Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Spaghetti . . . and blankets

If you’re from a certain small town in the Northeast and work for ReMax, there's a good reason why you might have trouble getting ahold of someone at Enable IPC . . .

We get a lot of calls from companies peddling "stock promotion services".  Maybe we will expound on these scams in future blog posts . . .

Anyway, these callers stood out from the others for two particular reasons: 1) they called a lot -- much more often than the usual suspects -- and 2) their phone number always came up on the callerID feature as being from ReMax Real Estate.

So, in this town, there was (apparently) a ReMax office where one could walk in and buy or sell a house, and at the same time sign up for promotion services for a micro cap stock:  a couple of very dis-similar offerings.

It reminded us of a routine by one of our favorite comedians. Mitch Hedberg once said that he wanted to be a McDonald’s franchise owner who didn’t participate in company promotions; when people asked if he had cheeseburgers, he would respond, “Nope! We've got spaghetti – and blankets.”

Anyway, some of these "ReMax" callers were belligerent, some were friendly, but the common denominator among them all is that they wanted money or, preferably, shares to "promote" Enable IPC's stock. And, for quite some time, it seemed they wouldn’t stop calling.   So, we finally stopped answering calls from ReMax that came in from that particular area code.

We don’t do artificial stock promotion for a number of reasons; chief among these is that none of us look good in orange jump suits and we love our freedom. But, more than that, it is simply immoral to conduct activities that artificially inflate the stock price; the stock price should reflect the market value of the company. The playing field should be level and the players should be on the up-and-up, so to speak.

That being said, there is (in our opinion) a lot wrong with the way the micro cap market is managed and some of the rules make absolutely no sense to us. But, artificial promotion is, essentially, fraud (again, in our opinion) and we are not going to participate in that.

Some day we will visit this town in the Northeast again (we’ve been there a couple times; it’s a nice place). When we do, perhaps we will look for the local ReMax office and drop in to see exactly what is going on there. It might prove to be an interesting visit.

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