The Golden Goose is Sick
It is finally catching up with them. The brokerage companies I mean. For years they have been feeding bad food to their flock and now the flock is rebelling. The customer has been low man on the totem pole for too long. That food has been the disinformation that has caused customers to lose large sums of money.
Last year there were 33,000 brokerage company recommendations for thousands of stocks. Things like Strong Buy, Buy, Long Term Buy, Outperform, Underperform, Neutral, and Hold. The one word that was missing was Sell. Of those thousands of messages sent to their clients only 125 were Sell. Something is very seriously wrong here. While the market was going up in 1999 the so-called analysts whose job it is to figure out if the company is a BUY candidate were telling you to buy everything in sight. Anyone could have used a dart and thrown it at the long listing of stocks in the newspaper and hit a winner almost every time.
What happened to the in-depth analysis of the brokerage company geniuses when these same stocks started down. I know - Hold. They call it Buy and Hold, but I call it Buy and Prey. In 2000 over 1,000 stocks on the Nasdaq lost more than 90% of their value and today many of those companies have gone under. Why were you not notified and told to sell? Because the brokerage companies were making more money doing Initial Public Offerings (IPO) than they were making commissions on your trading.
To say the naughty word "Sell" would have made company executives mad and they would not have given the brokerage company a shot at their next Initial Public Offering (IPO). To heck with the customer; he doesn't count. There are cases where analysts were fired because they told clients to sell out.
Now that the lucrative IPO market has dried up maybe the brokerage companies will begin to realize they have a fiduciary responsibility to their customers. Hundreds of thousands of customers' accounts have lost 40%, 50% and more of their equity. If the short-sighted brokers had protected these accounts they would have hundreds of millions of extra dollars left so the customer could trade again which would mean millions more in commissions for the house. Now the dollar cost averaging technique is left with no dollars to invest.
Customers are afraid to put more money in the stock market because they have been so badly abused. They know something is wrong, but they don't know what so they wisely hold onto their money and refuse to pour more into losing propositions. Brokers want the customers to buy stocks and not put their dollars into a money market account where they make no commission.
The golden goose has lost quite a few pounds, but let's hope the brokerage companies have learned that by treating customers with respect and feeding them properly will bring them greater rewards.