Weekly News via Email
   Set as homepage | Add to favorites | Customer Service | Subscribe Now | Place an Ad | Contact Us | Sitemap Sunday, 04.20.2014
Classifieds
News Archive
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
 1  2
 3  4  5  6  7  8  9
 10  11  12  13  14  15  16
 17  18  19  20  21  22  23
 24  25  26  27  28  29  30
Online Extras
Site Services
Around Bend
Outdoor Fun
Travel Info
Shop Local




Members Of



Poll: Today's Live Poll
Email to a friend | Print this | PDF version | Comments (0 posted) 
  Blogger |   del.icio.us |   digg |   newsvine

Jun 01,2007
Taking Stock: Don't let 'sniffers' nose around proprietary software
by Malcolm Berko

Dear Mr. Berko: I have a proprietary stock market formula that uses various unit trusts to generate long-term gains and or income for my clients. I've only been in this business for five years but my record is very good. I purchase unit trusts with zero commission costs and specific stock market objectives to match the investment of my clients. Each account will own six to eight unit-trusts with maturities of at least 12 months. I charge 1.25 percent a year and have $54.6 million under management. My clients are low-risk investors. They are happy because the risks are low and the results are very good and I'm happy because I have a "Magic Bullet" (that's what my wife calls it) that hits the target my clients give me. Now my manager told me that we are going to be visited by a New York Stock Exchange auditor (he calls them "pretty boys") next month and that they will want me to show them how my system works, explain how I select the specific unit trust objectives and how I determine what percentage of a client's portfolio is invested in each category. I don't want to disclose my formula. I perfected it over five years and it belongs to me. It's proprietary and if I disclose the methods, then anyone can use it and I have nothing unique to present to clients. My manager is no help and tells me that I have to provide it to them if they ask for it. I know you've been around a long time and I would appreciate any advice or help you can give me.

Concerned in Illinois

Dear Concerned in Illinois: Settle down. I've been in this business before you were in knickers, going on 45 years to be exact, and watched a lot of water flow over the dam. And I've met dozens of "sniffers" (that's what veterans in this business call them) who visit the branch offices of Merrill Lynch, Dean Witter, Prudential, Oppenheimer, etc. However, most sniffers wouldn't know a blue chip from a buffalo chip; think that Moody's is a Bible study course and the 30 Industrials is a new NFL franchise team. Their visit to your office may be the first time they've left home on their own.

They're not bright lads and don't have to be because they are hired to count things and make sure that the cleaning crew isn't pilfering the petty cash. Sniffers count rolls of toilet paper, copy machine usage plus incoming and outgoing phone calls. They check filing cabinets for rust deposits and secretly film the maintenance people to catch security violations. Then they scoot around the office with puppy dog enthusiasm hoping a secretary will invite them home for dinner. Sniffers are not the sharpest tools in the shed and most have passed the Dale Carnegie personality course ... so they're usually friendly lads. But when they interview you to discuss your accounts, be sincere, even if you don't mean it. And always call them "sir" and respond with a "Yes, sir" or "No, sir." They love to be called "sir."

However, you do not have to disclose your proprietary methods with a sniffer or the New York Stock Exchange. Neither a sniffer nor the exchange has the right to your data. And if they request disclosure, then you have the right to ask for "specific authority," which is similar to a warrant. In that case, you have time to prepare pages of mysterious gobbledygook with colored graphs, statistical probabilities, projections, pictures and give it some fancy title. But not to worry: according to recent autopsies, the brains of most sniffers are sculpted from moldy cottage cheese and can't discern fact from fiction.

I'm familiar with your unit trust concept and it's a swell way to use the power of diversification, various management techniques, measured risk control, diverse category selection and sector timing in a managed portfolio to generate appreciation and/or income. We have a close acquaintance who uses his proprietary construct to purchase unit trusts for managed accounts and his record is similar to yours. We are impressed with its simplicity, its success and low cost and from time to time, under our banner, we employ his expertise in managing some of our accounts. But more importantly, he, too, was asked to divulge his proprietary methods a few years ago. And because this is a family paper I can not repeat the manner of his refusal. Needless to say, he's never been asked again. So hold your water and if a sniffer gets up close and personal, have him call me.

Please address your financial questions to Malcolm Berko, P.O. Box 1416, Boca Raton, FL 33429 or e-mail him at malber@adelphia.net.

© Copley News Service

2497 times read

Related news
Taking Stock: After takeover, U.S. Trust won't be trustworthy by Malcolm Berko posted on Mar 23,2007

Taking Stock: There may be peril in Merrill by Malcolm_Berko posted on Dec 28,2007

Taking Stock: Options can be a tough call by Malcolm_Berko posted on May 18,2007

Taking Stock: 1035 gets big 10-4 by Malcolm Berko posted on Apr 06,2007

Taking Stock: Don't go ape over Gorilla Trades by Malcolm_Berko posted on May 11,2007

Did you enjoy this article? Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00Rating: 5.00 (total 9 votes)

Market Information
Breaking News
Most Popular
Most Commented
Featured Columnist
Horoscope Guide
Aquarius Aquarius Libra Libra
Aries Aries Pisces Pisces
Cancer Cancer Sagittarius Sagittarius
Capricorn Capricorn Scorpio Scorpio
Gemini Gemini Taurus Taurus
Leo Leo Virgo Virgo
Local Attractions
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau
Bend Visitors & Convention Bureau

Mt. Bachelor Resort
Mt. Bachelor Resort

Les Schwab Ampitheater
Les Schwab Ampitheater

Deschutes County Fairgrounds
Deschutes County
Fairgrounds

Tower Theatre
Tower Theatre

The High Desert Museum

Advertisements



Deschutes County

Google  
  Web    BendWeekly.com
© 2006 Bend Weekly News
A .Com Endeavors, Inc. Company.
All Rights Reserved. Terms under
which this service is provided to you.
Please read our Privacy Policy. Contact us.
Bend Weekly News & Event Guide Online
   Save the Net
Advertisement
External sites open in new window,
not endorsed by BendWeekly.com
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Google Add to MSN Add to My AOL
What are RSS headlines?