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No Joke

Jonathan Clements  |  May 22, 2016

THIS WEEKEND, I have been clearing out old computer files that contain half-baked column ideas that never saw the light of day. One such file contained jokes that brokers tell about everyday investors.

My goal was to illustrate the disdain with which Wall Street views its clients. Indeed, I can’t think of another business that is so scornful of its customers, regularly belittling their intelligence and viewing them not as clients to be helped but as sheep to be shorn. But most of the jokes I managed to collect were, alas, pretty lame, which was probably why I never finished the column. Still, here are two jokes that just about pass muster:

  • Broker pitches a stock to a client. “Put me down for 100 shares,” the client grudgingly agrees. “But for goodness sake, as soon as I get back to even, sell.”
  • How many small investors does it take to change a light bulb? Two. One to unscrew it and drop it, and the other to buy it just before it crashes.

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