Glenn's Digital Garden

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Investing /

Motley Fool

The Motley Fool used to be a thing, a pretty big thing. Two dudes trying to bring the little guy into the world of investing. They were part of a wave of new investors taking advantage of online brokerages like E-Trade which drastically lowered the barriers to and cost of investing for the masses.

Using their discussion boards I eventually found a board about Mechanical Investing where multiple people were coming up with schemes to constantly and consistenly pick stocks based on multiple criteria with the goal of beating the market average. They seemed to work really well. They possibly kept me above the average, including when the dot com bust hit, but being slightly above a quickly declining average didn't help much. I later determined that these strategies worked only because they were riding a bull market bubble, not because of anything inherent.

As far as I can tell I joined the Motley Fool boards on Jan. 5, 1999. It was a fun time and a good lesson in investing.