Seems to me it's a fight that will not be won by those who are ridiculing the individualists. It runs counter to the essence of business, of America, freedom, entrepreneurship, the boomer generation, freethinkers all over the world, capitalism, the list goes on and on. I run into plenty of older people on the boards, folks in their 60s & 70s, possibly older. I personally know plenty of older people who take pride in thinking for themselves, and have the wit and experience to do so very effectively. The era of pandering to old people as if they did not know how to take care of themselves, to think for themselves, is over; that's a very pre-1960s idea, and it's over. (For support of this opinion read any book by Ken Dichtwald, but especially his latest, Age Power. Fantastic book.) The brokers ads that I have seen that do that are truly silly, and I am certain many in their audience find them silly as well.|
I believe the future of trading is over the internet, primarily self-responsibly. According to Kevin Kelly, in New Rules For The New Economy (a very worthwhile and mind-expanding series of essays in the internet), the entire economy will exist in cyberspace. We can see this happening, and it will continue. And the world will jump on right along with it, as it has begun to do. Why the hell is the US Government mandating all that money to make the internet as common as the phone for everyone? I believe the message boards are the communal Master Mind. Anyone read Think And Grow Rich? It talks about the idea of the Master Mind. It's a great idea. Ben Franklin called it the junta. Or remember the famous story about Henry Ford? Not the best role model, to be sure, but it's a good example. He was being accused in court of only having a 5th grade education or something like that. He said he didn't need to know certain things (haha! he could be a fascist without an education, haha! oh, the banality of it all...) because he could afford to retain someone who did. Now that resource is available to all; I run into analysts on the internet all the time sharing their info for free. I make MANY decisions, some good, some great, some learning experiences, based on information gleaned from a message board or online source. So do full service brokers, you can bet on it. It seems to me each other is our greatest resource. There's always an expert on a particular aspect of something that adds to my knowledge. Every stock has one person who's really boned up on it and knows enough to share with others. It's the best way to gain confidence. That's all an analyst is, and as books like License To Steal show us, analysts are motivated to primarily sell product and make commissions, not share information. An ad campaign that belittles this source of information is just plain silly. I don't even feel insulted. I know what works, and I am learning more every day, and I have friends who are also learning, and we learn together. Word of mouth is the best advertising, as acknowledged in all ad houses, and the internet as an information source for investing will continue to thrive at an alarming rate, I am sure.
And speaking of knowledge and information, I was just re-reading the great How To Make Money In Stocks, by William J O'Neill. Interesting to see where ETrade does and doesn't fit his criteria. What caught my eye is that on page 26 he talks about the correct time to begin buying a stock as being after its correction. What he calls the "base-building period" that could "normally last anywhere from seven or eight weeks up to fifteen months." I like the idea that ETrade is growing into it's valuation. Apple had to do it, others have done so in the past. Plenty of room left for this stock to be the big gainer that the company already is, it seems to me.
Best of luck to all, long, short, happy or not :)