We embrace the idea that our publications — whether they’re articles on our Fool.co.uk public website or part of one of our subscription-based services — should not be constrained by having to parrot a single “company line.”
We glory in the practice of letting our writers and our analysts put forward views that don’t agree with each other, or with the “official” recommendations of our subscription-based advisory services, because we believe that leads investors to consider multiple sides to the investing argument.
And when they do that, they usually make better, more informed decisions.
Each Motley Fool Service Is Independent
A common question we get runs along these lines:
“I thought you said <such-and-such a company> was a buy. How come you said that it was a sell <over there>?”
“Over there” may be referring to an article on our free site Fool.co.uk, or it might be a contrary viewpoint in another one of our subscription-based services.
There’s a straightforward answer:
Each of our subscription-based advisory services provides its own independent view of any given investment.
The most recent view — that service’s official position — can be found on the relevant company’s summary page within each service.
Anything else is someone’s individual personal opinion.
If there’s a change to its official position, the service concerned will announce it in a regular update or issue or (in the case of some services) a special email.
However, one service’s official position does not prevent another service from disagreeing and putting forward other arguments regarding the company. The Motley Fool, as a company, has long encouraged all Fools — whether customers or employees — to think independently and to express their views in messages on discussion boards, in pitches on our CAPS pages, and in articles our public website.
As a consequence of this we allow all of our subscription-based services — eg, Share Advisor and Champion Shares PRO — to operate independently of each other and, potentially, to arrive at opposing views. So, if you are subscribed to one of our services and you see a Motley Fool article or viewpoint that runs counter to what your subscription service tells you, that’s why.
We encourage this free and independent thinking because it is our firm belief that it serves every investor’s best interest to encounter and consider opposing viewpoints. Only by considering both sides of an argument — bull and bear, for instance — can someone come to a properly informed decision about whether to buy, or perhaps sell, a particular share.
That’s the reality of the stock market — at any one time some people will be buyers of a given company, and others will be sellers — and we think it’s very important to reflect that.
We do recognize that this benefit comes with a drawback — namely, that some members (particularly newer ones) may be initially confused or perplexed that there’s no one single official Motley Fool corporate position for any given stock.
We’re obviously sorry if people get confused, at least to start with, but we really hope they’ll understand why we do things this way, and we believe they’ll benefit from that in the long run.