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Alex Trias
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  • Annecdotal Evidence of What?  1 comment
    Dec 14, 2010 2:14 PM
    So, I get these calls from brokers at "A Certain, Well-Known, Swiss Asset Management Firm" all the time. The callers always say something like "you have been selected as a member of an elite group to receive our bank's financial research." Somehow, when someone wants to rip you off, they seem to think that the best way to do it is to make you feel like you've got privileged access to something. This "special access" story is exactly how Bernie Maddoff seems to have defrauded investors out of billions of dollars. Now, I am not saying that this Certain Well-Known Swiss Asset Management Firm is running Ponzi schemes or doing anything illegal - I wouldn't know because I don't do business with these places. What I am saying is that the "you can get special access ploy" which this bank is using has an eerily familiar ring to it.

    Sometimes, when stock brokers from this bank call me up at work they say something like "I have a meeting with several of your partners next week at your office, and wondered if I could just stop by your office while I am there". See, the thing is, that's a lie. Lawyers at my firm don't book up a conference room for personal matters, and generally speaking are too busy to meet with stock brokers. I'm baffled by this line, frankly, because if some broker is willing to lie to me within three seconds of getting me on the phone, I'm supposed to think he's trustworthy enough that I'm going to hand him my money to manage? In a pig's eye.

    When brokers call my office, if my secretary picks up the call, they usually ask for me by my first name, to try and make it sound like they're old friends of mine. I'm happy my secretary is smarter than these guys - she dumps the calls and then tells other secretaries who the caller says he is. Oftentimes when they call, the stock brokers  from this Certain Well-Known Swiss Asset Management Company just go down the roster of lawyer names, so when one person slams down the phone on them, they just move down their list to the next name.

    What does it mean, when sleazy stock brokers are going around beating the bushes for new accounts? I don't have an answer, but I feel somehow it cannot be auspicious.

    No positions mentioned

    Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
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  • Northwest Investor
    , contributor
    Comments (1328) | Send Message
     
    One painful lesson of marketing experience: sycophancy works.

     

    The desire to be sucked-up to is widespread, and in a bit of prognostic irony, is the reliable tell of the sucker.

     

    No one ever lost a dollar by ignoring a proposition that began with an appeal to their vanity.
    27 Dec 2010, 12:14 PM Reply Like
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