CORRECTION: Motley Fool Cancels ‘Planned’ Expansion

We have some bad news. Our new business expansion has had to be shelved. Unfortunately, our readers simply didn’t want to invest.

Thank God!

That offer we made yesterday? For an unbelievable investment opportunity in The Motley Fool’s expansion?

Yep, that was an April Fool’s joke. But we figure you knew that, based on some of the responses we received:

“Hilarious. Well done” — Brett, via email

“Happy ‘April’ Fools!” — Kristen, via email.

“Great April Fools! Keep up the great work guys.” — Heath, via email.

“Had me for a minute too. Well played 😬” — Peter, on Twitter

“Hilarious” — Beverley, via email

“Hahaha nice one Motley. Hopefully people don’t believe this- although I like that jab at the modern fee factory that is modern financial ‘advice’ — Martin, via email

“And Happy Fool’s Day to you too!” — Gabriel, on Facebook

“Good one, MF! I regret I’m a bit short of funds to participate in this fantastic offer.” — Kristy, via email

“Good one Fools :)”  — Andrew, via email

And a special shout-out to Matt, who responded with a ‘Nigerian email scam’-style joke of his own. That’s our sort of Fool!

Though we did also get a few along these lines:

“Prospectus pls”

We assume it was just those few capital-F Foolish readers playing along.

Then again, the sort of plans we outlined — in jest — aren’t that uncommon in the financial services industry these days, so we couldn’t blame anyone who was genuinely taken by it.

That’s why we think The Motley Fool is so important. Conflict-free and fiercely independent, we hope we’re a breath of fresh air, or at least a yardstick by which others in the industry can be measured. It’s a lofty ambition we set for ourselves, but it’s because we were started by — and are staffed by — people who want to change finance for the better.

So let’s have a closer look at our joke.

First, a little dig at the big banks with our marketing campaign to ‘engender trust’. Bank spokespeople have talked about having lost the public’s trust, and needing to get the ‘messaging’ right to win it back. Umm, guys, how about getting it the old-fashioned way?

Trust isn’t bought with marketing. It’s earned by being trustworthy

Next, we wrote: “We will first invite our current members to participate — but they’re used to us having a more principles-based approach — so additional investors who are less particular will like what they see…”

We’re all for making money — our members and our company — but not by compromising our principles

And the new businesses included examples of ways Australian investors can be waylaid by a combination of greed, poor advice and conflicted remuneration.

Keep an eye out for when things are too good to be true, or when someone is being paid to recommend a product or service.

We hope you realised those terms and conditions of investing in the new venture were somewhat onerous and self-serving, too. Especially with more than 80% of the proceeds going as bonuses. Then again, it wouldn’t have been the first time an IPO or fund-raising effort was used primarily to siphon funds from the unsuspecting investor to a dodgy group of sellers!

We had some fun, too:

We hope you liked the acronyms of our two new business units, too: Business Services and Offer Management Group.

The minimum investment of $142,018… we hope that’s familiar as 1/4/2018.

Fool Salary Dip? Those with a nose for anagrams would recognise it, reorganised, as: April Fools Day. And the investor contact, Olaf Prilo? April Fool!

We hope you enjoyed our little gag. Our motto, after all, is to Educate, Amuse and Enrich. And what else would you expect from a business called The Motley Fool.

But now, well, for the next 364 days, at least, we’re back to business as usual, fulfilling our purpose to help Australians invest better.

(And planning is now officially underway for April 1, 2019… stay tuned…)

Fool on!

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