What’s Behind the Numbers? A Guide to Exposing Financial Chicanery and Avoiding Huge Losses in Your Portfolio

An excerpt from “What’s Behind the Numbers? A Guide to Exposing Financial Chicanery and Avoiding Huge Losses in Your Portfolio” (PDF):

Investors must learn enough about real risk from aggressive accounting to manage their own money, client money, or those who manage it for them, but no one really wants to hear about it. Optimism sells. From as long ago as when Edwin Lefèvre’s Reminiscences of a Stock Operator chronicled early twentieth-century shorting, and even after the accounting scandals of the boom ending in 2000, it’s still considered un-American at best and criminally manipulative at worst to focus on anything negative about a company–let alone in a company’s reported information–that could affect its stock. Short-side thinking seldom appears in the Wall Street Journal or the Financial Times (whatever other considerable merits we find in these fine publications). The worst you’ll encounter is someone advising caution or that a stock is “overbought.” True risk management–not just mediocre mimicking of the overall market–doesn’t sell. Blind and baseless promotion does.

True that. The blind baseless promotion of the Jim Jones Kool-Aid® inspired ‘long-only-buy-and-hold-pretend-the-market-will-always-go-up’ cult is gross.

Note: Shout to www.jamescoulter.com and www.mebanefaber.com for the PDF find.