Wednesday, March 3, 1999

"Dear Wise"


I've read all the Fool books, I've studied the website, and I've followed the market. I am ready to take charge of my financial present and future. But there's one problem: someone has to tell my full-service broker that I don't need him anymore.

Hey, I admit it hasn't been a total disaster. He kept me out of penny stocks, gold mines, and limited partnerships. He concentrated on the good old Dogs of the Dow, a couple miscellaneous stocks, and one big mutual fund. But he never thought I should buy anything with a high P/E, and you can imagine what I've missed because of that. Fortunately, I went through his assistant to buy Microsoft and Starbucks. Unfortunately, I didn't for AOL, Cisco, and Yahoo!.

So why is breaking up so hard to do? Because he's my friend -- he told me so himself. He felt I should be happy with my l7% return. "But the S&P returned 28% didn't it?" I countered. Came his answer: "Well, that's only because it's so heavily weighted with tech stocks. There's lots of risk there."

Ah! So I tried another tactic. I said, "It's been fun, you're a great guy. But this just isn't what I want anymore. Really, it's me, not you." No dice. He countered, "Everyone thinks they can do it themselves in a bull market. I like to take care of my friends."

Personally, I want my friends to get the highest possible return on their money, don't you? So I've decided on a "Dear Wise" letter along with a copy of a brokerage transfer form. Friends don't let friends buy mutual funds.

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