What My Horse Had For Breakfast

Let’s see, he had some oats, fresh alfalfa and his vitamins. I know from the mixture that is great food and he will win the seventh race this afternoon. He can’t lose because of his diet and a great jockey will be riding him.

Kinda reminds me of what my broker (horse trainer) told me to do when I was selecting a mutual fund to buy. He said to check out what was in the fund (the mixture of stocks, like my horse’s breakfast) and to see if there was a good fund manager (the jockey). I did what he said and carefully read the annual report and the prospectus too. Sounds great so I bought it.

What I can’t understand is I did all the things the horse trainer said I should and “Rocket”, my horse’s name, still came in 6th in an 8-horse race. All I wanted him to do is come in first and I can’t say I’m crazy about that mutual fund either.

That fund has a 5-star rating, is managed by one of the great names on Wall Street and has 60 of the best known company stocks I can think of and yet it is going down. I am doing everything that conventional wisdom says I should, but I continue to lose. Is there and answer?

I am not so sure about the horse, but I know the conventional wisdom of Wall Street is mostly smoke and mirrors. I read the Annual Report, but I forgot that “annual” means that much of the information is over a year old. How much help can that be? And I forgot that the prospectus was not written to enlighten me, but for the bean counters in Washington. It is supposed to make available to me all the financial information I need to make a decision to buy. All of this research is nonsense, as it will not tell me the one most important thing I need to know – will the price increase so I can make a profit? Unfortunately, my broker is not going to be much help here either as he has been trained by the Wall Street method which has nothing to do with making money or protecting my capital.

Anyone can look up all kinds of information, but when it comes down to it ask this question: Will knowing all that stuff make me any money? I always figure that if I can find it out it isn’t worth knowing any more because that information is already reflected in the price of the stock or mutual fund. So why bother?

Wall Street brokerage companies want you to do all that “research” because if what you buy doesn’t go up they can say you knew everything about it before you bought it. It wasn’t their fault you did not understand it.

I think I’ll sell that horse. And quit listening to my broker.

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