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I recently received the following comment from a friend at Nortel.

If you had invested \$1000 in Nortel stock 1 year ago today you would have \$50. If you had instead bought beer, drunk the beer and kept the cans you would have \$79 worth of cans.

I'm going to have a drink.

I am so tired of this quote, so I want to debunk this myth.

First the math:

(\$1,000 - \$7 brokerage fee) / \$60/ Share (average price 1 year ago) = 16.55 Shares

16.55 * \$5.48 (latest quote I saw) = \$90.69 - \$7 brokerage fee

\$83.69

This assumes that the storyteller is going to sell right now, rather than waiting to see if the economy can turn around, and some of these big telecom contracts start going active again. I saw a recent price target for next year at \$19, so that would put my value back up to \$314.45.

This amount is not spectacular, but lets look at the other side.

Let's assume the best case, and you get \$0.10/can, then the \$79 stated above equates to 790 cans of beer, and we will also assume this is light beer.

790 cans * 90 Calaries/can = 71,100 Calories

For the average person, consuming an additional 1250 Calories will equal a one pound weight gain.

So over the course of consuming this beer, the storyteller has now gained 57 pounds. Weight Watchers costs \$12/week, and you can expect a loss of 3 pounds per week at best, so you are looking at 19 weeks. So that will cost you \$228.

Lawyer fees to fight the drunk driving charges will run you \$5,000, and he throws in the no-contest divorce at no extra cost. Alcoholics Anonymous is only going to cost \$50 per week, and the doctor says your liver should recover if you don't drink anything stronger than water for the next few months.

Drink up. I'm going to hold onto my shares, thank you.

Steve