Three Canadian individual investors, under the monikers Bylo Selhi, Shakespeare and yielder, first met in the late 1990’s at an online discussion forum run by the Fund Library. In 1999, Jon Chevreau, then a columnist at the Financial Post, started a new forum called The Wealthy Boomer (TWB), to which the three decamped posthaste. Norbert Schlenker joined TWB in the fall of 2000. TWB served many Canadian investors well for years. In late 2004, the custom-built forum infrastructure at TWB and Jon’s concerns about high maintenance and hosting costs prompted Bylo, Shakespeare, yielder and Norbert to investigate alternatives. They suggested to Jon that it was time to move to “modern” software, at low or zero cost, and to transfer TWB to a low cost host.
Unable to reach agreement with Jon, and in mid-February 2005 unable to stomach the lack of moderation of the discussions at TWB, the four decided to act. They resolved to build a vibrant investing discussion forum, strictly non-commercial – no sponsors, no advertising, no fees – and moderated to forbid spam and avoid catfights, so that Canadian investors could educate and empower themselves. A week later, they had registered a domain name, and built a website and the FWF forum, which they unveiled on February 18, 2005.
- February 18, 2005, FWF goes live using phpBB v2.0.11
- February 22, 2005, ig17, FWF’s 100th member joins (and he’s still posting today!)
- November 22, 2005, 600 financial threads with 7,000 posts are imported from TWB
- April 21, 2007, the 100,000th post is made
- March 14, 2008, Bylo Selhi is the first member to make 10,000 posts
- February 14, 2009, finiki, the Canadian financial wiki goes live
- March 2009, FWF takes over the archive of gummy-stuff
- November 26, 2009, FWF moves to phpBB v3
- November 23, 2011, a phpBB themed homepage is unveiled and we refresh our logos to incorporate the maple leaf
- October 10, 2012, add support for mobile devices via the Artodia:Mobile style
- January 19, 2014, relaunch FWF as the Financial Wisdom Forum with a brand new homepage
Nine years later
FWF continues to be one of the best Canadian financial websites, attracting about 30,000 unique visitors per month, who view about 850,000 pages in the discussion forum and the gummy-stuff archive. The wiki has about 11,000 unique visitors and serves about 130,000 pages to them each month.