tacky to me, and a waste of a post.
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That's gotta be about the worst way to recommend mutual funds in general and specifically Champion Funds that I think I've ever read. The insults were silly, over-the-top and didn't even relate to the subject matter.

Normally I like MF articles, or at least think they are well-written, but come on.............

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No. of Recommendations: 6
The short version of the article:

1. Shakespeare reference.
2. Mutual funds suck!
3. You can do better with just one or two stocks!
[majorweather's note: as the author knows, you can also do worse: http://www.fool.com/investing/mutual-funds/2007/07/18/how-i-lost-200000.aspx?ref=foolwatch]
4. Mutual fund managers suck!
5. Random English Renaissance-esque insult to tie in with the Shakespeare reference.
6. Some mutual funds are more expensive than others. Buying stocks is cheaper.
7. Random English Renaissance-esque insult.
8. Insult; insult; vague paragraph about dollar-cost averaging.
9. Okay, so mutual funds aren't ALL bad. Like, there are lots of them!
10. Insult.
11. I still hate mutual funds, though. But I know some of you *insult*, *insult*, *insult* actually like them.
12. Conclusion: whatever; you're an idiot anyway. *insult* Since that's the case, go ahead and sign up for Champion Funds.

Not the best sales pitch I've ever seen.
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No. of Recommendations: 1
the article was no fun at all, but I enjoyed the short version :)
thanks, Majorweather, and a rec from me
(too bad, I cannot do a "-1 rec" to either Selena article or post here)
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No. of Recommendations: 2
You can do better with just one or two stocks!

Of course, if you pick them after the fact.

Remember, Motley Fool had a portfolio that lost 50% in one year. That is really dumb investing.
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No. of Recommendations: 10
The short version of the article:

1. Shakespeare reference.
2. Mutual funds suck...


My goodness. No, no. HERE is the "short version" of that article:

"The author pretends to dislike mutual funds, while posting one reason after another that mutual funds are in fact quite worthwhile."

Poor Selena. She's got a job to do, and she tried to be a little creative and playful. I don't like those constant sales pitches any more than the next person, but at least this one got my attention and made me smile. Some of us who have been around the internet for a while have encountered that crazy Shakespearean insult generator years ago.

In an earlier post, Kerby commented: "The insults were silly, over-the-top and didn't even relate to the subject matter."

Well, yeah, and that was the point. If the "insults" had been more serious, or less goofy, we'd all have reason to be offended. I think Selena took pains to make it as extreme (and silly) as possible.

It reminds me of a scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. King Arthur (Graham Chapman), and the Knights of the Round Table, confront an inane "French" guard (played by John Cleese) at the walls of a castle, and the following exchange ensues:

----

ARTHUR: If you will not show us the Grail, we shall take your castle by force!
GUARD: You don't frighten us, English pig-dogs! Go and boil your bottoms, sons of a silly person. I blow my nose at you, so-called Arthur-king, you and all your silly English k-nig-hgts. Thppppt!
GALAHAD: What a strange person.
ARTHUR: Now look here, my good man!
GUARD: I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough whopper! I f#rt in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of eldeberries.
GALAHAD: Is there someone else up there we could talk to?
GUARD: No, now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!

----

It seems like folks are reading stuff a bit too literally here. I kinda think we should encourage a bit more satire and *attempts* at wit (leaving to each individual to decide whether the message achieved wittiness or not). Better than reading yet another argument about indexes versus active management, or whatever. No?
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No. of Recommendations: 10
Thanks, Littlechap --

And regarding all the other responses, OUCH!

Geez, I didn't mean to receive such hostility. I just thought that this audience in particular might enjoy seeing a little (creative and amusing) support of mutual funds.

Yes, we frequently promote our newsletters. That keeps the lights on and everything else running. Like these boards. I don't love how much I promote things, but I take comfort in the fact that (at least so far), our newsletters have admirable records. Our Champion Funds newsletter, for example, has been around for more than three years, has recommended several dozen funds, and none are underwater. I think that the newsletter serves a very useful function, introducing people to funds well worth considering, and teaching them in the process about how to evaluate and think about funds. Don't most people need info like that? Not everyone wants to do all the digging around on their own.

Anyway, I was just sharing something I thought some here might enjoy -- no other intent. I wasn't fishing for sales here -- you folks are probably more likely to be do-it-yourselfers, anyway, with funds, and this is not the Grand Central Station of discussion boards.

Sorry to have ticked you off,

Selena
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No. of Recommendations: 2
Selena,

Actually, I did find your post amusing, and well written. I do get tired, though, of the "home page" headlines directing us to read interesting posts, only to discover that there is no "beef" in most of them, but just teasers for one product or another. One starts to assume they are all just teasers, and stop reading them altogether. I think they should be labeled as "advertisements." I might even choose to read some of them.

Just my two cents.

RDW
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No. of Recommendations: 3
thanks, Littlechap, maybe you understood Selena better,
however, I want to repeat my point:

When I started to read it, what I was expecting was something like this
1) Mutual funds suck!
2) Mutual funds suck?
3) Hm, maybe they are not such a bad idea?
4) Oh, yes, they aren’t so bad after all
5) And some of them are really good
and here, of course, you could add a sales pitch:
“Click here and you will see exactly the good examples of mutual funds and for $$$/year etc ….”

what I read, however, was something like this
(of course, only my first impression)
1) Mutual funds suck!
2) Mutual funds suck?
3) well, looks like they really do…
4) oh, no, not all of them, or rather almost all, except for our Champion funds,
which you can get for only $$$ year

Of course, she did not have to do what I was thinking of (like showing some anti-funds points, then ridiculing them or showing other, pro- arguments), she was more creative, and now, after reading your comment I looked again and yes, I see it now, EACH of the mutual funds good points was presented the same anti-way
so I can say, yes, she did it, but I didn’t get it
And not because I was thinking she is serious about “mutual funds suck”, I knew this is a joke, but probably we have different sense of humor (or I just don’t have enough)

Now about hostility: first, I should apologies, especially being from the country with old hospitality traditions (former Soviet Rep. of Georgia), of course it is not nice to say bad things about your hosts and their food, especially if it is free for you,
but since I am a paid member here (BTW, is it true that now participation in the Boards is free?) and also tried Champion funds, wanted to say following:
1) I subscribed for the free month at CF after reading a lot of ads about “Doubling your returns”, then could not find any numbers with ratio of 2, rather 1.5-1.6 (something like 25% vs 16%), which, with all due respect, I cannot call “double”, and the model portfolios, had again, pretty good results, but nothing close to doubling and I believe, not even better than any reasonable well allocated portfolio (large-mid-small caps, foreign including emerging, REITs) in last 2-3 year
2) I complained about it and while I cannot claim it was because of my complaint, but at least it was after it, at least one part of the ads changed to “How I almost doubled…”. Well, whether 1.6 is almost 2 is hard to tell,
but at least it satisfied me and while I decided not to continue into paid subscription (thinking that $150/year for me personally is too much for it), I had nothing more against it
3) Now I opened the link in Selena’s article and so it all again:
“How I DOUBLED the Market's Return
“Earning DOUBLE the Return of the market!"
"7 Secrets to Earning DOUBLE the Market's Return "”
and only the picture of “19.2% vs 32.5%” said "CF Nearly Double..."

THIS already “ticked me off”, while I do understand that first of all, this is not Selena’s ad, and not the part of her article, and second, Fool.com DOES need money to keep this all running

best regards,
Yuri
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No. of Recommendations: 1
Thanks for posting Selena. I understand your point alittle better now and you gotta do what you gotta do. I just strongly dislike that style of writing as a means of providing information and I felt like the jokes were soo long and soo often that they were cutting into the content (that's what I meant by over the top). And it doesn't help that I don't find those jokes funny.

However, I apologize for my overly harsh response and I am glad that you responded with your intentions.

Thanks.

Kerby
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...while I decided not to continue into paid subscription (thinking that $150/year for me personally is too much for it), I had nothing more against it
3) Now I opened the link in Selena’s article and so it all again:
“How I DOUBLED the Market's Return
“Earning DOUBLE the Return of the market!"
"7 Secrets to Earning DOUBLE the Market's Return "”
and only the picture of “19.2% vs 32.5%” said "CF Nearly Double..."

THIS already “ticked me off”, while I do understand that first of all, this is not Selena’s ad, and not the part of her article, and second, Fool.com DOES need money to keep this all running


Hi Yuri,

I suspect that Selena probably appreciates your graciousness even after the fact, and having read your explanation, I have to agree with your annoyance. I suspect that the wording at the end is "boilerplate" that is handed out to the writers here, to paste into the ends of their articles. Which means, as you implied, that management seems to have reverted to a previously abandoned marketing claim.

But it could also be ascribed simply to a less-than-thorough updating of everybody involved with the Fool, to get them all on the same wavelength regarding the marketing claims; or the use of outdated boilerplate. Either way, I still agree that the owners should make a clear and unequivocal decision about what they want to say, and how they want to present their products.

Incidentally -- I'm sure you recognize that "doubling one's money" is not very meaningful unless it is stated as happening within a precise time frame. For my own amusement, and I hope at least somebody else reading this, I'll go back to the same well again and use FBRVX as an example. <g>

This small-mid cap fund went up by something like 25% per year for each of the past 5 years. Now, those numbers are "annualized", so the math doesn't work quite like the example I'm about to cite. But here goes. If one compounds those numbers, one easily doubles one's money in just about three years. (From a starting point of $1000, you get to $1953 after just three rounds of compounding at 25%.)

I'm not entirely clear about the story you were relating, especially since I'm not familiar with the Champion Funds newsletter and rarely read the marketing stuff. But given this tinkering I've presented here, is it possible that their claims are not really untruthful -- just perhaps a bit unclear about the speed of gains, or something?

Just curious. Anyway, I'm just glad that folks here are alert and paying attention and willing to speak up, no matter what. Everybody gains from an increased give and take by conscientious users. :-)
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No. of Recommendations: 1
I'm sure you recognize that "doubling one's money" is not very meaningful unless it is stated as happening within a precise time frame.
...
I'm not entirely clear about the story you were relating, especially since I'm not familiar with the Champion Funds newsletter and rarely read the marketing stuff. But given this tinkering I've presented here, is it possible that their claims are not really untruthful -- just perhaps a bit unclear about the speed of gains, or something?


I’m sorry, I was not clear, assuming what everybody here read the same stuff :)
The advertisement for Champion Funds newsletter
(here is the page, http://www.fool.com/shop/newsletters/11/index.htm)
does not talk about doubling one’s money, but about doubling the market returns,
and the market, a they defined is S&P500 for stock funds and Lehman bond index for bond funds, so if S&P500 over period of time returned 10%, their funds would return 20%, the same about more conservative portfolios, like 60/40.
Maybe in the beginning of newsletter, 2004, there was such a short period, when benchmark gained 5% and CF portfolio 10%, but all the numbers they posted in 2006-2007 when I looked at them (I was in trial period in Jan 2007) and now look like this:
(cumulative returns, “market” vs CF )
13.7% vs 21.3% (Oct 2006)
18.4% vs 29.2% (Dec 2006)
19.2% vs 32.5% (Mar 2007)
These are great results (another question, whether they are comparing to the right benchmark and how much of the difference is achieved just by smarter asset allocation),
I don’t have a problem with the numbers, here in the ad or with more details inside of CF
but I have a problem calling 1.55-1.7 increase a “doubling”
Yet, there are phrases like:

”Since we launched Champion Funds in March 2004, we've earned our subscribers more than DOUBLE the total return of the market — with no additional risk.”
“Thus far, the average for all our funds is outperforming the market 2 to 1.
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