Frequently Asked Questions
Recently Asked Questions
1. InvestorVillage Premium Features and Changes
We've been getting a lot of great feedback from Beta Testers on the new look, feel, and features of InvestorVillage Premium. We've also been getting a lot of questions regarding things that have changed. Here we hope to answer some of those questions in an effort to assist in making your transition as painless as possible.
• How can I get the subject lines to change color indicating I've read them when I open messages directly on the main boards using the [+] message expander icon?
You can go to your My IV settings page and select "Mark Expanded Messages as Read." This will change the color of the subject lines from blue to purple for all messages expanded using the [+] icon.
• As a Premium Member, will I still have to upload images to a remote image hosting web site before posting them to the IV Boards, or will I now be allowed to upload images directly to IV?
NOTE: If you select the above option and then use the "expand all" [+] button at the top of the [+] column, all messages on the page will open and all will then change to purple indicating you have read them. So if that doesn't sound like something you'd like, don't click the "expand all button" or don't opt in to have them change color.
As a Premium Member you will be allowed to upload files directly to our servers and will not have to take that extra step of going through a third party site, like Image Shack. Second, [to the extent that our Rich Text Editor will not properly render a large file such as a spreadsheet on the IV page], you will be able to attach the document directly to the post and other IV Premium users will be able to download it directly to their machines from the board post, in the same way they would if you had emailed it to them. Third, you will now be able to attach/upload files to PMs as well. This effectively eliminates the need to email other IV members (well, at least that will be the case for other Premium Members you communicate).
• Why are you wasting so much space in the page header with the new board search tool?
You can close the search tool on the boards. We elected to default this tool to the open position so that users would actually notice it. It's a dramatic improvement to the old one, because it can be as advanced as you want by using any combination of up to 6 search fields, including keyword, date range, author, etc. Anyone who doesn't like it open can simply close it by clicking the "close search" link located in the upper right hand side of the page just below the green tabs. Once you close it, it will stay closed until you open it again.
• I never look at the sentiment column on the Main Board page. Can't you just get rid of it?
Another feature to be aware of is the "auto-scroll" found in your My IV settings page. You can turn this On or Off. When on, the page will automatically scroll down to the top of the board or the top of a given message when opened individually, effectively hiding the fat header.
You can go to your My IV settings page and select to hide the "Sentiment" column from your individual view of the Main Board pages. You can do the same for the "Message Type" column as well.
• What happened to the "Cancel" button on the post message page?
We decided to remove the "Cancel" button to make space for the "Save Draft" button, which we believe is more useful. Did you know you can now save a draft of your post and come back to work on it later? We've even built an "auto-save" feature running in the background, so if your computer crashes or something, there will be a draft automatically saved that you can retrieve later.
• How do I put a poster on ignore?
Anyway, our reasoning was this: four buttons, including Preview, Save Draft, Cancel and Post looked more cluttered than necessary and so we chose to eliminate "Cancel" as it seemed the least important (and most redundant) of the four. After all, to "cancel" you can simply not click the post button and instead leave the post message page. There are several ways to do this. You can exit the post message page by clicking the back button in your browser menu, or the blue "Board" tab, or the "Message Board" link next to the ticker symbol in the upper left hand side of your page.
When viewing a fully open message, look for the little green down arrow next to the author's name. Placing your mouse over this green arrow opens a drop-down menu where you will find actions you can take on that poster, including Send PM, View Profile, Add to Favs, and Ignore.
• Where can I manage my ignores for a given board?
NOTE: I say "when viewing a fully open message" to indicate the traditional way of viewing a message, that is, by clicking the subject line. This is to distinguish it from the new way of "expanding a message" on the main board page by clicking the expand icon [+] on the left of the main board page.
We grouped the actions taken on a poster in the drop-down to reduce visual clutter and allow for better and more logical organization of information. We apologize for the confusion this may have caused and trust that now you know where to look and how to perform the desired action, this will make sense going forward.
One other point I should mention: clicking the author's name directly on a fully open message is a short cut for sending the member a PM, as this will generate a pop-up PM window with the member's alias already pre-populated.
Once you have ignored someone on a given board, you will see "My Ignore List" for that board appear on the upper right hand side of the page just below the green tabs. To quickly remove someone from that list, simply mouse over the green arrow here to open a drop down list of your ignored members and click the red arrow next to their name. Or click the "My Ignore List" link and go to your ignored member management page for that board, where you can add or remove additional aliases of posters on that board.
• I miss the red flag showing my alias and # of unread PMs. Where did this go?
We eliminated this feature because in IV Premium it's even more redundant than ever. There are two upgrades to the way the PM suite works on IV Premium that should go along way towards making up for the loss of the red flag. First, your Inbox should auto-refresh, so the number of unread messages should change whenever you receive a new one. Second, you now have a notifications page in My IV. Here you can opt-in to have little pop-up notices appear at the bottom right hand of your page whenever a PM comes in. This works similar to other email services. You will see a small box fade in, telling you the subject, author and time of the PM. This happens when you first login, or in real-time if a message comes in while you are on the site. Additionally, you can opt-in to have an audio cue alert you as well, so you don't even have to be looking at your screen, so long as you are within hearing distance.
• I don't like the extra wide format for messages in IV Premium. Is there anything I can do about this?
Yes. To correct for this shortcoming, we have implemented a new feature on the right side of any given message box on the boards that allows you to resize the message box to whatever size makes reading the messages easiest for you. To use it, simply look to the right hand wall of the message box. Place your mouse over the "handle" icon and then click to grab and drag the wall to the left. This will shrink up the message box to your desired width. At this point, the setting will hold until you change it again.
1. Customizing InvestorVillage
Membership enables many features allowing users to adjust the InvestorVillage experience to suite their own individual needs. This section explains a few of the customizing options.
• Can I Change My Font Size?
• Can I Change the Site To Be the Full Width of My Screen?
Yes you can. From the Settings Page
in My IV
, you can set the site’s base font size anywhere from 10 pixels to 20 pixels in height. Adjusting the font size will also adjust most everything on the site in order to accommodate the larger text. As such, adjusting font size might require you to compromise based on your screen size (i.e., selecting 20px text might make the website too large to fit on an 800x600 resolution screen).
• What Are My Links?
Yes you can. From the Settings Page
in My IV
, you can choose between Fixed or Flexible Width. Flexible Width will stretch the width of the screen.
If you happen to be using large font (i.e., larger than 12 pixels) on a smaller screen resolution (for example, 1024X768 or 800X600) you might want to use our Flexible Width option which typically does a better job of rendering larger font sizes on smaller screens than our Fixed Width option.
My Links are links that you can add to your User Bar for quick access from any webpage on the website. These can be links to pages within InvestorVillage (for one click access to your favorite boards, for instance) or to any other website on the internet (such as news sites or other stock message boards). To add a link, simply click the Plus Sign in the User Bar (the User Bar is the gray bar underneath the main blue site menu).
• Are There Any Other Ways To Customize InvestorVillage?
There are several, actually. From the Settings Page
in My IV
you can set the number of Posts Displayed Per Page on the message board, you can enable the Rich Text Editor for posts, you can turn auto-scrolling on or off, hide the message and sentiment columns on the message board, and more.
2. Message Board Functionality
The Message Boards are the core of InvestorVillage. Our format is similar to many of our competitors in many ways and unique in others. This section addresses questions you may have about the functionality of our Message Boards.
• Can I Edit Or Delete A Post?
Yes you can. On each of your posts there are edit & delete links in the bottom right corner. These can be used an unlimited amount of times.
• Can I Save A Draft of A Post I'm Working On?
NOTE: The ability to edit or delete one’s own message(s) is a privilege, not a right. It is offered as a convenience, allowing you to go back and correct typos or delete sensitive information (such as personally identifiable info including emails addresses and phone numbers) which you may not wish to be viewed by the browsing public. We do not tolerate abuses of these privileges. If we discover any such abuse, we will not hesitate to restrict or terminate an account.
Yes you can, simply by clicking the Save Drafts button next to the Post button. There are two ways to return to saved drafts from the board on which you wrote the draft. The first way is the Saved Drafts Dropdown above the Search Functions. The other is by selecting My Drafts from the View Filter Dropdown. This will filter the board listing to your drafts, with quick options to preview, post, or delete the draft.
• Can I Attach Photos, Spreadsheets, or Documents To My Post?
Yes you can, by using the options in the Rich Text Editor while making a post. In the second row of buttons, the attachment buttons begin at the 4th from the left. These buttons allow you to upload images, flash files, media files (movies and audio), and downloadable files (spreadsheets, Word documents, Acrobat files, etc). Clicking on any of these buttons should give you a pop-up window with the upload options. To add a file, click on the Choose File button, navigate to the file on your hard drive and select the file. Clicking the Upload button will upload the file and give you a preview of the image, then clicking the Insert button will insert it into your post.
• Can I View Multiple Messages From One Page?
Yes you can. When logged in as a Premium Member, clicking the Plus Box ([+]) next to each headline will expand the message so that you can view the message subject, body, and several details and actions (respond, add to favs, etc). The Plus Box will then turn into a Minus Box ([-]), which will allow you to collapse the message. Clicking the Plus Box in the message board header will expand all messages on the page. This setting is remembered, so when you expand all messages, each message board you visit subsequently will default to all posts open (marking all posts as read) until you hit the Minus Box in the header bar to change that setting to defaulting to all messages being collapsed.
• Why Do You Show Who Recommended A Message?
This feature encourages greater transparency and accountability. On many competitor discussion sites where users have unlimited aliases and accounts, one abusive tactic is simply to recommend a message multiple times. We believe this practice dilutes and distorts the value of such recommendations. On our boards, not only is the number of recommendations tallied and displayed, but users can click and view the aliases of the recommenders.
• Can I Search For A Specific Topic?
TIP: InvestorVillage message lists are sortable by number of recommendations. Just click the word “recs” at the top of the list and the messages will be displayed in order of the number of recommendations received, with the most recommended message appearing first. To get back to the default message display, click on “date posted.” You can also search by entering a minimum number of recs that messages should have in order to appear in the list of results and even search by the name of the person recommending.
Yes you can. Each Message Board is equipped with powerful Search Functions. These allow users to search for posts by any combination of keyword, author, subject line, recommender, minimum recs, and dates. Searching will give you a green Results Tab, and clearing the results can be done by clicking the blue and white (X) button in the green bar. Collapsing the Search can be done by clicking “Close Search.”
• Can I Filter The Board Listing To Top Recommended Posts, Posts By My Favorite Members, or Replies To Me?
Yes you can. Filters work like very specific searches. Filters can be chosen from the View Filter Dropdown, allowing you to filter the Board Listing to the Top 100 Most Recommended Posts for a given time period, Favorite Posts, posts by Favorite Members, replies to your posts, your posts, your drafts, your deleted posts, and more. Choosing a filter produces a green Results Tab, and clearing the results can be done by clicking the (X) button in the green bar. Clicking on an Author’s name in the board post list also filters the board to posts made by that particular member.
• Can I Ignore A Member Who Bothers Me?
Yes you can. Ignoring a member can be done through the Author Dropdown next to the Author Name on each of that member’s posts. Ignoring members is board-specific so your Ignored Members list is unique on each board. Removing a member from your ignore list can be done by clicking the X next to their name in the Ignore List dropdown located underneath the Tabs.
You can go to My IV settings
and choose to ignore replies, which allows you to not only ignore the posts of ignored members but also to ignore all replies to their posts, including posts by members who are not otherwise on your ignore list.
3. Private Messages
• How Do I Check My Inbox?
• How do I send a Private Message to another member?
Your Inbox is referenced several times across the site, most prominently in red in the Member Bar (the gray bar underneath the blue site menu bar) with the number of unread messages in parenthesis. You may also access your inbox via the Inbox tab in the My IV
section of the site. Additionally, your latest unread messages display on the home page when you log in.
There are several ways for members to send a Private Message.
a. Click on the “Send PM” link in the Member Bar (the gray bar underneath the blue site menu bar). This will open a new window with a blank Private Message form. Be sure to enter the member’s full, correctly spelled alias into the “To” field.
b. When you are reading a message, you can click on the green arrow next to the Author’s name to open the Author Dropdown. The first option in the list is to Send PM. (Be sure to hit Send before closing the window.)
c. You can search for a particular member in the Member Directory and click on the “Send PM” link.
d. In your Inbox, you can click “Send Private Message” or you can reply to a private message sent to you.
• How Do I add members to my Favorite Members list?
• How can I add my favorite posts to my Library?
Adding Favorite Members can be done two ways. The first way is to use the Author Dropdown by clicking on the green arrow next to the Author’s name in any of that member’s posts. The second is to click on the “People” tab in My IV
and use the “Favorite Member” add box. The Filter Dropdown on each board page allows you to filter to posts by My Favorite Members. Additionally, if you turn notifications on, you can be alerted by PM, Alert, or through your Newsfeed of each of your Favorite Members’ posts.
To add a post to your library for easy future reference, click on “add post to library” underneath the body of any message. (Next to “e-mail to a friend” and “printer friendly.”) You may view posts added to your library two different ways. One is to use the Board Filter (reference Site Feature 2e) to show only My Favorite Posts. The other is to click on the My Files tab in My IV
5. My Boards
• What Is My Boards?
My Boards allows you a quick and easy way to monitor activity on your favorite boards. It also provides quick access to all the boards on your list. There are three ways to access My Boards. The first is on the homepage when you are logged on. This is an abbreviated version of the My Boards module that does not allow you to manage your list. You can manage your list one of two ways. The first is by clicking on the My Board link in the User Bar (the gray bar underneath the blue site menu bar). This will give you a pop-up window with your My Boards that will allow you to add and delete boards to or from your list. The other way to manage your my Boards is by clicking the Boards tab in your My IV
. To quickly add a board to your My Boards, click the Add To My Boards link in the Board Actions menu above the Search Functions.
6. Member Directory
• Is there some way to find other InvestorVillage members who follow the same stocks I do?
Yes. Go to the Member Directory and search for members who Post On or Follow your stock symbol. Did you know you can also search member profiles by age, gender, and location?
• Why are many of the profiles in the member directory missing or not available?
• I wanted to put my personal contact info in my profile, but you don’t provide fields for name, address, phone number or anything like that. Why not? And is there any chance you might consider adding that?
a. the member you are looking up has not yet filled out a profile
b. the member is sharing his/her profile only with a select group and you are apparently not in that group.
You might politely ask (via private message) to be included in his/her group—but don’t be offended if you never get a reply.
We designed the profiles specifically so that would not actively ask for any clearly personally identifiable information. After all, many users are rightly concerned about their privacy. However, we have left a sort of catchall box for ‘Comments’ which a member may use to provide such information, if he or she is comfortable doing so.
• How can I change my password?
You can change your password on the Account Details
page in My IV
8. Visitor Counts
• What is the difference between members and visitors viewing a board and how accurate is the count you display?
Unfortunately, it's not easy to give the "right" answer to this question, because to some extent the answer depends on what the person asking the question really wants to know. Counting people who view a given board is a mix of art and science.
Our counting methodology is in line with industry practice and standards and we therefore believe it to be fairly accurate. However, there are a number of variables to consider when interpreting the information. For example, we are only giving a 24-hour count. But not everyone views a given board every single day. Consequently over the course of a week or a month, the count of unique viewers of a board is typically much higher than what you are seeing.
Questions About Billing
• How much does an InvestorVillage Membership cost?
The Monthly Plan: The cost of an InvestorVillage monthly membership plan is $8.99. This is a recurring monthly fee. Your monthly billing cycle starts on the day you sign up and will recur on the same day of the following month. You may cancel at any time before the next billing cycle starts to avoid being billed for the following month. For more information, please consult the Membership Fee section of User Agreement.
The Yearly Plan: For members who choose to pay for the year in advance, we offer a yearly membership plan for $71.88, which when divided by 12 months this comes to an average cost of $5.99 per month, a savings of 33% when compared to the monthly plan. This is a recurring yearly fee. Your yearly billing cycle start on the day you sign up and will recur on the same day of the following year. You may cancel at any time before the next billing cycle starts to avoid being billed for the following year. For more information, please consult the Membership Fee section of User Agreement.
2. Billing Information
• How do I cancel my Account?
You may cancel your account from the Account Details
page on My IV
or by calling Customer Service at 1-888-222-7309.
Questions About Site Policies
1. Abuse Reporting
• How do I report another member for insulting me, using abusive language in a message or other violations of the user agreement?
a. CLICK THE “REPORT ABUSE” TEXT LINK: If you read a message which you believe violates our User Agreement, just click on the “report abuse” text link. In the pop-up window, add your comment/report and click send. We will then review the message and take appropriate action (which could include deleting the message from the board, sending the reported member a warning via private messaging, posting a warning to an unruly board or group, etc.)
• I’ve reported people on other sites, but nothing ever happened. What can I expect here?
b. EMAIL US: If you see activity or behavior by one or more members on the site that you believe violates the User Agreement, you may email us at firstname.lastname@example.org . Be sure to include the name(s) of the member(s) you are reporting as well as the message #(s) of any abusive posts.
InvestorVillage administrators will give serious consideration to suspected violations of the User Agreement brought to our attention. While you may not always agree with us, you should understand we will make every effort to act in a timely, fair and reasonable manner. Ultimately, any disciplinary decision/action will be made according to our sole discretion.
2. One Alias Policy
• I picked a really stupid alias when I signed up. Can it be changed, please?
As a general rule No. Please don’t take this personally but we strictly enforce our one-alias policy in an effort to deter abusive behavior on our boards. We allow only one alias per account for the life of the account (even if it is terminated for some reason and renewed at a later date). However, as with any rule there are exceptions. If you feel that you have a valid reason to change your alias, please contact email@example.com
with your request and based on a review of the situation, the change may be allowed.
Also, if you have not posted any messages and therefore have not yet established a public persona on our site, you may change your alias from the Preferences page.
3. Terms of Service
1. Requesting A Board
• Can I request a message board for a stock you don't already have a board for? If so, how do I do that and how long should I wait for the board to go up?
Yes, you may request a message board for any stock we don't already have in our system. We do everything we can to get a board up and running as soon as possible. Usual wait time is anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days, depending on when we receive the request. Requests made during off-hours (such as late at night or weekends) will usually take longer to process.
TIP: IV Premium users can create new stock messages board by clicking the “Add a Board” command, entering the appropriate stock board and clicking “Create New Board.”
2. Generating Discussion On a New Board
• I’ve recently requested a new board for a microcap company. What can I do to get more people to start talking with me?
Consider doing one or more of the following:
a. share a link to the board with other serious investors you think may be interested in discussing the stock
b. share your own research on the new board—this is a great way to introduce the stock to other InvestorVillage users—you never know who may decide to join you; and
c. if you are really feeling adventurous, contact the company, particularly their Investor Relations (IR) representative, and let them know we have a moderated board where their shareholders are welcome to come to discuss the stock.
3. SEC Violations