Post of the Day
May 11, 2000

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Tom Gardner's Place

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Subject:  Morgan Stanley
Author:  HuggieBear

This morning at work I got a cold call from a persistent Morgan Stanley "financial adviser." Whenever I get this kind of thing, I usually just say "not interested" and hang up, but when she asked me if I was happy with my investment portfolio, I decided that I would talk to her for a few minutes. What follows is a paraphrase of our conversation.

Adviser: Are you happy with your investment portfolio?

Yes.

Adviser: Do you consult with anyone?

Not anyone that I pay to do it. I mostly do it for myself.

Adviser: Oh my gosh! How do you find the time to practice law all day and also invest your money?

I invest mostly through DRIPs of blue chip companies. That way, I look at their annual reports and try to sort of pay attention to the news, but don't really think about them every day.

Adviser: (Audible cluck of disgust.) Dividend reinvestment plans? Someone of your net worth should be pursuing returns that can only be found in emerging tech stocks. Don't you think you need someone to inform you of these aggressive growth opportunities that you can't access through drips?

Not really. I have dripped Intel and Nortel for over 2 years each, and have been dripping JDSUniphase and Amgen through synthetic drips since the beginning of the year. But I never turn down a hot tip. How much does your advice cost?

Adviser: We have several different fee structures.

Sounds pretty pricey to me. I get more advice than I know what to do with on The Motley Fool -- it is a website with great message boards. And it's free.

Adviser: Please tell me you are not basing your investment decisions on "chat rooms." That could be very dangerous.

It's done okay by me so far. I guess I'm just another one of those "crazy internet kids" who has never seen a down market.

She hung up on me.

Anyway, I just thought it was amazing the scare tactics these brokerage firms would use to draw people in to their overpriced "advice." These are the same people that say "get out of Pfizer" at 33 and then recommend it as a buy at 45. What's even crazier is that a couple of years ago, I would have been flattered that someone at "prestigious" Morgan Stanley would have deigned to look after my stocks for me. What a load of horsesh--!! When I got off the phone I realized that I had sounded like a broken record of a lot of the stuff that gets printed on the site every day, but man was I stupid about how this whole money racket works before I stumbled onto this site. Keep up the good work!

Huggie Bear

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