Market advice depends on where you shop

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 16, 2001

A recent horoscope advised all Ariens (Rams) to follow the advice of their stock broker.

To do so, said Miss Dixon, could result in substantial increases in wealth for the advisee

provided the broker's instructions are followed.

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What the queen of Zodiac failed to do, was to tell those falling under that sign (persons born between March 21 and April 19) what to do if they didn't know a stock broker.

Some of us

me included

are so ignorant about finances and matters economic, that we wouldn't even recognize a stock broker if we stumbled over one in the street.

We of the butt-headed variety (Rams), at least many of us, consider conversations turning on the subjects of stocks and bonds, and investments of any sort, as pure gibberish.

Gibberish, for the benefit of the unenlightened, is "unintelligible chatter."

With the admonition of the horoscope in mind, yours truly set out to seek friends whose savvy about financial matters

particularly the purchases and sales of certain stocks

had always seemed phenomenal.

When those friends were found, the question was put to them.

"How about contacting your broker, and asking him for a tip' on good investments for this date," I requested.

The good ole boys said they would, since contact with their brokers could be achieved free anyhow, throuuse the WATTS (or "hot") line.

Since Greenville does not possess a stock broker as such, the buddies called Fierce, Penner and Bean (or some such) brokers in Montgomery.

Upon concluding their lengthy phone interviews with their favorite market contacts, the buddies related, in detail, the results of their conversations.

It went something like this: "The market is a bit bullish' (rising) today

so you should shy away from investments," said friend number one.

Said friend number two, "My broker says the market is bearish' (falling) so you should wait till it hits rock bottom

then plunge, man, plunge."

The variance in

advice was so disparate that your correspondent (I) just went to the Grill and had another cup of coffee.

I asked the guy sitting next to me what he knew about investments.

His response: "It's all a bunch of bullish gibberish

I'd say put whatever money you have in IRA's or savings."

Turned out he was my favorite banker

so, I stuck with his advice.

We at the Advocate are not of chance-taking variety. We just plod along, doing the best we can, without putting our money into pari-mutuals or stock markets.

You might say, our stock in trade turns toward conservatism and reporting the facts.