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Only Fools Ca$h In

The investment world's dynamic duo reveals how to score a hit on the internet.

This story appears in the July 1997 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

In 1994, brothers David and Tom Gardner ran a struggling financial newsletter, The Motley Fool, that went out to fewer than 300 subscribers. But they dreamed much bigger--and today their dreams are reality. Their pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? The Internet. With less than $10,000 in start-up funds, then 26-year-old David Gardner and his 28-year-old brother, Tom, launched The Motley Fool on America Online (AOL) in August 1994.

Fueled by a unique blend of levelheaded investment advice and irreverence about traditional financial institutions, the Gardners suddenly became cyber superstars--and their celebrity status only grows larger as the online universe expands into more households. Today, the AOL Motley Fool forum and the brothers' Web site register close to 550,000 visitors daily, and their first book--The Motley Fool Investment Guide (Simon & Schuster)--has held steady on bestseller lists. Just how did the Fools prosper when many online ventures have flopped and many more have fallen far short of expectations? Read on for their "Foolish" advice about managing money, making it online, and building a Web site that thrills visitors.

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