OT: Why Saul's Works

This update to a post from last year seems appropriate alongside this week’s Rules given the recent growth of the board…

I’ve been thinking a bit about the dynamic here as Saul’s becomes more popular. This board has rules. We sometimes see frustration about all the things we can’t discuss, but I think it’s important to recognize this is a major reason why so many have generated such outsized returns.

The hyper-focused nature here creates many excellent conversations. More importantly, many profitable ones as well. Investing styles don’t matter (off topic). Neither does anyone’s favorite non-growth play (off topic). No one cares if you buy options instead of shares (off topic). And most germane to this post, the broad market’s fear-du-jour is completely irrelevant (waaaay off topic). The one piece of info every strategy needs is finding the right candidates for your money. That’s what this forum tries to do. Nothing more and nothing less. Once you have that, you can do whatever the heck you want. But none of us can do any of those other things if we don’t start with the one thing all of us need. That’s the secret sauce, and it is important we look after the main ingredient that lets the rest of it happen.

We all know how quickly online discussions can devolve into useless speculation and snark. Though that traditionally hasn’t happened here, it has sadly become more common lately. Despite Saul and the managers’ too often thankless work, the drift since November earnings has been terrible. This is simply not the place for many of the topics that have recently come up. As Saul noted, an unprecedented number of posts have had to be deleted the last few days (https://discussion.fool.com/making-progress-35025241.aspx). Likewise, epm0306 (https://discussion.fool.com/i-don39t-get-it-as-much-as-saul-bear…) and Mach333 (https://discussion.fool.com/hi-all-breaking-my-rule-to-post-in-t…) made similar underrec’d but very appropriate observations. I’d suggest rereading them.

Yes, some of this is the inevitable trolling that comes with any pullback. There’s not much we can do about that. However, far too much is coming from readers who know the board etiquette but choose to ignore it anyway. Even worse, I can’t help but notice some valuable past contributors seem to be posting less frequently since the increase in noise. That’s the bigger concern. Logically, too much off-topic babbling lessens the conversation. Greedily, it also lessens our chances of fully understanding the companies we invest in. In my opinion, that’s worth protecting.

Given the incredible and well-established success of many here, it is up to all of us to make sure the environment stays strong. Please remember this is not an investment service and there are no financial advisors here. It is simply a public forum whose value depends solely on the info posters are willing to share. The main purpose is trying to find the best-of-the-best companies in which to invest. That’s it. As long as that holds true, we are likely to keep seeing long term success. If we somehow lose that advantage, we only have ourselves to blame.

This is a unique place, but I’m guessing most already know that. It is up to each and every one of us to make sure it stays that way. Please, please, please keep that in mind before you hit Submit on that next post…and that includes any replies to this one. I’ve been extremely fortunate to have already had my investment-changing moment here. Please don’t spoil the chance for others to potentially do the same.

As you were (and hopefully back on topic).