Thursday, August 09, 2001

what's hot what's not

Not all stockbrokers are bad

The other day in my Current Opinion I lumped USB Paine Webber in with the rest of the Brokerage Houses in terms of the amount of money needed to Open an account. Chris Young from Paine Webber emailed me and had this to say:

To be honest, I am disappointed. Your Quick and Riley, Merrill Lynch, and Charles Schwab stories may be true, but your story was wrong on PaineWebber. I specifically told you that you could buy one share of stock here, with no minimum. The catch was that you had to open an account (again, at no cost to you). That seemed to be your only hang-up, apparently, you were unable to avoid that step, even with CSFB.
I just wanted to let you know that you have deceived your readers by placing us in the same class as those other firms. I believe that I really did try to work with you and tried to provide you with an alternative that would allow you to buy your stock without opening an account somewhere, but if that alternative did not work out, we could have spent the same 5-10 opening the account here, you could have bought your one share here, had it delivered to you for the $15 dollar fee or whatever that amount was, and paid your commission on one share and that would have been your overall investment.

He is right about the minimum and also the opening of the account. For that I apologise to Chris Young, (who was extremely helpful and patient in my quest for 1 share of stock) and to Paine Webber, as my Opinion would be misleading.

It is my fault as he was the last person at a Brokerage House that I talked with and I was getting tired of trying to swap money for stock. I was tired and cranky and for that I apologise.

This is not about the money, this is not about the personalities. This is about my time and my privacy. Being an homeowner, taxpayer, and on the internet, I am a target for every piece of direct mail, phone call and unsolicited email offer on the planet.

The Postal Service does not deliver Occupant, Resident, Homeowner or other shotgun mailings to me as you can fill out a form at the post office to stop that.

I still receive an enormous amount of crap in the mail.
I really just want to swap money for stuff.
On my terms.

My reluctance in opening an account is due in fact to marketing practices I have experienced by various financial institutions. When I signed up for a business checking account with a major bank, I specifically requested that I not be sent offers for products and services from them. This must be a common occurance as they had a Standard Form to opt out of this.

However, within a month of setting up this bank account, the offers began arriving in my mail box. When I went to the bank and questioned them about this, viewing the form I had signed, the manager then informed that the bank bought mailing lists and sent out these offers.

Companies take Note: If you are going to have a privacy policy and still insist on using third party companies to hustle your stuff, you should really oversee them so that people who specifically opt out do not get unwanted crap. Besides, You will save money not paying for a mailing that will end up in the trash, nor will you piss off folks who have a reasonable intelligence quotient and make decisions for themselves.

Marketing weinies take note: If I ever open a brokerage account, I will open it with Chris Young. He was straightforward and did what he could to help me.

If you are in need of a finiancial Advisor who will Help you and not hustle you, I recommend Chris.

Chris is currently working at USB Paine Webber in Phoenix and can be reached by email here or you can phone him at 1-602-957-5174. Tell him the head lemur sent ya.


ICANN is looking for comments on how to create meaningful representation for Internet users. Dan Gillmor has a nice writeup.
P D F, not just for documents anymore!

Dan Gillmor's Weblog - Aug. 7 Entry
read here - go there

Speaking of Adobe

This nugget showed up on Bugtraq. Seems that viruses can be imbedded in PDF documents.

Re: Adobe PDF files can be used as virus carriers.
read here - go there
Source: Bugtraq

Digital Daily
Wireless Internet
Wireless Internet Antenna
1 square foot of speed
Free Dmitry Sklyarov Day 25

Dmitry Sklyarov is out on Bail. Not Free, Not Home, out on bail. This is not over. While George W. takes a month off to reflect after 6 months on the Job, the DCMA is still law and the majority of you are sitting on your ass.

Adobe E-Book Hacker Released
read here - go there

Free Dmitry Skyarov
Free Dmitry Skyarov
Current Opinion

The great stock hunt - 08/01/01

As a result of the arrest of Dmitry Sklyarov instigated by Adobe Systems Incorporated, I vowed to purchase a share of stock, simply to be eligible to attend shareholders meetings to let them know in person how I felt.

The great stock hunt
read here - go there

Previously August 08, 2001

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