Monday, August 24, 2009

Why the average investor doesn't stand a chance

From the Wall Street Journal:

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. research analyst Marc Irizarry's published rating on mutual-fund manager Janus Capital Group Inc. was a lackluster "neutral" in early April 2008. But at an internal meeting that month, the analyst told dozens of Goldman's traders the stock was likely to head higher, company documents show.

The next day, research-department employees at Goldman called about 50 favored clients of the big securities firm with the same tip, including hedge-fund companies Citadel Investment Group and SAC Capital Advisors, the documents indicate. Readers of Mr. Irizarry's research didn't find out he was bullish until his written report was issued six days later, after Janus shares had jumped 5.8%.

You remember Goldman don't you? They are a major recipient of federal bailout dollars, both directly and through agreements with other bailed out firms such as AIG.

Goldman claims that this discrepancy is merely a matter of differing time horizons. Perhaps they are correct: They need to make a profit now, so their research department is going to hold off on telling you what they really think for six days.

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