RADIO? ARE YOU SIRIUS?
by Mark Scheinbaum
American Reporter Correspondent
LAKE WORTH, Fla. --In two days, two octogenarian clients wanted to buy stock in Sirius, the satellite radio company. One wanted to buy 100 shares at $9, the other just "two hundred dollars worth of stock."
As a true contrary indicator, when retirees who previously had been ripped off by penny stock brokers, dip their feet into Howard Stern-endorsed tech stocks, it's probably time to sell. Don't even mention the 400 per cent stock rise in a year; the bloated executive pay scale; and maybe a half million subscribers versus the 39 million needed to break even. But, you decide. Before you pay $130 for an XM or Sirius radio, a $40 start up fee, and $10 per month forever, just evaluate my experience.
The radio was a nice polished stainless steel. It's not tiny, but very portable. Tired of many hours of right wing AM talk radio, and hip hop FM radio, I was ready for an alternative. In my case the initial outlay was a Sony manufactured model, on sale for $79. The first thing I noticed was that with a little practice, reception was pretty darned good. One night I listened to a symphonic concert from Montreal, and then a CBC news show. I heard a cricket match from New Zealand, and an outrageous English-language interpretation of "fair trade" from Radio Bejing. There is folk music from Mexico--northern, mariachi, polka, and romantic ballads, and sports "magazine" shows on Havana's "Radio Clock." Overnight business and financial news is from Germany's world service, Netherlands Radio, Radio Switzerland, BBC World Service and Spanish broadcasting. Country, blues, rock, gospel, jazz, and bluegrass--with few commercial interruptions are usually heard on Armed Forces Radio. So, my alternative to AM and FM has worked out pretty well. Am I being honest? Am I, er, Sirius? Well, not exactly. You see my radio service is free. It costs me two AA batteries every two or three weeks. Also, this marvel has been around for about 90 years. You keep your new satellite radio, and I'll keep my 12-band Sony shortwave.
Longtime AR Correspondent Mark Scheinbaum hosts the daily "Mr Business" national radio segment on Doug Stephan"s "Good Day" (www.dougstephan.com) and is chief investment strategist for Kaplan & Co., BSE, NASD, SIPC.