WARNING: DO NOT BUY STOCKS! ... IF
by Mark Scheinbaum
American Reporter Correspondent
July 26, 2002
BOCA RATON, Fla., July 25, 2002 -- I surrender to the pressure. Do not buy any common stocks.
I was accosted by the building carpenter who told he his mutual funds were down 30 percent this year, and he was selling out everything and buying investment rental property with the money.
A client who owns a growing fitness club and is building a larger club, has lost 10 per cent on paper this year in his annuity and called to tell me, "I just know in my heart the market is going to zero, so I want to sell everything."
A second-generation client who is a commercial Realtor in Manhattan called to tell me, "I truly think that J.P. Morgan Chase and Citigroup can go bankrupt before the bear market is over."
And on radio I heard peripatetic perpetual tout Jim Cramer tell his audience, "No one, but no one, can tell you where the bottom of this market is - but one thing I know for sure: it's not here! We have lower to go."
Since your humble correspondent was taught that the time to invest is when you have money, and the time to invest in quality stops is when they are cheaper than when you didn't have the money, here was - and is - my advice to all of the above folks, and your cousin Bernie in Chicago as well. CaveatI may own some of the stocks I write about below.
Danger! Warning! Absolutely do not buy any stocks now...IF...
...You believe that not a single child will receive a Tootsie Roll (TR:NYSE) this Halloween;
...You think that Walgreens (WAG: NYSE) with virtually not a penny of long-term debt, will lose it's A+ credit rating and stop building hundreds of new stores each year;
...Ten years from now you think you will cry and die because in the year 2002 the federal government allowed Ford Motor Company (F:NYSE) to go out of business after you paid $11.85 per share;
...Michael Dell and the company he founded in his dorm room (DELL: OTC) will no longer be a preeminent player in the personal computer business;
...Overtime you think the economic leadership of George W. Bush, Paul O'Neill, and Alan Greenspan--or the lack thereof, will be the singular guiding force of the 21st Century;
...The efficient, investment-grade, blue chip market, which survived the assassination of JFK, the attack on Pearl Harbor, the nuclear threat of the Cold War, the War Between the States, and the Teapot Dome Scandal, to your pessimistic mind will not survive this year;
...You know for a fact that every single person who has told you of the killings they make year after year in real estate, gold, and baseball cards, has never lied;
... Wal-mart never really surpassed category leader Sears; Microsoft never really was added to the Dow Jones Industrial Average, International Paper really isn't the world's largest private landowner, you believe that an American never really walked on the moon, and..
Please, above all else, do not spend a penny now buying a single share of any investment-grade stock, if in the quiet moments of your reflective heart, you believe the United States of America was killed last Sept. 11th.
Former UPI Newsman Mark Scheinbaum's "Mr. Biz" reports are syndicated daily on Doug Stephan's Good Day U.S.A radio program (www.dougstephan.com), and is chief investment strategist for Kaplan & Co. Securities Inc., members Boston Stock Exchange, NASD, SIPC in Boca Raton, Fla.