A little observation about having rules

A little thought about having Rules: I’ve said often that if a board had no rules and you could discuss any aspect of investing, from technical analysis to market timing to options trading to portfolio management to value investing or dividend investing, to growth investing, it would end up killing the board.

Well, a sad testament to this is the NPI board (New Paradigm Investing), which used to be a vibrant board with numerous useful posts, but however which had no focus and no rules, and allowed total freedom (so that recently often a quarter of the posts during a month were political arguments). There have been zero posts on it in the last 17 days, since December 3rd (today being the 20th), and only three posts in the entire month of December. It has apparently died.

That’s why we have rules, which we enforce. So that this board stays healthy and remains a great resource for all of us. So here are our rules, a couple of days early.

Monday Morning Rules of The Board

Our board has rules. It’s not like other boards. If you don’t follow the rules your posts are likely to be deleted, and if necessary you may even get barred from the board. That’s just the way it is. Life is hard sometimes. :grinning:.

If you are new to our board, you should read this Monday Morning Rules Of The Board, which explain what we are all about, and which I try to post weekly. If you are not new to the board, rereading it occasionally will be a good reminder.

Assistant Board Managers: Bear (PaulWBryant), Austin (CMFALieberman), Matt (XMF BreakerForce), Benjamin (Locke), I. M. (imyoung), and Lenny (ldigout) will each take some of the load of running the board off my shoulders, and act as Assistant Board Managers. I really appreciate their aid.

On Blabbing you’ve probably all got the message by now, but for those of you who are new to the board, you just can’t, CAN’T blab about NEW Motley Fool paid board recommendations on our board (or other free boards). The Fool is incredibly kind to run this board for us for free, and by giving away their recommendations you possibly endanger our board’s existence and everything we have built here. That ought to be pretty obvious to everyone. Please pay attention. Similarly, you shouldn’t post what Bert said in his paid board until it becomes public on Seeking Alpha, or what other paid subscriptions say. It’s unfair to paid subscribers. That’s just common sense.

An Explanation of this Post: We sometimes get a lot of off-topic posts, with many of them way off-topic because new posters are unaware of the Rules of the Board, and some are off-topic because we older board members are careless and post some very off-topic posts ourselves. Loads of off-topic posts will eventually kill the board as serious board members will drift away rather than wade through them. The reason our board has become so popular is that it has been extremely useful to many of us. Let’s not destroy it with a lot of off-topic posts.

I will try to post this description of what the board is about each week. The hope is that new members will read it and profit from it, and that it will remind us older board members what is expected. It will only add four posts a month, and hopefully it will help reduce that huge number of off-topic posts by hundreds each month. I’m posting it to help us all cooperate to keep our great board great. Here goes:

This board is for the discussion and analyzing of individual growth stocks in a cooperative and courteous manner and, secondarily, the philosophy around investing in them.

That means that there are subjects that are Off-Topic for this board. There’s nothing wrong with them as topics. There are other boards where they are welcome, or even the chief topic of conversation. These include politics which, however, quickly spins out of control and ends up with people who had been amiably working together discussing a stock, suddenly viciously arguing. Political posts will be immediately deleted.

Investing subjects that are off topic include technical analysis and option trading subjects, including describing the details of your option positions, or value investing, or turn-around investing, or dividend or income investing, or market-timing, or what Investors Business Daily says the market is going to do next week, etc.

Repeated posts of what long lists of stocks have done in the past week don’t belong. Basic investing questions like “What does EV/S ratio mean?” should simply be googled, rather than filling up the board. Portfolio management is not a subject for this board, and questions about it should be answered off-board if at all. A board which welcomes this subject tis the Portfolio Management board, https://boards.fool.com/portfolio-management-100153.aspx?mid…

We have to rule out crypto-currencies and marijuana stocks as most of them are simple speculations and if we open the door to one or two we’ll be deluged with speculative stocks, which is not what our board is about.

One-line posts rarely add anything significant to a stock discussion but fill up the board.

We have wandered off into discussing certain very promising small biotechs such as Kite, Juno, Nektar, Arena, and Amarin. They didn’t qualify as growth stocks, but since, thanks to bulwinkl and others, we’ve had very good results with most of them, we’ll grandfather them in. They tend to take up a very small part of board posts.

As far as month-end summaries, most people on the board find them very useful when the poster doesn’t just post a list of names of stocks, but explains why he holds each of them.

Responding to someone with anger because they disagree with you about a stock is simply not done on our board.

Non-investing subjects like how to cultivate apple orchards, or private humorous conversations, can be fun but don’t belong here after one or two posts. That’s just a few, but you get the idea.

This all may sound intimidating, but think of it this way, if you were on a board set up to discuss French cooking you wouldn’t post about how to make Mexican tacos or Chinese spring rolls, and certainly not about politics, or option trading, either. You’d post about French cooking. Well, our board is about analyzing and discussing individual growth stocks. It’s as simple as that.

Remember that you can take conversations off-board. It’s easy! Just check the little box on the reply window that says, “Email this Reply to the Author” and un-check the box that says, “Post this Reply to the Boards.”

I’m not sure what to tell you about appreciations. People who make an especially good post certainly deserve rec’s, but post after post that just say “Great post!” just fill up the board. I guess if you have something special to say about the post or poster, go ahead. For example: “Thanks Joe, your grasp of this field is amazing and I always learn so much from your posts on these stocks, because you clarify issues about xxx that I can’t figure out myself.” That’s different because you are saying something. I know that I do sometimes break this rule, but I feel that, as host of the board, I should try to recognize and thank people who make especially helpful and valuable posts. I’m sure I miss some.

Ask yourself if your post is adding anything of value to the discussion.

Finally, if you are new to the board I strongly urge you to read the Knowledgebase, which is linked to in the right panel on every board post. It is divided into three parts and it is crammed full of information about the philosophy of the board and about investing. Many say they have read it two or three times.

Let’s all try to keep our board focused on analyzing and discussing growth stocks, and useful to us. We have created something great here and let’s not kill it with a lot of extraneous posts.



PS - For some additions to the Knowledgebase, bringing it up to date, I’d advise reading several other posts linked to on the panel, especially “How I Pick a Company to Invest In,” and “Why My Investing Criteria Have Changed,” and “Why It Really is Different.”


Well, a sad testament to this is the NPI board (New Paradigm Investing), which used to be a vibrant board with numerous useful posts, but however which had no focus and no rules, and allowed total freedom (so that recently often a quarter of the posts during a month were political arguments). There have been zero posts on it in the last 17 days, since December 3rd (today being the 20th), and only three posts in the entire month of December. It has apparently died.

Just a clarification regarding NPI. It has not died. It has just moved to another format. It is alive and more vibrant than ever on a Slack board that Tinker established. In a few months it it closing in or has eclipsed 10,000 posts. Sometimes coincidence and cause can be confused.




You are correct that it has moved and is doing very well.

However, it is a “by invitation only” board now. This effectively is putting in place its own set of rules as membership is controlled.

So, you are both right. It does still exist and is doing well. But, there is a clear need for some sort of rules for a board to function well.


And, in this case the rules are “only politics I agree with” instead of “no politics”.


<< …a sad testament to this (no rules) is the NPI board…it has apparently died. >>

True enough; but we had a helluva ride!

Endless entertainment for 18 years.

I’ll be watching to see how this board is doing come 2032.



Saul’s board, Saul’s rules. Enough said.

This board is a treasure. Thanks to Saul and all the posters that make this board uni.

Happy Holidays to all.



Sorry for the truncated post.

board uni.

should have been:

board unique in all fooldom.

The word liberty implies structure/rules/laws/regulations.

Good rules enhance liberty for more people. Every effective social institution has them and they enhance trust within the group. Bad rules restrain liberty and reduce trust. No rules lead to chaos and destruction.

One rule with which we all comply in most of the world: we are all required to drive our cars on the right side of the road. Would we have more liberty or less liberty if we had no such rule and drove any which way? Would we get places more quickly and/or more safely? It’s a good law that enhances liberty and trust.

Seems self evident that the rules here enable knowledge sharing, judgement sharpening, and wealth enhancing contributions that would otherwise be much more difficult to find for many investors.

My apologies for the philosophical harangue.


As a long time subscriber, please advise me how to join the invitation board by TMFTanker

If I were trying to get invited I would start by finding a message posted here by XMFBreakerTinker, such as https://discussion.fool.com/just-following-up-on-this-as-pm-from…

Then I would start a Post Reply to that message. At the bottom UNchech Post this Reply to the Boards, and check E-Mail this Reply to the Author. I would also put my own email address in the Mail these Addresses Privately box so I would have a copy of what I said. In the body I would politely ask to be invited. And I would understand that in doing all that I would be revealing my email address (the one I gave to The Motley Fool) to Tinker.


Of course the irony of this thread is that it completely breaks your rules.


“Of course the irony of this thread is that it completely breaks your rules.”

I don’t think so.

Rules necessarily have exceptions, the rarity of which highlight or prove the rule. Every policy in a company necessarily has an approval process for exceptions. It’s only a question of how high in the organizational structure it is necessary to authorize the exception. Some exceptions are written into the rule. e.g. emergency vehicles can drive on both sides of the road and run red lights.

Our group here has a simple enough structure to remain pretty horizontal. Saul is willing and able to establish the rules and authorize exceptions according to his judgement of what is in the interests of the group.

Likewise, when businesses first get started, the most senior, highly capable people make all decisions. As the business increases in size and complexity, policies, procedures or rules are established (usually in writing) to enable processes to operate with lower level, lower paid people/monitors/facilitators, more and more of which is being be done by machines in modern times. Rules leverage the will of rulemakers.

All objectivity has a subjective base.



And, in this case the rules are “only politics I agree with” instead of “no politics”.

Being a long-time follower of Saul’s board, NPI, and Tinkers new board, I would suggest that politics and rules have little to do with NPIs demise. It became personal. And a few moved on to create a wildly successful board with little to no need to enforce rules; obviously others haven’t.



Sorry I started this thread. I was just writing what seemed to me to be a sad observation about the NPI board, and using it as an example to explain why we have rules. I wasn’t in any way criticizing Tinkers new board (I didn’t even mention it or refer to it in any way). I’m amazed that it’s brought forth over a dozen arguing posts. Let’s drop it. No more posts on this thread, please, please!
Thank you for your cooperation,