Welcome to the WALLSTREETBEAR Discussion Forum Guidelines
1. General: WSTB "rules" are intended to show you what you can do, not what you cannot do. Nobody can make a rulebook large enough to prevent misunderstandings. So approach these as guidelines. The spirit of the "rule" is more important than the letter of it.
This is not to be construed as permission to engage in any illegal activities. WSTB will cooperate with appropriate law-enforcement officials should a member fail in this regard.
1.1. Copyright: For example, most of the material on the Internet is protected by copyright. It is each poster's responsibility to observe copyright and other applicable law. Some Web sites include restricted areas and material intended to be available to subscribers only, in some cases only to paying subscribers. For example, TheStreet.com has a zero tolerance policy on unlicensed use of copyrighted material. It is our members' responsibility to ensure that the material they post is not directly or indirectly drawn from sites such as TheStreet.com's subscription areas. Some other publishers, including Yahoo!, may republish copyrighted material from other sites under license. Your rights under the "fair use" doctrine in copyright law are limited. A good rule of thumb is "When in doubt, don't post it."
1.2. Many sites that we frequent don't mind at all when we use their non-subscription material. We've spoken to a few of them and they are happy to see us share links and cross-post references to their "teaser" publications. In many cases it helps their subscriptions, etc.
1.3. WSTB will respect the rights of all publishers and delete any content deemed inappropriate or illegal if it appears on this site. Members who post this material will be addressed and disciplinary action, including suspension, will be considered whether the copyrighted material was purposely or inadvertently posted.
1.4. It is not our purpose to prevent the Fair Use† of material. It is our purpose to keep WSTB "on the air" and to ensure we follow applicable laws. It is simply impossible for the owners and moderators, to police every post. Members must ensure that their content is appropriate to these guidelines. Moderators simply provide a framework for ensuring that this site is focused and civil.
1.5. Members are encouraged to report to the moderators material they feel is questionable or material they have questions about. With this in mind here is the Legal Beagle version of the above:
WSTB Terms & Conditions Of Use
The owners and elected moderators do actively moderate the WallStreetBear Board. Neither WallStreetBear nor do the owners undertake editorial control of postings by others.
Anyone on the Internet can post messages on the chat system, and they may do so anonymously. The opinions and statements made in board messages do not represent the opinions of the owners or WallStreetBear. The owners and WallStreetBear will not be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages, or any damages whatsoever arising out of or in connection with the use of information contained in any of the message board areas.
We ask that you refrain from posting, and the owners and WallStreetBear reserves the right to remove or otherwise suspend the account of, any user who posts messages which contain obscene or offensive language or material that is libelous, abusive, or hateful, constitutes junk mail or unauthorized advertising, invades anyone's privacy, or encourages conduct that would constitute a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability, or otherwise violate any local, state, national, or international law or regulation.
If you have any questions about these Terms & Conditions of Use, please let us know.
Note: By using this Message Board you agree to these Terms & Conditions of Use. Your posts may be deleted or edited at my and/or the moderator's discretion.
2. Criticism: Both of members and the board are very welcome off-line. We have an open door policy where we desire to praise in public and offer constructive criticism in private. Please PM Biker or MadisonBear with your complaint or criticism. Generally speaking, the board is not the place to conduct a critical discussion. The board is for the discussion of financial topics.
Discussions not strictly satisfying the guidelines for our public forum may be taken to Private Messaging (PM) linked at the top of the page. Here you may enjoy a private conversation with only whom you select, their being willing. It is important that members realize that constructive criticism, even privately, should be polite. Civility demanded in the public forum is also expected in the PM forum.
If per chance you feel abused in the PM forum, simply do not respond, and the problem usually fades away. Needing the "last word" even privately can lead to much that is unpleasant. Insisting upon the last word in the public forum shall be considered a violation of our guidelines, and will receive editorial attention.
3. Editorial Rights: While WallStreetBear cannot edit posts prior to submission, WallStreetBear moderators reserve the right to edit posts after they are made. See below for examples of when that may occur.
4. Off Topic: Off topic discussion needs to be civil and is allowed during non-market hours and weekends only. Breaking news during market hours is allowable, but please keep the discussion to a minimal as not to distract other members who come here for investing and financial discussion information, and as always out of respect, please use OT in the beginning subject line of the post.
4.1. Our discussion should stay focused. Humor, anecdotes, etc. are fine, BUT there is absolutely no point in frequenting Internet investment forums that:
Have little or no traffic OR do not stay on their theme/topic.
Are not well respected within their niche community, or do not attract knowledgeable investment professionals.
Attract people who behave in a less than professional manner.
Have no moderator to moderate the posts.
4.2. Remember: A good investment forum is a gathering of like minded individuals interested in learning more about specific topics who contribute to the variety of theme related discussions.
4.3. Bottom Line: We are interested in "focused, substantiated market related opinions." Discussions should be market centered, with few off-topic posts. Please look for off-topic diversions elsewhere or use the PM link for off-topic, private discussions.
4.4. We would rather see two excellent comments per hour than thirty-two comments of which eight are worthy of interest. Be assured that the two high-quality comments per hour will soon turn into thirty-two high-quality comments per hour. "Greshams Law" seems well adapted to apply to the currency of ideas, too, and here on our forum, the good ideas are mainly "On Topic" by these guidelines.
4.5. "Snippet" posts about market direction, support lines, or minute-by-minute action are encouraged.
4.6. Realizing that none of us lives in a market fundamental analysis, or technical analysis bubble, I'm now going to advance an exciting proposition. Off-topic "brakes" are a good thing. They let us control our momentum. Once we control the run-away abuses of off-topic discussion we can channel our interest in focused, substantiated market opinion toward supplementary applications or illustrations.
4.7. Let us put that in English. Should your "focused, substantiated market related opinion" apply to some off-topic issue then, by all means, make the application or illustration. Market properties do have socioeconomic equivalence and bear on political, social, intellectual, religious and aesthetic issues. We are all interested in them and encourage members to find such applications in their analysis. But you must connect-the-dots in an intelligible way. This will require practice. If you should fail to do this we may edit your post by excluding the off-topic matter. Please do not take offense to this. Simply modify your attempts in the future to construct more appropriate applications.
5. Culture: Also, investment forums (just like mainstream society) have their own culture.
So, as a suggestion, work with this forum in the same way you work with the value systems and views of the world in which you choose to live.
5.1. Links: Other boards: are fine with us. My approach is an "Open Door" policy. If there is information out there that is helpful to educate and profit from then please post the links.
The exceptions to that are the obvious ones: If your post is hurtful to other members or damages the board's ability to stay afloat, e.g. blatant advertising, we may have a problem with it. There are some exceptions but I think you get the idea.
5.1.1. Here's what one of our members says, "Could everyone please post some info about the content of a link in addition to just posting a link? Opening a post just to find "http:wallstreetbear.com/sdfjkyuiwe45778fhhjadgfasfkgka" is disappointing to be mild about it.
Links to other pages are valuable, but I don't want to link to another site only to find info I don't care about. A key paragraph or just the first paragraph would be welcome."
5.1.2. Links to sites whose theme or context would not be suitable for kids are not suitable here. We don't want my kids groveling through a trashcan for a meal. There are far too many good places to get the same or similar content without a trip to the dumpster.
5.1.3. Links, which are critical of a member of another board, can be a problem. It is best to confront the alleged offender in that forum.
5.2. Language: We have far more to grieve over and, probably, for a much longer period of time than most investors. we will concede, however, that we are not "employed" by the markets. So if you do this for a living we'll admit that you are probably more frustrated than us. So there may be room to correct us on this point but ...
5.2.1. We'd like to think of WSTB as a professional discussion with a "G-Rated" audience. In fact, when we code for this site there is a way to tell the search engine the audience rating. No kidding. We coded the HTML to reflect this. In effect, we are saying to people, "Your kids are safe to come here."
5.2.2. We said that to say this: Blowing off on occasion (key word) is acceptable but we hope that, for the most part, we can remain - er - tepid in language.
You folks are the pros. We are not. But we work in a professional environment where even the dress is under some sort of governance. If it is not acceptable in that environment then we think it would be good to think of this forum in the same way. On occasion people blow off here at the office too. But somebody who has a habit gets called into the office, even if it happens at a company party.
As always, this is your forum. You dictate the direction. We'd make a mess of it. However, we are the guys who have to take the heat when it gets too "creative" in here.
Off color language, like "bulliots," etc., is also touchy. A good writer can use innuendo and insinuation in a constructive way. But you need to be a good writer to pull it off without being overly offensive.
5.3. Posts that are nothing more than a statement of somebody's unsubstantiated opinion, or emotional ranting, are discouraged and may be deleted. Posts that contain frothy expressions of market direction with no supporting material (sometimes frequented with a smattering of off-topic politics) will be eliminated entirely.
Posts may be edited to maintain the thrust of a poster's coherent arguments but eliminate aspects of the above. This is not unusual for professional forums where content is filtered or eliminated - such as the Editorial columns of newspapers. One of the strong points of this concept is that no one appears to be doing this in an open bear forum.
5.4. Posts that have empty comments with no supporting argument, for example: "give her another few days and she'll crash in front of your eyes" will be deleted. That kind of opinion is very different from our preference: e.g. "I expect, looking at the failing momentum of the MACD, that the market will top out in a few days and then, if the 10 and 50-day MA's cross over, as they look as they will do in the next three days, there will be a sharp fall into February."
5.5. Posts that heckle, badger, jeer or criticize opinions, which are accompanied by supporting references, even if they are "obviously" losing money, will be deleted.
5.6. Since WSTB is a discussion board, posters should understand that their comments are vulnerable to subsequent posts from posters in disagreement with their expressed point of view. Many posters, indeed, use WSTB as a sounding board for their ideas and opinions and welcome constructive dissent. Posters should not expect their opinions to remain immune from dissenting discussion. Posters should appreciate that the more material they offer substantiating a particular point of view, the less likely it is to be 'deconstructed.'
6. Territorial Behavior: Bears are territorial creatures. Notwithstanding, bears like myself need to share turf. There are some big bulls out there that, by virtue of their portfolios, command a bear's respect.
We've always thought of WSTB as a long-term bearish forum for the most part. Yet we think we reflect the majority of the board in saying this: We want those who have either a short or long term "bullish bent" to feel free to express their opinions without long-term bears, such as ourselves, feeling like our territory is being invaded.
Should a bear get easily (key word there) agitated about a bullish post well, er...that's a problem. So long as bulls and bears play nice nobody needs to feel offended. As always, this is your forum. You dictate the direction. We'd make a mess of it. Remember though that we are the guys who has to take the heat when it gets too "creative" in here.
There are some excellent bullish opinions out there. Tactical bears want to know what bulls are thinking and assess that opinion in an objective way. Carnivores make hibernation more tolerable when they know when the food chain is plentiful and when it has been exhausted.
6.1. To get an email from a respectable WSTB poster who states they feel like they need to move on because they get too much heat for a bullish (or bearish) post is...We dunno. What? Is "disconcerting" a good word? It is not good manners to post what seems like an attempt to run somebody off.
There will be differences in personalities, trading habits, and "flavor" exhibited in nearly every poster. You may not like jalapeno ice cream. But it is still ice cream. So long as the Guidelines are followed there should be little to offend you from jalapeno ice cream posters other than your preference for vanilla.
6.2. Posting Objections: Some of our analysis is proprietary. We may have another opinion to a previous post based on that proprietary system and are not able to post precisely what our objections may be. This can create a problem.
So, as a matter of conscience and in the spirit of loyalty to our sources, it may be better to state that we have reasons to question a position based on those sources but that we are unable to explain our objection on that basis.
6.3. Also, there is a subtle way in which we express whose "side" we are on that may not be altogether balanced or fair.
Everybody has a "bad hair day." Reasonable people recognize that and know when to let off the gas. Not insisting upon the "last word" can help avoid unpleasantness.
7. Misuse of Passwords & Usernames: There has never been, at any time, a breech of this board's security.
7.1. We would like people to have just one handle or username. If you have more than one person in your household you can use "Bear1," "Bear2," etc. But misuse of a member's password or username by someone else is not allowed. Misappropriation of passwords or username's is not allowed. It is not simply a "practical joke," or "funny." It is theft and lying.
Also, using a pseudo-name for the purpose of misrepresenting your principle board identity is dishonest. Suspension is immediate in this case as well. If you wish to remain anonymous and feel you need a new name please let us know. We will understand and delete your previous account.
7.2. The only time we are aware of your password is when you first sign up. Please change it afterwards. Once it is changed nobody knows it. The board's Member Administration tool does not reflect passwords. So even if a hacker did access that portion of the software there are no passwords reflected in it.
Suspension is immediate in cases where another member uses someone else's password without their expressed permission. As a policy it is always best to keep your passwords to yourselves. Should you suspect your password has been compromised please change it as soon as possible.
Forgotten Passwords: Please let firstname.lastname@example.org know when you've forgoten your password. While we don't know what it is we can reset it and email a new password. DO NOT simply start another account under a different name.
7.3. Fake Email Addresses: Do not use a fake email address. This is deception plain and simple. It is certainly not a way to begin a relationship on a respectable financial board.
8. Posting Trades: As a matter of principle and politeness let me offer the following guidelines:
If you would like to post your trades:
8.1. Post the opening trade shortly after it is made. If you forget to do that, and later close the position, it is wise to refrain from posting anything about it. Posting winning trades anytime after significant gains are made is unwise and discouraged.
8.2. Posting charts of proposed movements is always welcome whether or not you wish to post your opening and closing trades.
8.3. Posting losing trades "after the fact" is also problematic because people can paint themselves as small losers.
8.4. If at all possible please share your rationale for the position's opening and closing.