Let's broach the subject of Saul's board

Following were two posts from Saul’s board.

I’m not sure many people outside of Saul’s circle are aware of a couple of things. Saul’s board can only be posted to by a limited number of posters. Here’s the list:
https://discussion.fool.com/g/Sauls_Board_Posters

Well, sort of. Apparently, there are 108 members, but since I’m not a member, I’m not allowed to see who is a member.

Saul’s board also had all of their historical posts transferred to these new boards.

Here are the posts on Saul’s board from early in January 2014, when that board started on the old boards:
https://discussion.fool.com/search?expanded=true&q=%23investment-analysis-clubs%3Asaul-s-investing-discussions%20before%3A2014-01-15

So what is the special relationship between Saul’s board posters and TMF that gives those TMF posters access to things that the rest of us do not have available?

Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to imply any jealousy or envy here. And Saul’s board has indeed been a great resource for those who want to spend their time following high risk high reward investing. But there is something different there.

As Orwell so eloquently put it:

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

It would be nice to be open and above board here.

–Peter

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Saul’s board originated, as best I can tell, on the paid boards. It generates far more interest than any other board. I suspect it serves as a kind of bill board for the paid boards and Fool paid services. The noise generated on the old Saul board has been eliminated by this special treatment so that it can continue to serve as a conduit between paid and unpaid services. That’s my WAG.

I thought the special treatment was a bit snobbish, more of a nod to a humongous ego than anything else.

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Would the way Saul’s board is run even have been allowed during the days of Bogey and Twitty?

I thought Saul was very open about limited posters at the start of the new board (read the whole thread):

https://discussion.fool.com/about-the-board-migration-to-the-new-platform-35165570.aspx?sort=whole#35165570

If you’ve followed Saul’s for a while, you surely know the number of one line and off-topic posts has gotten unreasonable the last few months. Even as one of the board’s regular contributors, I found myself going there and/or posting less because of all the noise. It just wasn’t worth it. There were other contributors I’ve gotten to know and trust who simply decided to leave. That sucks and definitely got away from what made that board unique in the first place.

I’m not a moderator and never have been, but I know enough of them personally to understand the job became unruly. As laid out at the link above, the initial poster list was compiled mostly using old recs. That suggests to me readers had quite a bit of influence over the first batch. And as I understand it, anyone wishing to post just needs to ask.

I think you mean “had indeed” and that’s the whole point. The recent signal/noise ratio was making it much less valuable as a resource. Could limiting posters eventually kill the board? Sure, I guess so. But hopefully new posters with something to say will simply raise their hand and ask to say it. As long as it’s on-topic, it shouldn’t be a problem. And as I understand it, once you do that you can post to your heart’s content. That seems like a minor inconvenience given the quality of information on a totally free board.

Meh. Sticks and stones and all. As one of the snobby egotists, I’m glad the new board is starting small and expanding instead of dealing with all the off-topic yelling, screaming, and doomsaying. There are plenty of other boards for those topics but unfortunately no one seems to go there. Which makes me respond to Peter’s George Orwell quote…

…with one from noted philosopher Yogi Berra:

That’s Saul’s. I have no idea if this recent menu change is going to work out but for now the food still tastes pretty good. I guess we’ll see.

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At its heart, TMF is about Investing. Saul’s board is about nothing else. The paid Premium boards are mainly about Investing. That is what the participants pay for.

Saul has built up - TMF has allowed Saul to build up - a single unpaid board that rivals TMF itself. A major reason it is successful is that it is focused. The focus is on a very specific investing approach. It is not an approach that TMF itself endorses. Maintaining that focus has been a PITA for Saul, as many people have something to say that is outside that focus. Keeping it on track has been work. Nobody is getting paid to do that work; Saul is a volunteer.

Saul is not flying solo. His board is not exclusively, not even primarily, his input. It is a group effort, and that in group earned their access through valuable participation. They earned their access through participation that falls within the focus of the board. Controlling who participates has to be taking a significant load off of Saul.

That board has been more popular than any of the boards on the paid side. Just take a look at the number of likes there. Ten threads with over a thousand likes! An awful lot of TMF’s paying customers value Saul’s board. Those paying customers, myself included, would be seriously upset if this transition had impacted it negatively. TMF, I am guessing, wants to (a) keep their paying customers happy, and (b) keep such a high-quality investing discussion alive and well.

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Saul’s board was never a paid board. He just moseyed along, pitching his MO, and it caught on.

He did rave alot about the MF brothers and used their choices.
I walk the earth spreading the Gospel of Saul and one of the first things I say is how humble he is about his sources and his MO is kinda like the MF brothers but where they say plan on holding 3-5 years his LTBH strategy will flush a stock like a dead goldfish if it is not gaining 40%-70%.

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I don’t believe this is correct.

Razz

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I don’t believe this is correct.

Razz

Razz is correct - Saul’s has always been on the free boards. RCinCT also has it right: Saul’s board rivals, if not exceeds, any of the paid services so it probably earns a few rights. Not sure if it earns the “secrecy” right, though, i…e. why there is an issue of seeing who the folks are who have a right to post.

Pete

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I don’t question Saul at all. It’s his football but he throws it around so others can play too. However, it upsets him when someone runs towards the wrong goalpost.

I am one of those. They don’t want Lenny Bruce posting his stock choices.

Here are 3 community boards that are run and frequented by Saul fans and who face mecca once a day to pay tribute. Comedy is permitted.

The Mongoose Chronicles
Where I first developed the "Whack-A-Mole strategy. Soon a new contest will appear and the winner will be the person who who was the most screwed by this year’s incredible dip. I will post this contest and rules as soon as I get off the heavy anti-depressants I am taking. The Mongoose Chronicles was named and run by champ who now runs Abandoned Arctic Outpost #13.

New Paradigm Investments
Run by captaincc, an expat who is probably the most clever poster on Sauls Board, happy with stock Saul wouldn’t touch. Avid fan of TSLA and the AARK indexes.And killer PHP programmer.

Abandoned Arctic Outpost #13
Where the Whack-A-Mole strategy inspired champ to create the “trading block” strategy. His YTD I believe is in the black while we are slowly coming along with Saul from -61% YTD. . . . Oi!

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I, perhaps incorrectly, assumed that he came over the the Rule Breaker community forum because he references the Rule Breaker and TSLA boards in his first post on his own board. He never posted on the TSLA board, and the Rule Breaker boards were closed long before he opened his own board. He started posting in 2006, after the Rule Breaker boards were closed, so I thought he must have come over from the paid boards.

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Yes, Saul has been reasonably open. I’m addressing my questions to TMF rather than Saul.

That problem is far from unique to Saul’s board. Other boards had the same problem. BRK and METAR come to mind.

–Peter

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I can’t disagree with that.

But I can point out that there is more to investing than just picking stocks (or mutual funds or bonds or whatever). To invest money, you have to start with money. Living below your means, dealing with major purchases such as homes or cars, job hunting, taxation - all of these deal with managing your money so that you have some to invest. Then there are major economic factors that affect your investments. While not strictly investing, ignoring these topics would have the effect of focusing on one small part of investing while missing out on the larger investment landscape.

That might be going a bit too far. Saul is highly focused on a single investing methodology. That methodology might not be for everyone. Frankly, it SHOULD not be for everyone. Not everyone can or should be taking the risks that his strategy entails. That doesn’t make his strategy wrong, of course. But it is just one of many valid investing strategies.

Again, the same can be said of other boards. METAR has Wendy, who is also a volunteer and works hard to keep that board on topic. BRK, while lacking a similar leader, is reasonably good at self policing on it’s topic - which is not only BRK but value investing in general.

That may be getting to the heart of the matter. And that is where I’m asking for a bit of openness from TMF. Plainly stated: Is this why Saul’s board is getting some special treatment?

–Peter

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I think the difference is that Saul and the other moderators took the problem very seriously and have always been vocal about following the board rules and, if necessary, blocking posters who would not abide by them.

IMO, having a restricted set of posters (and over 100 is really not that restricted) is reasonable, and I suspect the fact that it’s “secret” has more to do with default Discourse settings around group management than any particular desire from Saul or others to be secretive.

As for the fact that that board got its whole history migrated when others didn’t – there I would guess that because so much investment had been made over the years in producing high-quality discussion, and the board drives so much traffic, folks raised a stink and TMF agreed to bring over the history. If another board also feels aggrieved about losing their history, they could also raise a stink and they might get their wish as well.

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Saul’s board is about doing deep investing analysis and sharing the learnings in plain sight in front of anyone who has an interest. Lots of learning to be had.

There is value to be had in the history of his board and how Saul & his investing community have grown and morphed over time. Saul used to invest in Sketchers and LGI Homes at one time. If you are interested in those companies, some of that history would still be valuable.

Sauls style isn’t for everyone. Too focused for me. But, I have learned a lot reading their research. And, I do own some of the companies they have followed over the years.

Sauls board isn’t about portfolio management. But, we have boards for that on the public and the member side.

Vicki

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Hi ptheland,

I understand that you think Saul’s board is different; it is different. What I don’t think you realize, is that 100 members became 200, 300, then 500 members, and recently thousands. The value of the board was going downhill with all the extraneous posts and topics. That’s not hard to understand, right? I mean, this isn’t Reddit or Facebook or …

As far as secrecy, if you want so much to know who can post on Saul’s board, why not follow for a few days and find out for yourself? I doubt there’s anything nefarious behind the fact that the names aren’t listed anywhere. I would prefer the list were not published, but if it were, so be it. No big deal. I just see no reason for it.

I would NOT want to be one of the moderators. What a tough, thankless job. But they do it very well, and even then, many complaints were that it wasn’t moderated enough! For now, this is the answer that’s being tested. Most people there seem to think it will work. Whether I can post there or not, I hope they’re right.

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But wasn’t the same thing happening on BRK? Or METAR? Or Mechanical Investing?

Don’t those boards have a lot of high quality content on them? Isn’t there some really good content in the history of those boards - particularly MI - that has direct bearing on the future of the boards?

But those boards don’t have limited membership. They didn’t get their historical posts transferred into the new system.

That really has nothing to do with secrecy of the posters. Of course anyone can read the board to see who posts there. And asking to be admitted isn’t tough either.

What I’m getting at is there are other boards besides Saul’s that would benefit from the treatment Saul’s has received. So why is only Saul’s board getting this special treatment?

–Peter

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@TMFVicki

Saul’s The mechanical investing board is about doing deep investing analysis and sharing the learnings in plain sight in front of anyone who has an interest. Lots of learning to be had.

There is value to be had in the history of his that board and how Saul & his the mechanical investing community have grown and morphed over time. Saul Mechanical investors used to invest in Sketchers and LGI Homes the foolish four at one time. If you are interested in those companies how that approach was debunked, some of that history would still be valuable.

Sauls style Mechanical investing isn’t for everyone. Too focused mechanized for me. But, I have learned a lot reading their research. And, I do own some of the companies they have followed over the years.

Sauls board isn’t Mechanical investing is about portfolio management. But, we have boards for that other approaches on the public and the member side.

–Peter

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Have any of you actually requested to TMF that they provide some of this extra effort for the MI or METAR boards? What was the response?

That would be much more useful than insinuations and innuendo here about special treatment, when the most likely explanation is just that that board’s moderators take moderation very seriously and were proactive with TMF staff to ensure the board continued in a form they were happy with.

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[quote=“TMFVicki, post:15, topic:77035”]
[/quote]Saul’s board is about doing deep investing analysis and sharing the learnings in plain sight in front of anyone who has an interest. Lots of learning to be had.

There is value to be had in the history of his board and how Saul & his investing community have grown and morphed over time.

You can say that about a lot of the boards here. Doesn’t change that by giving separate (and not equal) treatment TMF has demonstrated that they have determined that some free boards are more equal than others. Whatever. I find myself visiting less and less because it’s clear that what I value is no longer aligned with what TMF values.

AJ

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