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Discuss > Posting Guidelines
Posting Guidelines
Be Civil and Respectful
We don't expect that everyone in Morningstar.com Discuss is going to agree on everything.

Disagreement, after all, is the foundation of markets--for every buyer who thinks a stock is under priced, there's a seller who thinks it's headed down the tubes. There's some skill involved in posting messages that disagree without conveying a disagreeable tone.

Using a condescending or nasty tone is the quickest way to inspire personal attacks, and there's no such thing as a civil, respectful personal attack. Do your best, and recognize that there probably will be misunderstandings, but if you can't disagree with an idea or investment philosophy without striking out at the person who follows it, then please don't post.

While Morningstar demands civility, we also believe in an open area for discussion. We are all adults here, and the best way to get rid of troublemakers is to ignore them. If you think that a message is inappropriate, you can let us know through the "Flag" button.

We all know that there are people who post simply to stir up trouble. Please try to resist responding to them, you are only stooping to their level and encouraging further posts.

Our advice on troublemakers: Ignore them.

If you don't, you are guilty of perpetuating the problem. Inappropriate posts may result in the closing of your Posting Account. It does not matter whether your post was the instigating post or the one made in retaliation.

Be Honest
Be aware that there are people who troll Internet sites hoping to lure naive investors into nefarious investment swindles. We'll do our best to keep them at bay by removing any posts we see that seem to be blatantly misleading, false, fraudulent, or illegal.

Other things that will possibly result in the closing of your Posting Account:

1. Posting promotional material or advertisements to the Morningstar.com community
2. No one acting in the capacity of a journalist can use the Morningstar Discuss area to solicit any information for his/her publication without authorization from Morningstar.
3. Plagiarizing or impersonating someone else; or misrepresenting your affiliation with a person or entity

If you violate any of these guidelines, or those set out in the Terms of Use, we will delete your post and we may revoke your posting rights by closing your posting account.

Be Wary
We expect that some folks are going to persist in their bad habits despite any warnings. The open nature of the Internet is wonderful in that it provides a place for all of us investors to meet and share information and opinions, but it also makes dishonest conduct that much easier.

Morningstar.com cannot prevent all dishonesty, and shall not be held liable for any losses that might occur based on information transmitted in the Discuss area. Approach everything you read with a healthy dose of skepticism. Do your own research before making any investment decisions and seriously question any statement that seems "too good to be true."

Again, if you have reason to believe that someone is using the Discuss area improperly, click on the "Flag" button and let us know about it.

Be Bold
Don't be afraid to ask questions. No matter how green or how jaded you are as an investor, you can always benefit from asking questions. The Morningstar.com community has thousands of members registered for Discuss, so there's a good chance that one of your fellow users will be ready with an answer, or at least an opinion.

Be Helpful
The most beloved members of an investing community are those who do a bit of research before posting their messages. Including ticker symbols, fund and stock names, links, data points, and information about your portfolio that are relevant to your message will go a long way toward making your posts clear and useful. That's not to say you shouldn't post questions or simple comments, but the more informative you can make your messages, the more helpful they will be to other community members and better conversations will ensue.

Reach Your Target Audience
Post your message to the appropriate forum or blog. Posting the same message to multiple locations breaks up the replies and makes for a less cohesive conversation. That's why a moderator will delete multiple posts, leaving only one available for replies. It's okay to repost a conversation that lacked an initial response or originated in the wrong area. But please use the forum and blog descriptions to guide your post to the right audience.

IF YOU TYPE IN CAPS, keep in mind that it's the online equivalent of shouting and is very hard on the eyes of your readers. Excessive posts in this manner may be deemed "disruptive" and result in the closing of your Posting Account.
Stay on-topic. If you want to digress, you might think about starting a new conversation or posting your conversation to the "Off Topic/General Chat" forum.
When in doubt, use an emoticon. Those smiley faces won't seem so silly after you've had a few joking comments misconstrued :^)
Write to be understood. You can fail a spelling bee, skip out of English class, or even quit high school and still post on Morningstar.com. Just remember to kindly use the space bar, return key, period, and question mark in your posts - your readers will appreciate it!

The Discuss area of Morningstar.com is offered for entertainment purposes only. Morningstar expressly disclaims any responsibility for the content or accuracy of any information posted to this area and for any trading, investment or other decisions made on the basis of this information.

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