Something Has to be Said

This subject has been rolling around in my head for several weeks and I’ve finally decided that it is time to share my thoughts in writing.

I’ve been investing for about 40 years now and am dating myself by confessing to subscribing to Louis Rukeyser’s newsletter of Wall Street Week fame many years ago. At times I have wandered in the investment wilderness trying out various investment newsletters but having returns that were no better than the indexes.

When the Motley Fool newsletter was first put out by the Gardner brothers, it was an oasis in the desert for me. But my returns were still only slightly better than my past experience.

Three years ago there was a breakthrough for me that has significantly boosted my returns and my confidence, and began teaching me how to evaluate companies financially. That breakthrough was when I first began reading posts by Saul. He struck me as an independent thinker that did his own research with a simple common sense approach that I have learned to appreciate as the years go by. This approach gave him enough conviction and backbone to take on another board (WPRT) when he challenged conventional thinking about the wisdom of continuing to hold this great story stock. He went through a firestorm of criticisms for his trouble but stuck by his guns…those that listened to this lone voice profited nicely. Those that did not…well, you can see the story for yourself in the charts.

Not only has Saul’s investment analysis style been the best I’ve ever come across after 40 years, but also the most profitable.

Saul then took the next step by setting up his own discussion board, which cast further light on the “secrets” of his investment style. He condensed his years of experience in “Saul’s Investing Discussions”. I was ecstatic. Then the most amazing unselfish thing occurred:


It is a rare thing to see any successful investor be as vulnerable and transparent as to share exactly how and what his latest monthly investment decisions are. That takes a lot of moxie and courage that few in his class are willing to do. No newsletter I’ve ever subscribed to, including MF, has ever been so accountable. Ever. I have come to realize and appreciate how unusual a leader we have on this board.

Take good care of this one because when he is gone, there won’t be another quite like him.

Thank you so much, Saul, for the sacrificial contribution you make to us all on this board. And may you stay in good health for many many years to come.

Still learning after all these years,



Great post, Jim. I gave it a rec. I’m curious though. Could you share your pre and post Saul returns with us? He has also helped my returns, but it is tough to say what is attributable to him and what is just the result of my investing maturation.

Either way, thanks Saul. And thanks all.


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Great post. We are all grateful for this board and the free-wheeling discussions herein.

But, there is this:

No newsletter I’ve ever subscribed to, including MF, has ever been so accountable. Ever.

I think that the Fool is equally transparent and accountable. They publish all of their recommendations in the ‘idea’ newsletters (Stock Advisor, Rule Breakers, Income Investor, Inside Value, Options, and Hidden Gems), and are open about the results over time. And their managed portfolio services (Million Dollar Portfolio, Supernova Odyssey and Supernova Phoenix, Pro, and One) show each and every transaction, giving members a chance to act before they portfolio acts every time.

So, let’s give credit where credit is due. Saul’s board is an oasis of sharing of knowledge and results. But that is also a key – and the most important – characteristic of the Fool as a whole. There is no other service that can say the same.

Tiptree, Fool One guide


it is tough to say what is attributable to him and what is just the result of my investing maturation.

Hard to prise that one apart. One can certainly measure before and after Saul influence, but then that includes a lot of secular impact that has nothing to do with Saul. And, does “attributable” mean only those picks which are like picks he would make or does it also include a contribution of perspective to that investing maturation which applies even if it is not a “Saul stock”. It is clear to me that me perspective on my whole portfolio has evolved.

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Hi Jeb,

I am now consistently beating the S&P 500 index handily.

Up 13% YTD vs S&P around 1.7%. And October was brutal for SKX, and BOFI (which I sold after holding for 3 years).


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