Fribble

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Friday, February 19, 1999

Where The Wise Things Are
(A bedtime story for young investors with apologies to Maurice Sendak)

by Matt Baxter

The night Max wore his three-piece suit and made bad investments of one
kind

and another

his full-service broker called him a Wise thing and sent him a monthly commission bill without a good return on his investment.

That very night in Max's life the market grew

and grew

and grew until the Internet stocks were experiencing eye-popping growth and his portfolio paled in comparison

and an advertisement tumbled by from yet another full-service broker for Max and he sailed off through poorly-performing mutual funds

and in and out of day trades
and almost over a major market correction
to where the Wise things are.

And when he came to the place where the Wise things are
they roared their terrible advice and gnashed their terrible service
and rolled their terrible returns and showed their terrible commissions

'till Max said "BE STILL!"
and tamed them with the magic trick
of margining fifty percent of his portfolio with violently speculative international stocks
and they were frightened and called him the most Wise thing of all

and made him king of all Wise things.

"And now," cried Max, "let the wild rumpus start!"

[and there was all manner of cable channel pontificating and hot-tip newsletters and penny stock pushers]

"Now stop!" Max said and sent the Wise things back to their well-appointed offices
without his business. And Max the king of all Wise things was lonely and wanted to be where someone would teach him how to be a Fool.

Then all around from far away across the world
he heard of better ways to invest
so he gave up being king of where the Wise things are.

But the Wise things cried, "Oh please don't go --
we'll eat you up -- we love your high volume trading so!"
And Max said, "No!"

The Wise things roared their terrible advice and gnashed their terrible service
and rolled their terrible returns and showed their terrible commissions
but Max called a discount broker and waved good-bye

and sailed back out of the poorly-performing mutual funds
and in and out of the Foolish Four (in a 12-month cycle, naturally)
and through small and large-cap stocks

and into the comfort of a supportive online forum
where he found his new account waiting for him

and it was still beating the S&P.


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