Dear Mr. Berko: I've sent you testimonials and trading information about Gorilla Trades. This is an online trading system that has had fantastic success in making money in the stock market for tens of thousands of stock traders. According to the enclosed information, the online system picks tomorrow's trades and enters them for you and you just sit back and make money. It seems so effortless because Gorilla Trading does all the statistical research and its huge computers sift through all the data and are able to select the best stocks for purchase. It's completely mechanical and there's no emotion involved, so it's completely objective. And the testimonials (see their Web site) are fantastic. In fact, many of those people have even quit their jobs because they make so much more money using the Gorilla Trades system. If I can make 40 percent or 60 percent every month on certain trades, I would be able to borrow about $7,000 from my sister and in 12 months I could build that $7,000 up to over $1 million. I'd pay back my sister, quit my job and just enjoy the good life trading the stock market every day. So please review this material for me and please give me your honest opinion.
Dear D.J.: Gorilla Trades has a fantastic public relations company touting the cute Gorilla name on TV, radio and in print. If only their "real" record was as good as their publicity! However, I don't think you want my honest opinion because I believe you have a better chance of turning water into wine than making 40 percent to 60 percent a month using the Gorilla system.
Now my good fellow, I'm not going to tell you that the Gorilla system is a very clever gimmick, cunningly scripted to appeal to folks like you who dream about making a killing in the market. And I'm not going to tell you that the numerous impressive sounding testimonials are psychologically scripted to catch your ear, eye and naivete. And I'm not going to tell you that I haven't heard a good word about Gorilla's results, nor have I heard any positive comments from a single column reader.
I'm not going to criticize the Gorilla system nor will I pick it apart to suggest why it may not work. I am not going to tell you that those 40 percent to 60 percent monthly gains are illogical, irrational or fantasy and I'm not going to tell you that the bigger the lie the more apt one is to swallow the bait. No sirree ... . I'm not going to say one single negative thing about the Gorilla system. And because you so badly want this to be true it would be difficult for you to objectively relate to any criticism to the Gorilla System. But you really sound baited and hooked.
Still I would like to ask you a few questions and I hope you will answer them truthfully.
1. If this system really generates returns of 40 percent to 60 percent, why are its founders spending hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars on advertising to sell it to folks like you?
2. If you personally had a system as good as you believe the Gorilla system to be - at 50 percent a month a $7,000 investment grows to $1 million in a year then 12 months later it's worth $130 million and in another four months it would grow to a billion - would you really devote your time selling it to the hoi polloi for a couple grand a pop?
3. Wouldn't you rather spend your leisure time in Monaco, The Ritz in Paris, your lavish home in Vail, Colo., or on a mega-yacht in the Caribbean?
4. If this system was that good why isn't it being used by the professionals who manage Fidelity Fund, Vanguard Fund, T. Rowe Price or the pros at Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse?
Four simple questions ... no? So, how will you answer these questions my friend?
All claims to the contrary, there "ain't" no pill that will cause you to lose 75 pounds, enhance your chest size, and make you grow taller, improve your memory, grow hair on your head or increase your IQ by 20 points. And all claims to the contrary, I don't know of a single proprietary stock market trading system that can make even 3 percent a month, year after year after year.
Making a fool of yourself is not so bad as long as you realize who did it. And by the way, you might try Gorilla Glue and adhesive sold by the Duluth Trading Co. I can tell you unequivocally that it's the real stuff and one of the best glues I've ever used.
Please address your financial questions to Malcolm Berko, P.O. Box 1416, Boca Raton, FL 33429 or e-mail him at email@example.com.