Who Can You Trust?

*****"Save Our Jobs"
*****Who Can You Trust?
*****QCOR Stop Loss Hit
I want to start with a quick "thank you" to everyone that registered for Stock Summit 2008: Profits After the Fall. This web investment conference airs tonight at 6 pm. There are a handful of seats left, though I expect they’ll be gone by the time you read this. 
However, if you’d like to check the availability, here’s a link.
*****I’m sure most of you have read about the $50 billion scam perpetrated by former Nasdaq chairman Bernard Madoff. It boggles the mind to think that someone with his years of experience could done this. 
So far, I haven’t heard what Madoff was investing in to lose so much money. And apparently, nobody else has either. 
Wall Street has squandered a lot of trust over the last few months. There’s no telling how long it could take to win back investors’ trust. I’ve also heard from many of you Daily Profit readers as you share your displeasure with your financial advisors and brokers. 
The unfortunate consequence for the industry that’s sold itself as the caretaker of your money is the implicit trust that’s required. A customer makes a leap of faith when they buy one company’s car over another. But ultimately, if one car is a lemon and breaks down all the time, the customer has some recourse. 
But when the financial industry breaks down, there’s no recourse for lost money. It’s just gone. That’s why I continue to stress education and diligence to individual investors. Learn about all the investment possibilities and risks are, and stay vigilant with how you balance risk and reward. 
And if you think a financial advisor or broker has been negligent, talk to a lawyer. 
*****Stocks rallied Friday as it looked like the White House would step in and make a move to get some money to the automakers. But apparently the White House isn’t moving as fast as expected. 
(As an aside, I have to say that the same can’t be said for President Bush. He moved pretty quick when that shoe was flying at his head.) 
Part of the hold up concerns the United Autoworkers Union not wanting to take any more wage and pension concessions until 2011 when their current contract ends. 
Maybe you saw the ironic picture in the newspaper over the weekend. There’s an autoworker welding on a car frame. Beside him is a big sign that read "Save Our Jobs". 
Like it or not, union labor agreements are part of what’s hurting the automakers. A big part. 
The New York Times reports that total worker compensation, including benefits, for American workers at foreign automaker plants located in the U.S. is $45 an hour. If you throw in pension benefits for retired auto workers, American automakers pay about $70 an hour in total compensation. 
That’s simply a huge discrepancy. 
We can all agree that American automakers have made many decisions over the years that were out of touch with the market. But it should also be clear that UAW’s insistence on not changing the current compensation structure is equally out of touch. 
So when autoworkers are asking for their jobs to be saved, they need to be asking the union as well as Congress or the President. 
*****Questcor Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:QCOR) got whacked on Friday. And it’s getting taken down again today. I can only hope Daily Profit readers who bought QCOR took my advice and applied a stop loss at $8.80. That stop loss would have locked in your gains and kept you free from this sell off in the stock. 
It doesn’t appear that anything fundamental has changed with QCOR. But stocks do go up and down. Stop losses can spare you the worst of it.

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