Internet Investor: The fool's approach to investment is not to be jeered at
Saturday 17 January 1998
The original Motley Fool site was first established in the US in 1993, which makes it positively ancient by web standards. In an interview on the business television channel CNBC, one of the Fool's founders, Tom Gardner, commented: "It's your time horizon, really. We concern ourselves with 15 and 20-year returns. And the market has often focused just on the next 15 to 20 minutes."
The Motley Fool name comes directly from Shakespeare's As You Like It. Jacques says in Act II, scene VII: "A fool, a fool, I see a fool i' the forest, a motley fool", going on to say "I am ambitious for a motley coat" and "Motley's the only wear".
Motley was the particoloured garment worn by Elizabethan court jesters.
The jester, as well as being a sort of medieval stand-up comedian and clown rolled into one, was also the only chap who could get away with telling home truths to the monarch without having his head removed from his shoulders.
The Motley Fool's stated aims are to educate, amuse, and enrich the individual investor, "to prove to you that the best person to manage your money is YOU on the grounds that no one will have your financial well-being as close to their heart as you do yourself".
The site looks to demonstrate that the key to investment success is doing one's homework and that such "homework" can be fun.
The website is dedicated to creating wealth by investing in shares and only shares: not options, not futures, not commodities. The Fool is not even particularly fond of unit trusts and other mutual funds, given the costs of poorly performing fund managers.
Unusually, the Motley Fool is "foolish enough" to put its money where its mouth is. In addition to all the information and instruction the site carries, it also runs three real-money model portfolios: the Fool Portfolio; the Boring Portfolio and the Drip Portfolio.
These demonstrate methods of portfolio management and are the closest the site actually comes to giving stock "tips". However, to ensure that it is not laid open to charges of price manipulation, any changes to the portfolios are announced in advance of trade.
On the web, the Motley Fool is targeted at a US audience. However, it also offers a service designed for UK investors. Fool UK is part of the services offered by AOL UK.
It does not tout specific investment products. The website makes its money from carrying advertising, usage charges paid by AOL, and selling books and a variety of other products in the Foolshop online.
Fool UK includes share prices, a guide to "Beat the Footsie", what it claims is an idiot-proof 10-step guide to investing in the UK market and daily market news.
In addition to this site content, Fool UK offers message boards where AOL members can share their own investment ideas.
If you already have web access you can see the US Motley Fool site but you will not be able to view Fool UK unless you are a member of AOL.
AOL, which used to call itself America Online but now prefers the acronym, claims to be the largest internet service provider in the world, with 10 million members, including more than 250,000 in the UK. If you are not an AOL member, you can download AOL software and take out trial membership from the AOL website.
The Motley Fool website:
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
Simon Read: There may be trouble ahead for cohabiting couples who don’t make a will
Money Insider: Would £150 make you switch banks?
Why the City Watchdog is concerned with the credit card industry
Bargain Hunter: Find the deals that have real value beneath the Black Friday hype
Gold-plated pensions – the key to retirement freedom?
- 1 I'm A Celebrity 2014: Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' near to camp
- 3 Jeremy Hunt: 'I took my children to A&E because I didn't want to wait for GP appointment'
- 4 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
- 5 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
iJobs Money & Business
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Langley James : IT Support; Helpdesk, VMware; Manch...
£35000 - £450000 per annum + £3k car, £70k ote: h2 Recruit Ltd: Do you want to...
£Attractive Package: Citifocus Ltd: Prestigious financial institution seeks to...
£Negotiable: Citifocus Ltd: Experienced operational risk professional with ban...
Day In a Page
A deceptively spacious, beautifully presented Georgian home with 3000sq ft of living space and five reception rooms
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens