Congress recently passed another new law that is supposed to outlaw financial crime. Corporate officers will be sent to jail for "cooking the books" as it is called. Among other things it is taking the stockholders money and paying themselves huge bonuses for nonperformance. These guys are even worse than mutual fund managers who do the same thing ? get paid big salaries yet continue to lose your money.
I can remember many years ago (I've got a few years on me) when they started building very fancy prisons with nice cells and tennis courts and nothing but a tiny fence around them. The story was these were being built for government officials who might get caught with their hand in the till and I have no reason to doubt it.
Today we have the new Sarbanes-Oxley Act that makes it a federal crime to commit financial fraud of various kinds. This new piece of legislation is going to be about as effective as the Brady Bill was in eliminating crimes committed with a gun. A crook is a crook is a crook. With or without a gun.
It seems that most of these high-priced executives that were convicted have been going to halfway houses. No bars, no fences, no cells. About 50% of inmates (?) in these "prisons" are those convicted of financial crimes. Most of the others are drug addicts and single moms. They can even get weekend passes to visit their palatial estates. Attorney General Ashcroft wants them to get the maximum sentences is a regular jail, but a group called the Sentencing Commission wants a lenient standard. I don't know who is behind this group, but it seems to be in line with my motto of "follow the money". The more money you steal the shorter the jail time will be.
We recently had Merrill Lynch and other major brokers fined $1.4 billion (yes, that's a B) for their lying to stockholders by giving out false information generated by their "analysts", read salesmen. Not one penny of this is going to the people who were cheated and none of the brokerage company executives will get any jail time.
Almost none of the individual company executives have been ordered to make even partial restitution to stockholders. Unless something is done this lenient policy will go into effect in the first week in January. If you have lost any money in the stock market these past 3 years I think it would be a good idea to let your Congressman know that you want those bums kept in jail until they give back as much as they have stolen or at least until they are as broke as their shareholders.
Many will agree that the punishment should fit the crime. Letting them serve their terms in halfway houses without repayment is not my idea of that. Maybe Washington should hear from you.
Author of "If It Doesn't Go Up, Don't Buy It!"
Never lose money in the stock market again.
The Stock Market Investor?s Worst Enemy
Every stock market investor faces one primal enemy. An enemy so perverse, it will drive thousands of investors from the stock market through its ability to defeat even the most practiced investment strategy. Who is this enemy you ask? Your arch nemesis, in this case, goes by the name E. Motions?don't ask me what the "E" stands for.
My Neighbor Got A New Car
I don't know what kind it is, but I saw iton TV running full speed along the shore (I don'tlive near the shore) throwing up spray or maybeit was that one climbing up the steep mountaintrail thru the mud, rocks and snow. Veryexciting. (I don't live near the mountainseither.) WOW! Just what I need.
12 Basic Stock Investing Rules Every Successful Investor Should Follow
There are many important things you need to know to trade and invest successfully in the stock market or any other market. 12 of the most important things that I can share with you based on many years of trading experience are enumerated below.
It Cant Be Done
Wouldn't it be nice if you were only in the stock market when it was going up and have everything transferred to cash while it is going down? It is called 'market timing' and your broker or financial planner will tell you "it can't be done". What that person just told you is he doesn't know how to do it. He doesn't know his job.
How (NOT) to Buy Mutual Funds
When it comes to mutual funds, there is a lot more to success than just finding a good one. Sad investment stories like the following are all too common. I hope my sharing it with you will help you avoid making the same devastating financial mistake one of my former clients made.
Finding A Good Stock
One of the things people are always asking me is how can I find a good stock. The answer I give does not please them. I say, "You are not qualified to pick stock. You don't know how so don't try. Put your money in a no-load mutual fund that is going up".
There are formulas for just about everything,but it has been shown that the simpler theformula or method of doing a particular taskthe better it works. It has evolved down toKISS ? Keep It Simple Stupid.
The Law of Chaos is the theory of random unpredictable action applied to the cosmos, mathematics, mechanics, almost everything. Those who believe it will definitely think the stock market is in chaotic state at this time. Don't you believe it.
Different Ways of Buying Stocks
Let's say you are interested in this one company. You read its annual report, like what you see and your calculation indicates that the stock is trading way below its fair value. You are excited. It is time to buy! Hang on for a second. There are several techniques of buying stocks out there. Some are better than the other. Let me explore several useful ones.
What Our Investment Advisor Wont Say Off The Bat
Most advisors will tell you they can beat the market. They may even point to years in which they did. But now you will learn the little known fact that is seldom mentioned outside the financial world. It is very, very, VERY DIFFICULT TO BEAT THE MARKET.
Dont Lose All Your Money
That sounds like good advice doesn't it? Don't lose all your money.
Every day I hear someone on CNBC proclaim that "this is the bottom" and you should get in there and buy all those "bargains". "The valuations of the DOW stocks are a steal."
What Can Model Airplanes Teach You About Trading?
I was devastated!
Understanding a Stocks PEG Ratio
A PEG ratio cannot be used alone but is a very powerful tool when integrated with the basics (price, volume and chart reading). You must enjoy crunching numbers and have a calculator handy to estimate your own PEG ratio. Access to quality statistical information from the web such as past earnings and future earning estimates is essential to calculate this fundamental indicator. A variety of websites produce a PEG ratio but I have not found one site that has a reliable PEG ratio that I can use for my own research, so I calculate it myself, ensuring accuracy with the final number.
Hot Stock Trader: How to Pick Momentum Stocks with Ease and Simplicity
Most stock traders know that momentum trading can be a very profitable activity. You can make big amounts of cash in a short period of time. The problem is, that if you don't know what stocks to look for and how to approach them and leave everyting to chance, you could end up wasting money instead of making your profits grow.
Buying New Issues
Has your broker been calling you recently with the "great opportunity" to get in on a new Initial Public Offering? With friends like that you don't need any enemies.
Wall Street's watchword has always been diversification, but what does it mean and why do they say it?
Zero Sum Game
Most people think the stock market is a zero sum game because there is a buyer for each seller and seller for each buyer so each cancels the other and everything is equal. Not quite.
Trade Stocks for Real
I read a comment by a forum member on another site earlier today that suggested that every investor should back test their system for at least twenty years. I disagree and will now tell you why. Back testing and paper trading seem to be the most over emphasized techniques offered by market theorists, educational elite, market novices and/or market fakes. While learning the pure basics, I can see why a novice investor may want to paper trade; to see the results of the developing system but I will warn that these results are completely false. The results will not contain the emotional decisions that go along with risking your own cash. Anyone and I mean anyone can paper trade successfully. It's simple, place a trade and hope it goes up and if it doesn't, you have no worries because you can't lose. The emotional imbalance that occurs when you really start to lose money is not present. Don't fool yourself by believing the results of your paper trading or virtual simulation portfolio. These things may give you some confidence in your system but they don't prove a damn thing in the real world. The real world, specifically the stock market, is run by emotional human beings. People make decisions that are irrational and base their trading decisions on fear and greed. Paper trading lacks fear and greed because there is no gain and no loss; therefore there is no consequence to deal with.
Understanding the Bulls and the Bears
If you've ever flipped on the television to CNN Financial or paged through the finance section of your local newspaper, you may have seen or heard references made to "the bulls and the bears." If you didn't know what was meant by those terms, you're about to find out. I will tell you up front that they were not talking about basketball and football franchises based in Chicago.
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