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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

LABJ FORUM: Under the Financial Radar?

LABJ FORUM: Under the Financial Radar?

Who can you trust? The Enron debacle is bringing this question into the limelight. Analysts and accountants long have had the potential for conflicts of interest and, at least in the case of Enron, the SEC wasn’t much help either. Some investors are becoming increasingly edgy. So the Business Journal asks:

Do you pay attention to all the regulatory and financial filings that are released by companies in which you own stock?

Brian Weiner

Financial Consultant

Salomon Smith Barney

Yes. Generally and I tell my clients this before you call me maybe you should do some due diligence yourself. Financial and regulatory information can be found in various publications as well as on the Internet. There are Web sites available that publish information on companies and their filings. If people paid more attention to the information that’s already out there and stopped relying on an analyst, than they’d be much better off.

Emy Raphael

Regional Account Manager

Centocor

Either I do, or I rely on a professional. I belong to an investment club and we go over everything before making an investment. So, if I don’t specifically do the research somebody I trust does I hope they’re doing it. The thing that scares me, is if a company like Enron is part of a specific mutual fund, how would we know? Professionals are doing that research for us, or at least we think they are.

Elaine Monarch

Executive Director

Celiac Disease

Foundation

No. I follow what’s been reported in the newspapers, but not all the other details. I think part of it is a lack of knowledge in reading and understanding all the SEC reports. I think you sort of have to be trained to totally understand all of those filings just as you do in any business. I’m involved in the health care business, but I don’t know every single FDA regulation.

I think when you make an investment you’re doing so in good faith. Anyhow, I’m a pretty conservative investor.

Steve Kroll

Senior Vice President

of Marketing

Answer Financial

At times I do. It’s just that with a lot of the regulatory information what happens is the people who are hired to report it are skilled in reporting the truth in a way that benefits the corporation. I find a more useful tool is trend analysis. Certain CEO’s, for instance, tend to be more optimistic, a lot of others are more conservative. In the end, though, I think it really comes down to “do you understand what they produce?”

Art Ansoorian

Owner

Ansoorian & Associates

Not in any great detail. I’m more interested in the philosophical approach the companies take. I want to know how management of mutual funds or the individual companies view the economy and the marketplace. I want to know if their strategies are reasonable, and if they make sense to me. If you invest, there’s a certain amount of risk you take, and I think you just have to have a certain level of trust.

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