Disclaimer

Watching out for your money

The Motley Fool aims to help you make the most of your money. While we offer plenty of information and suggestions on how to do this, the power to act on this information, and the responsibility that comes with it, lies with you.

Given that, this disclaimer protects you as much as it does us. We set out below some key points you should bear in mind when using our site. These should be read in conjunction with our terms & conditions of service.

A few words about Internet fraud

The vast majority of information on our discussion boards is provided by our users, many of whom post under anonymous screen names and are people we have never met. Whilst we believe that there is a huge amount of useful information on our boards, people sometimes post messages that are misleading, deceptive, or just plain wrong.

They may well do this unintentionally but, sad to say, some poeple will do it on purpose. Despite the media attention that Internet fraud attracts, we believe these are relatively rare occurrences. Our regulars are naturally cautious, and will tend to question any information in posts that they believe may be inaccurate or misleading, and in more serious cases, will report such posts to us so that we can remove them. However, we each have a personal responsibility to be cautious.

For more information on Internet fraud, the FCA has information on this subject.

Your money, your decision

The Motley Fool does not guarantee the accuracy, veracity, or completeness of any information provided on our website, and we will not be responsible for any errors or omissions in articles or postings, for links embedded in messages, or for any results obtained from the use of such information.

The Motley Fool will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by a reader’s reliance on information obtained from our website, or from anywhere linked to from our website. We strongly caution you not to rely on the information you find here to inform your decisions – rather, use it as a starting point for doing your own independent research. Then you must decide for yourself the accuracy and merits of the information that has been shared. Proceed with caution, and be wary of people who post links to strange sites.

Data and analysis

In the material we make available on our website, we rely on a wide variety of sources and other websites. We believe these sources of data to be accurate and reliable, but sometimes they may not be.

The Fool makes no claims or representations as to the accuracy, completeness, or truth of any material contained in our areas. Nor is The Fool liable for any errors or delays in the content or transmission of the data on our site.

Our advertisers and sponsors

Our site and email products include third-party advertisements. We don’t comment about the content of advertisements, but we will never knowingly run one that is untrue or misleading. The appearance of an advert on our site or in one of our e-mails does not mean that we endorse the advertiser’s goods or services. Please note that The Motley Fool is not responsible for the accuracy of any advertising material or the usefulness of an advertised product or service.

The various comparison centres displayed on our site are provided by lovemoney.com, a third party company. If you have any questions about these comparisons or any data displayed, please contact lovemoney.com direct. The comparison centres may feature a number of different product providers. The Fool does not recommend one product provider over another and these areas are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all providers of a particular product. It is up to you to decide whether any of the offers listed is right for you. You can find more information about our relationship with lovemoney.com in the disclosure sections of the comparison centres. The Motley Fool will not be liable for any damages or costs of any type arising out of or in any way connected with your use of a company’s service or product advertised in any area of our site or in one of our emails.

The Motley Fool will not be liable for any damages or costs of any type arising out of or in any way connected with your use of a company’s service or product advertised in any area of our site or in one of our emails.

Terms of service violations

We don’t monitor or exercise any editorial control over what’s posted to our discussion boards, and we don’t—can’t—read more than a very small fraction of what’s posted. So, if you see something on the boards that you think breaches our Terms & Conditions or Posting Guidelines we almost certainly don’t know it’s there.

So, please use the ‘Report this Post’ link that’s provided in every post on our boards to let us know about it, explaining what you think the problem is, as necessary. In the case of a user profile that gives you cause for concern, there’s a ‘Report Profile’ link.

What does a ‘TMF’ username mean?

You will see some people with the prefix ‘TMF’ in their username on our discussion boards. These people are our Official Fools. Their primary purpose is to keep our discussion boards running smoothly, with politeness and good humour. They perform a variety of tasks, such as answering your questions about the Fool and explaining how to get the most from the Fool Community. Some of our staff are knowledgeable about the stock market, others are not.

Many of these TMFs contribute to the various discussions. They are free to contribute, or not contribute, as they see fit. Their opinions are their own. 

TMF staff members are drawn from a wide circle of daily life. Most of them are completely outside the investment field in their professional lives and are not to be considered professional analysts or investment advisors. Any weight you ascribe to their opinions should be based on their ability to analyze a company or its products and services, the same as anyone else you see on our discussion boards. You should not believe that anyone has any additional insight or information simply because they have a ‘TMF’ prefix to their username.

You may see usernames that start ‘MF’ or’ XMF’, or which include ‘TMF’ somewhere other than at the beginning. Some of these people may well be valued contributors (and some may even be former staff members)—but unless a username actually starts with ‘TMF’ that person is not an employee or contractor of The Motley Fool.

Motley opinions make a market

The Motley Fool does not regulate what its staff or freelance writers say about a company. In fact, their opinions may differ substantially as to the value of specific investments, even those recommended by our premium newsletter services. This is what makes a market — and what makes us Motley!

Our writers are permitted to write about or discuss shares in which they have a beneficial interest, but they must disclose that interest, either in the article or post concerned, or in their user profile. You can find someone’s profile by typing their user name into the ‘Author’ box at the bottom right hand corner of our boards index page (and clicking ‘Find’), or by clicking on their username at the top of one of their discussion board posts.

For a more detailed explanation of our policy on allowing — nay, encouraging — a diversity of opinion please see What Does It Mean To Be Motley? 

Disclosure and trading rules

When any Fool writer writes about a stock that he or she has a position or beneficial interest in, that fact is disclosed at the end of the article.

All Fool employees and contractors — that’s anyone with a TMF prefix on their screen names — are required to publicly disclose their current individual positions on their personal profile pages on our website. (We do not disclose the individual stocks that might be in any investment funds held.)

We hold shares in some companies through our premium real money portfolio service, Champion Shares PRO, and recommend others in Share Advisor. To be fair to our paying members, we do not disclose our share holdings in our free content for at least 30 days starting from when we make the share purchase or initial recommendation. After the 30 days has elapsed, we will disclose our ownership/recommendation until we close out our entire position.

Our US parent company, The Motley Fool, LLC (Fool US, for short), may also have positions in the securities mentioned in our articles. Because we have no non-public knowledge of our parent company’s holdings, Fool US’s holdings are not disclosed in our free or premium content. The US Fool has its own disclosure policy.

In addition to the above disclosure requirements, we work under additional trading restrictions and guidelines. These restrictions require that Fool employees and contractors:

  • must hold any stock they own for at least 10 full market business days. (No day trading allowed—as if we’d want to!)
  • cannot write about a stock in the period of 2 full market business days before, to 2 full market business days after, purchasing or selling the stock.
  • must notify our compliance department every time they buy or sell a stock, regardless of whether they have written about it.

We also use numerous freelance writers who:

  • must hold any stock they own and that they write for the Fool about for at least 10 full market business days.
  • cannot write about a stock in the period of 2 full market business days before, to 2 full market business days after, purchasing or selling the stock.