Dispelling Illusions of the Stock Market

 

How can you dispel an illusion unless you look directly at it? The magician distracts the eye with one hand while he does his manipulation with the other. You are looking in the wrong place and not seeing what is actually happening.

Wall Street has mastered this move even beyond the wildest dreams of Houdini. Investors have become so mesmerized by the smoke and mirrors that they believe the large brokerage houses are telling them the truth.

One of their master distractions has you believing that research is necessary to be able to pick a winning stock or mutual fund. All research is facts and figures which is nothing more than disinformation. Think. That long report by some analyst came from sources available to anyone and everyone, therefore, it is worthless. If everyone knows it then all that information is already reflected in the current price of the stock.

Just because you have information and it seems so good that doesn't mean the equity price is going to go up. Those beautiful pink, green and yellow tout sheets sent to you by some broker have you looking in the wrong place just as the magician does while he is picking your pocket. Sound familiar?

The annual report is a beautiful document. Slick paper and in full color, but those footnotes are hard to read. You know the old saying: "they give it to you in the big type and take it away in the small type". More of the magician's tricks. Did it occur to you that much of the content of the annual report is a year old? Is that going to tell you if the stock is going to go up tomorrow or next week?

Another distraction by the master magician is the prospectus. I have written these so I know how they can be manipulated. The most important thing to remember is they were not written for the investor. They are written so some Dilbert lawyer in his cubicle at the SEC in Washington will see that it meets all the regulations. There is practically no difference in the content of a winner and a loser.

So much of what comes out of Wall Street is sleight of hand and smoke and mirrors. You must stop and ask yourself, "Is knowing this going to make me any money?" In all likelihood it won't. Almost every analyst recommendation put out by brokerage companies is already ancient history and of no value. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Washington is now investigating allegations that analysts have become salesmen for their brokerage companies and are told not to issue negative reports on any company no matter how poorly they perform.

Become aware of the magician's tricks and watch out for that other hand he has in your pocket.

Copyright 2005

 



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