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The history is definitely true. However, research is much better since the deluge. Still, no one who has been around for a while buys any analyst's story at face value but the detail is much better now and there are sell recommendations out there. One can find an analyst for most any opinion and I am taking to reading research where the authors' opinions are opposite or at least different from mine. I usually get some good insights from that exercise. Information theory is based on the degree of surprise in the message. If you hear what you expect, there is no information. Paradoxically, it is a human trait to want to be reassured, that the message we already have is the only truth. We don't like surprises which translates into we don't like information, at least in confict with our belief structure. This is exactly what the investor needs to succeed, however.

Also much better is the requirement that the investment houses provide outside opinion in addition to their own. I was planning to transfer my accounts from Merrill-Lynch because I was tired of seeing their optimistic drivel but that has changed. The outside experts they now use are excellent and the competition has improved their in house research. Our world is far from perfect but there were some improvements from the pain we suffered.

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