Belly Buttons

By Al Thomas

Everyone has one. They are of no use. Some folks do talk about theirs.
Opinions. Everyone has one. Some folks talk a lot about theirs.

I write about the stock market and I have an opinion. It may not be of much use, but I do talk about it a lot.

There are people who are paid big bucks for opinions. Stock analysts are hired by big brokerage companies to research individual companies and both the local and world economies. They spend hours, days and weeks investigating a company balance sheet. A few will actually go to the company headquarters to see the physical plant and interview with management. Ultimately they will form an opinion on whether the stock should or should not be bought or sold.

Economists are at the top of the opinion food chain. The title “doctor” is in front to their name. The PhD means they know more about their subject than anyone else. Having read many of their opinions about the economy and the stock market I now have the opinion economists know a great deal, but don’t know how to make money. They are the last one I will go to for investment advice.

It is difficult not to hear some talk show financial guru espouse his opinions on various stocks, mutual funds, commodities and the economy. So far it is a free country. Be very careful before acting on their advice.

I love those pretty girls on CNBC-TV and Bloomberg. They are full of it. It is interesting how they will change their mind from one guest to another. They are very smart. Once in a while they will admit they are not rich. Being right there in New York and on the floor of the stock exchange it is expected they would know everything. There is no correlation.

There is one person who should have the true facts with a financially sound opinion – your broker. In fact, any broker. They spend 25 hours a day, 8 days a week immersed in information about companies and the economy. The fact is 99% of them do not know a bull market from a bear market. All their opinions are “buys” and they never know when to sell.

It is not fair to blame brokers for not knowing when to sell. It is their company that does not teach them to protect customers’ money. If the clients’ money is in a money market the brokerage company does not profit.

Of course, I have an opinion. How interesting is my belly button? My opinion is you should not trust anyone’s opinion. Especially when they are trying to take your money.

So much stock market advice is like a belly button. It is free and that is what it is worth. You are the only true guardian of your money so do your own homework before you part with any cash.

Al Thomas’ book, “If It Doesn’t Go Up, Don’t Buy It!” has helped thousands of people make money and keep their profits with his simple 2-step method. Read the first chapter at and discover why he’s the man that Wall Street does not want you to know. Copyright 2009 Williamsburg Investment Co. All rights reserved.
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