Stock Market Lies

Marcus Padley

Marcus Today

Many things in the share market say one thing but mean another. Like these for instance:


  • Buy – It’s a large listed stock that could possibly hand us a corporate deal one day and we dare not risk #$%^ing them off.
  • Hold – It’s a Sell, but we’re not about to ruin years of relationship building between the analyst, the company and the corporate department by saying sell.
  • Sell – They went with another broker.
  • Conviction sell – They strung us along on that corporate pitch for weeks then did the deal through UBS instead and we are really, really shitty about it.
  • Conviction buy – No-one takes any notice of our recommendations.
  • High conviction buy – No-one takes any notice of our conviction buy recommendations either.
  • Buy – We told all our clients to buy last week.
  • We are moving from Buy to Hold – SELL
  • We are moving from Hold to Underperform - SELL
  • Underweight - SELL
  • Overweight/Underweight/Outperform/Underperform – This research is for an institutional client base, why are you reading it?
  • Oversold – They’re a terrible company but we’re their broker.
  • Overbought – We said sell it and it kept going up. Sorry.
  • High risk buy – We are not responsible for your losses when you buy this corporate client on our recommendation.
  • Buy (on a small company from a big broker) – We are about to do a capital raising.
  • Crowded Trade – Something an international arbitrage trader once said which sounded clever, so we now use it to make us sound like international arbitrage traders. Even though all we’re doing is broking domestic Australian equities.

Broker speak

  • Hi, we haven’t spoken in ages – Damn, I hit an old speed dial number.
  • I’ll call you – Don’t call me.
  • I’ll call you – This is possibly the last communication we will ever have.
  • I’ll call you right back – Sounds like you might deal, I will call you right back.
  • Time to take profits – I haven’t dealt yet today.
  • You’ll never go wrong taking a profit – It’s a lot easier to persuade you to take a profit than a loss.
  • He’s a great analyst – His last recommendation went up.
  • I told you to buy it – It was a good idea but I wasn’t good enough to persuade you it was.
  • It’ll be alright in the long term – It was a terrible recommendation in the short term.
  • The market is quiet – I have no idea what’s going on.
  • The management lied to us – It wasn’t our fault.
  • Buy at the bottom and sell at the top – I have no financial training.
  • What a great recommendation – We completely fluked that one.
  • Can I put you on to one of my colleagues – You sound like a right P in the A.
  • If you never sell you never make a loss – I am a complete idiot.

Client speak

  • I’ve never traded options before but I need to deal today – I’ve got some inside information.
  • Thought I’d ring – You haven’t called me in three years despite me paying you a retainer.
  • I’ll pick up the cheque from reception – I’ve given you a false address.
  • Don’t tell anyone – Shout it from the rooftops.
  • I do things the Warren Buffet way – I don’t know anything about the stock market.
  • What’s hot – I’m a two-bit punter.
  • I’m an experienced trader – I’ve been trading online for six months now.
  • What are your commission rates – I’m dealing online and losing.
  • I’m a big trader – I’m cheap and trying to get a discounted brokerage rate.
  • My Dad’s very wealthy – I have $3,000 but want to trade in $100,000.
  • I’m a big trader looking for a broker – I’m a serial settlement risk, just ask my last three brokers.
  • My email address is – Don’t let me deal without money in the bank.

And the rest

  • Invest for the long term – Please don’t ring up when we lose your money in the short term.
  • It’ll be alright in the end – It’s been a terrible recommendation in the beginning.
  • Average down – It's still going wrong.
  • The market always goes up – I am a first-year paraplanner.
  • Our favourite holding period is forever – It’s got really ugly now, but I still refuse to admit I’m wrong.
  • Buy and hold – All I want to do is sell you this managed fund, take the trail for the rest of my life and never have to speak to you ever again.
  • What you need is a diversified portfolio – I have absolutely no value to add when it comes to stock selection.
  • We take a balanced approach – Your losses will balance out your gains.
  • We recommend a conservative approach – You know you really could be doing this online yourself if you had half a brain.
  • Compound that at 12.5% per annum and you double your money every six years – I’m a salesman.
  • Invest in businesses, not share prices – I once read the first five pages of the Intelligent (sic) Investor but have never bought a share in my life.
  • The market is a popularity contest in the short term and a weighing machine in the long term – I’m destroying your money in the short term.
  • You can’t time the marketI can’t time the market.
  • We are doing a private placement – Actually it’s our annual grab for cash which allows me to bung my non-executive brother-in-law chef $30,000 a year for being a Director and continue paying myself $200,000 per annum and cover the listing fees for another year.
  • The balance of the proceeds will be used for working capital purposes – Aston Martin have just launched the new DB10.
  • The CEO has exercised 5 million performance options at 10 cents – By consistently touching up our highly illiquid stock at the end of every day for months without anyone noticing I managed to get the price up to the option exercise price for a split second before the expiry date and have now got 5 million extra shares for free.
  • The independent expert says the offer is fair and reasonable – The directors’ options will be worth a fortune if this deal goes through.
  • We have extended our bid – We’re clearly not paying enough yet.
  • Unseasonal weather patterns have impacted first-half profit – we have no excuse.
  • We have had an independent valuation done – We have paid someone to tell you our company is worth more than it is worth.
  • It’s a private placement – We gave all the stock to our mates at a discount to the market sucking value off you the existing shareholders.
  • We are facing challenging conditions (from a big four bank) – We are raking it in, pumping our customers and have just announced another record profit, we just don’t want all those lefties bleating about a big bank tax again.
  • I am a value investor – I know nothing about timing the market.
  • I am a trader – I can’t be arsed doing any fundamental analysis.
  • You can start with only $10,000 – We’ve realised you love gambling and we’re now making it easy for you to gamble in the stock market as well by offering you the equivalent of a TAB account which you can use to punt leveraged CFDs on forex or buy cryptocurrency (both of which are click magnets at the moment) in bigger numbers. Just put that $10,000 into our bank account (we’ll pretend it’s yours still) and we’ll start working against you to empty your (joke) account and keep your money. “Punt”, sorry, “Invest” it until its gone. Your spouse won’t divorce you because “It’s the stock market”, it’s not gambling, its investment and you’re not a gambler you’re a sophisticated investor.
  • I’m a broker – I didn’t have the qualifications to be a landscape gardener or a PT Instructor.
  • Avoid ANZ Capital Notes – We are really missing the point of hybrids.
  • ETFs are boring – I am a broker that doesn’t understand compounding and risk.
  • Cyrptocurrencies are a crock of @#$% - I am over 30.
  • 10 Microcaps you have to own – We launched a Microcap LIC three months ago and these are the stocks we bought and now want the share price up.
  • Baby Boomer - An SMSF retiree with huge retirement savings gained from existence in the greatest period of wealth creation that required no financial prowess or understanding to exploit.
  • Come to our free seminar – Come and be told nothing whilst you’re sold something.
  • Nevertheless, although, however, maybe, could, on the other hand, for the most part, generally speaking, more often than not, unless of course – I’m an economist.
  • We are forecasting a 9% rise in the All Ords index by the end of December – I’m a strategist at a big funds management group who hasn’t had an original thought since university, or before for that matter.
  • Yes, I’d love to be in the Herald Sun stock picking competition – Yes I’d love to be publicly humiliated by a monkey, a dartboard, an astrologer and a member of the "oarsome foursome".

If you have anything witty to add to the list pop it in the comments, I'll add it if I like it.

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Marcus Padley
Marcus Today

Marcus Padley founded Marcus Today in 1998 and leads the team of analysts and market commentators that publishes a daily stock market newsletter, presents four podcasts and runs an $80m Australian equity fund. He is passionate about educating and...

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