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Discussion in 'Managed Funds & Index Funds' started by Simon Hampel, 22nd Oct, 2008.

  1. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    After much thought and consideration, I have decided I need to be a bit more explicit about my policies for dealing with discussion on financial services products and companies.

    First let me clarify something - what I do NOT want to do here is stifle discussion, and 99% of people posting on this site do what I consider to be a very good job when posting. Please understand that this post is aimed at those few people who tend to step over what I consider to be an appropriate line. I just want to try and give some guidelines as to what I consider to be reasonable and what will not be tolerated.

    Let me start by stating this: I will not tolerate ill-informed debate, opinion posed as fact, nor posts which I deem to be malicious in intent.

    When discussing specific products, people or companies - you should aim to base your discussions on fact, or post questions based on a genuine desire to learn. I will not tolerate questions or opinion posted in a manner which I consider to be destructive and not adding value to the discussion.

    When expressing an opinion about something, you should be careful that your post isn't misinterpreted as fact, and you should at least try and base your opinion on an analysis of fact - not on an ignorant or mis-informed view of a topic. You should also consider that other people may have different opinions which may be equally valid based on the facts available.

    Some people are prone to what I call "crusading", which means they always feel the need to have their strong (and usually one-sided) opinions heard about a specific topic - particularly in relation to a product or company. This will not be tolerated - you are allowed to state your opinion, but it would be best if you could perform a balanced, neutral analysis of the matter, and indeed argue both sides of an argument, outline what you see to be the pros and cons of something ... a genuine review rather than a biased attack (the same applies to overly positive ramping!).

    In many cases, opinion is expressed in such a way that can sometimes be misinterpreted as advice. Nobody is permitted to give specific advice about financial products on this site. Even if a post wasn't intended as such, it can sometimes be interpreted that way by other readers. You should always try and offer a balanced view on a subject by considering that other people will be reading what is written who may have entirely different circumstances to that of the original poster.

    For example, suggesting that buying when the sharemarket drops might be a good strategy for someone aiming to hold their investment for the long term, but it may be entirely inappropriate for someone nearing retirement or planning on using their invested capital for other purposes in a shorter time frame (eg house deposit). You can't be expected to know everyone's circumstances - but you should at least acknowledge that your suggested course of action may not be appropriate in every situation. I find that outlining a range of possible strategies that might work in a variety of situations adds a lot of value to a discussion.

    As a general suggestion when writing about something - think of it like you are reviewing a car. You may not like the design or the handling, but you need to acknowledge that this is just your opinion. It doesn't mean that the car won't work or that other people may indeed find it attractive even if you don't. Just because you bought a Ford that was a dud, doesn't mean all Ford cars are duds or that Holdens are always better. You need to acknowledge your bias and deal with things in a balanced way.

    You also need to consider the reason the car was made - who is the target market. An expensive two-seat sports car isn't generally an appropriate choice for a person looking to transport young children (no ability to install booster seats or capsules etc). Similarly, accusing a people-mover as being unable to perform because it can't do 0-100kph in under 5 seconds is also inappropriate.

    Discussion about financial products should be treated in a similar manner - acknowledging your biases, considering the target market, basing your analysis on fact, and making it clear which statements are only your personal opinions.

    These issues are rarely black-and-white, and so a degree of judgement is required. I'm just trying to let you all know the kinds of things I expect from people posting on this site for all of our protection. Making defamatory remarks about an individual, company or product is something that will cause everyone grief - so please try and understand why we need to be pretty strict about these things.

    If there are posts which you think step over the line of what is appropriate, please use the "report this post" feature to let us know so that we can consider what action should be taken (if any).
     
  2. ffc1883_1996

    ffc1883_1996 Active Member

    Joined:
    12th Sep, 2007
    Posts:
    31
    Location:
    Melbourne, VIC
    Hi Sim,

    Would it be possible to police the above by deleting specific posts instead of entire threads?

    Furthermore, would you be able to reinstate any recent threads that have been deleted, with the non compliant posts removed.

    Thanks - Ben
     
  3. ffc1883_1996

    ffc1883_1996 Active Member

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    Location:
    Melbourne, VIC
    I just noticed that you’ve already started going this – great stuff Sim!
     
  4. islandgirl

    islandgirl Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Posts:
    118
    Location:
    Middle of beautiful Moreton Bay, Qld
    Sim
    Given the circumstances of late I appreciate your clarification of the rules of engagement on this site. One of the things that I have always liked about this site is that people have firm views and opinions and can actively and logically argue there point. However I do ensure that when I am reading other people's posts that I am always trying to put what they are saying in terms of reference for my investing goals.

    Sure - people may have extremely valid points however whilst, for example, options trading may give them great results, for me with limited time, this investment approach would not be for me. I guess what I am trying to say is that the onus it not only on the writer of each post but on the reader as well to be clear enough to understand that 2 people may have opposing oponions and investments styles and both may also be correct.

    I hope that people to continue to actively debate and put forth ideas on this site. I really enjoy the diversity of conversation and the broadness of information and depth of experience that is on this site. I do appreciate that people can sometimes overstep the mark, but I have generally found that it has degenerated into anything other that healthy debate.

    To all that contribute to this site, thank you for providing me with continuing education and reason in the midst of the uncertainty we are experiencing at the moment.
     
  5. MrDarcy

    MrDarcy Well-Known Member

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    Sydney
    Which threads are these ? Discussion on the 100% cash aspect still does not exist just the "Statement from Steve Navra" thread which I observe has had significant culling and editing. All the nasty posts are now gone, along with most nice ones too and an edited statement. Bit disjointed reading now but I'm sure it is safe.

    Sim's policy below is good, it's just a shame that this forum still has so many good posts removed along with the bad. Who'd be a forum moderator, must be a thankless job eh Sim.
     
  6. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    Location:
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    Not always "thankless", but it's much more challenging than it appears on the surface - especially when you throw legal issues into the mix.

    Interestingly, (apart from the financial advice aspect), a lot of the moderation issues we face here are not that much different to those I face over on my ZooChat forum :rolleyes:
     
  7. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    The 100% cash thread was started before Steve posted his explanation - it was pretty much full of inaccurate speculation and I decided that none of it was safe to salvage - and it was largely obsolete after Steve posted answering all of the questions anyway.

    On the specific topic of NavraInvest discussion - I am not making this a taboo topic and encourage people to ask questions if they have them. But I will act to limit debate about the merits of the fund strategies since they tend to evoke such emotive arguments. My goal is always to aim for education - so I am happy to help answer questions about the technical aspects of the funds and other products, and will seek clarification directly from NavraInvest on any topics which I don't already know the answer to.