On Friday morning, April 1st 2011, we sent out an email urging you to pile into “one of the hottest stocks we’ve ever come across at The Motley Fool”.

The company was called Kollymagnus, and it was sitting on 25 million tonnes of Kolymoloptusium a rare earth used in, “self-cleaning vacuum cleaners, 5G microwave communication towers, green wind tunnels, CAT scan detectors and smartphone antennas.”

As much as we’d all like a self-cleaning vacuum cleaner, most of you quickly realised this was an April Fool’s prank.

Read the original Kollymagnus report here.

Although this was the first Australian April Fool’s prank, we’ve been running them since the mid 1990s on Fool.com.

Would you expect anything else from a company called The Motley Fool?

7 Million Shares

Some people did however fall for our prank. Of the many emails received to the Fool mailbag, we had 25 genuine offers of interest, adding up to almost 7 million shares, or over $100,000.

One series of emails in particular was very amusing.

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From: Fool reader

To: feedback@fool.com.au

Sent: Fri, 1 April, 2011 9:17:45 AM

Subject: One Hot Stock You Simply Can’t Ignore

Yes, please buy me $10,000 worth of Kollymagnus shares.

From: Fool reader

To: feedback@fool.com.au

Sent: Fri, 1 April, 2011 9:23:14 AM

Subject: Re: One Hot Stock You Simply Can’t Ignore

Do you need me to state the number of shares?

If my maths is correct, that makes 66,666 shares.

Do you need anything more formal from me than this?

From: Fool reader

To: feedback@fool.com.au

Sent: Fri, 1 April, 2011 9:35:54 AM

Subject: Re: One Hot Stock You Simply Can’t Ignore

PS I have not passed this information to anyone.

From: Fool reader

Date: Fri, 1 April, 2011 10:19:35 AM

To: <feedback@fool.com.au>

Subject: I JUST REALISED WHAT THE DATE IS TODAY!

oh dear, how could I fall for it?

……Fool.

From: Bruce Jackson

To: Fool reader

Sent: Fri, 1 April, 2011 12:13:29 PM

Subject: Re: I JUST REALISED WHAT THE DATE IS TODAY!

I’m sorry, but this did make me laugh, and I love your sense of humour. Well spotted, in the end.

Enjoy the rest of this special day.

From: Fool reader

Date: Fri, 1 April, 2011 12:42:25 PM

To: <feedback@fool.com.au>

Subject: I JUST REALISED WHAT THE DATE IS TODAY!

Thanks.

You made me laugh, and even better, you made me laugh at myself!

That’s priceless.

And there’s more…

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You took me on a roller coaster this morning:

8:20am – opened & skim-read email. Thought to myself – this is bizarre, but perhaps this is how this Motley Fool mob work

8:30am – whilst getting the kids out the door on their way to school. Though to myself – I’m not spending $10K on a “specy”, but perhaps $2K gamble could be a bit of fun

8:40am – whilst walking to the shop to buy newspaper & milk – anger building as I’m thinking to myself – this Motley Fool mob. They preach the “Buffet way” and they are not only jumping at a stock that is so not-Buffet, but they’re probably looking to ride the stock price as all us idiots pile-in. AND they didn’t even put a disclosure statement of their ownership in the email.

8:50 – open diary on the computer and see the date. It all became clear. Thought to myself – perhaps Motley Fool is not a mob of crooks after all, they may just have a sense of humour and enjoy finding new ways to drive home the lessons of smart investing.

All this thinking, in such a short time frame. I think I need another cuppa and maybe a lay down.

Cheers – and thanks for the ride.

—————————–

In the spirit of the day I would be very happy to receive 1,000,000 shares.

—————————–

Sounds like a great idea. I made 320% out of Lynas, But how do you sell when you want to?

—————————–

Motley APRIL FOOL.

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Dear Fellow Fool,

From one fool to another, before it’s too late, I’d like to alert you to a gearing opportunity in this company. I hear that Kollywaffle Inc. is issuing options available at 0.01 cents which will exponentially increase profits in this enterprise.Clearly an opportunity too good to miss.

Yours,

M. F. Fan.

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Of course I will put $10million into this. It is April Fool’s Day after all. Love it

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You should have called the rare earth “Unobtainium”.

Still chuckling.

Sorry, but I am going to get rich slowly instead. Much more satisfying.

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If/when we want to sell what’s the process?

—————————–

Dear motley fool

Yeah sure order me a thousand, but wait, Kollymagnus and the darwin stock exchange don’t come up on any web search, oh wait a minute its april 1.

What are you guys playing at. I thought that you were above the rest.

Congratulations. Another scam!

—————————–

You big Motley April Fool

—————————–

Dear Sirs,

I’m a Fool. I would like to say “count me in” on the action, but, to tell the truth I am more interested in a derivative position on Kollymagnus. I know nothing about the underlying fundamentals, but I trust The Motley Fool implicitly and without question, even on a day like today. Can I buy some call options, or better yet, sell some puts? The more the better, please – just put me down for whatever the market will bear (!). Hmmmm, now that I think about it, if you can arrange a bull strangle underpinned up by some forward naked spider spreads, that would be fantastic! Based on the numbers, I could turn $1.20 into $1.2m with zero risk. Now we’re talkin’.

Thanks a million.

Regards,

Foolosity.

P.S. By the way, what is the ticker symbol for Kollymagnus?

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I am interested in purchasing Kollymagnus shares at 1.5 cents per share provided that I can receive more information about the company from you.

I cannot find the company name Kollymagnus in the Australian Business Register.  Is their ABN registered under a trading name which is different to Kollymagnus?

Because you advise that I am unable to trade these shares through my normal broker, pease advise how I would be able to sell these shares once the price goes up as expected and how I would monitor the share price from day to day.

—————————–

Put me down for all you’ve got.

I too want to be foolishly rich.

Missed out on the $20million gold lotto, so here’s my chance.

—————————–

Your offer is too late, Wayne Swan has seized the entire company and surrounding land area in an effort to balance the Australian budget,  He sees this as his big move to restore his standing as the best treasurer Australia has ever had, rumor has it he sees this as his political savior.

P.S Happy April fools.

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hey read the post on commsec chat room re kolleymen ? somthing or other any ways very keen to learn more cheers

—————————–

Thank you for this morning’s advice concerning the Kollymagnus company, which I believe trades on the Darwin Stock Exchange.

I am interested in purchasing shares @ a max of 1.5 cents per share.

Please advise volume of daily trading, who acts for you as broker and how I can purchase, sell and keep track of this stock.

It would also be of interest to learn of the competition for the company’s products and if the company is already in production.

If not, what lead time is required and the likelihood of any calls on investors or financing arrangement that are antiicipated.

What is the company’s current and cong term debt level?

Do you have any other information that might assist in making an intelligent investment decision?

Yours in anticipation

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6 Foolish Lessons

What lessons can we learn from the Kollymagnus affair?

1) If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. The Darwin Stock Exchange doesn’t exist, and nor do Avril Folou, Capsicum Securities, Wiley Dunlop, solar-powered hybrid bicycles, and 5G microwave communication towers.

2) Emails similar to this are regularly circulated amongst the investing community. They do usually name a real company, but they are light on research, and the company shares are generally very lightly traded. Sometimes, especially in the U.S., the company actually pays the email publisher to promote its stock.  It is commonly referred to as a pump and dump scheme, one where you’ll almost certainly end up the loser.

3) Kollymagnus’ shares were trading “at just 1.5 cents, an absolute bargain in anyone’s language.” The price of the shares has nothing whatsoever to do with the value of the company. For example, if there were 50 billion shares outstanding, Kollymagnus would be valued at $750 million. Not so cheap then, hey? Ignore the share price. Focus on the company’s value.

4) The email urged you to act fast, and emphasised the urgency of the exclusive offer. If someone puts pressure on you to ACT NOW, giving you little or no time to think about the offer, or research it for yourself, you should simply walk away. There are plenty more fish in the ocean.

5) If we do get an AFSL, The Motley Fool would almost never recommend such a high risk company as Kollymagnus (even if it were real). We prefer to go by Warren Buffett’s 2 golden rules…1) Never lose money 2) Never forget rule number one.

6) We really do wish someone could supply us with “wind-powered energy efficient fluorescent light bulbs.”

As ever, we wish you happy, prosperous investing, and hope you had a wonderful April Fool’s day.

Feel free to send feedback to feedback@fool.com.au.

P.S. If you think any friends might benefit from receiving sensible investing advice for 364 days in the year, have them sign up to receive our Take Stock email themselves. Simply have them click here to join the action.

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