No. of Recommendations: 0
What a relief to read this chat room! I thought I was the biggest idiot in town.

OK, my dumbest mistake was really listening to a cold-call broker from HJ Meyers who is quite persuasive but usually dead wrong. I still haven't closed this particular account, and once in awhile I still let myself get talked into bad trades.

Specifically, though, I've lost the most money with Palomar (PMTI). I've bought 5 times, 4 of them at a loss.

PMTI seems to be a basically good but (formerly) over-hyped medical laser company who's been trying to become profitable for 2-3 years now. At this broker's recommendation, I bought $850 of Palomar for about $3.00 a share. In 6-9 months, sold at 12. Along with another trade, my $850 was now over $5,000!

Unfortunately, I thought this broker had a touch of gold and gave him $26,000 (which is a fairly good chunk of my savings). About a third of it went to more PMTI at 14 1/2, which was near the peak of about 16 1/2.

The stock market dip last year sent PMTI down to 8-9, and he kept urging me to buy more, because it was sure to shoot back up before too long. After about 10 months of slowly drifting down to the 5-7 range ("now it's REALLY undervalued--buy more"), Palomar shot up to 9 on high volume and trading was briefly suspended. I finally gave in to my broker's urgings and doubled my position. That's just before it sunk to 3 to 3 1/2 on disappointing earnings and patent infringement problems

On the way down, I bought more small amounts at 6 7/8 and 4 1/2, thinking "it CAN"T go any lower than this." I'm holding at 3 3/8, but I think it may take awhile to recover.
By the way, my $26,000 is now worth about $6,900.

PS--I have this nagging suspicion that someone in the brokerage is short-selling while the brokers are recommending "buy." Nothing to go on but a pattern and a bad smell. Does anyone know who to talk to about possible insider trading, or if there's any point without a smoking gun??

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