I’m just getting back into the office after having taken a long, boring drive from Kansas City to Boulder, Colorado. Without realizing it, as I was slogging along I-70, my mailbox was filling up with more than its usual dose of spam, unsolicited commercial email, junk, cr*p, etc etc.
Nothing unusual, really, but as I’m operating right now on a cylinder or two short of my usual, I sat and looked at a bunch of the spam, just out of some perverse sense of curiosity.
Here’s what I want to know: does anyone actually buy prescription drugs or stocks based on these commercial messages?
Actually, I have long concluded that if anyone really does buy a prescription drug – or any drug – from a company that can’t even spell the name of the drug properly [I know, I know, it’s to sidestep crude spam filters] then they probably deserve whatever concocted junk they get.
There’s also an interesting sort of “self-fulfilling prophecy” syndrome that happens as you glance through a wave of spam too, where you tune out the offers that don’t apply to you (really, I don’t need larger breasts) and then perhaps wonder why you’re getting more messages related to a problem you do perceive you have, be it weight loss, hair loss, or some other sort of loss or gain.
In a way, it’s kind of like horoscopes: you ignore what doesn’t apply and are then astonished how the most vague of predictions can be interpreted as being spot-on for your day.
But I digress. 🙂
Here are some of the fifty or more stock-related spam message subjects I received, along with my commentary:
- Are shares of this issue poised for a run? Depends on whether you can get people to open this message and act upon whatever nonsense you have written inside, I imagine!
- Do you like penny stocks? Actually, I have been heavily invested in companies that were ‘pink sheet’ penny stocks and no, I really don’t like penny stocks and prefer to invest in more reputable and legitimate companies. But thanks for asking.
- Strong buy! stock I am! skeptical if you can’t even figure out how to use! common punctuation.
- Under the wire investor update Which might be relevant if I was some sort of “under the wire” investor, but since the only wires I can imagine apply here are either a newswire or the “end of a stock trading day” wire, you probably need to figure this one out for yourself.
- Christian investment tip I love these sort of messages. Do Christians invest differently to Hindus or Jews? And if I’m not Christian, can I take advantage of this tip anyway?
- Take a look at this microcap Uh, no thanks. In my book microcap = we are too darn small to have a real market capitalization (which is stock issued * stock price) so we invented a new term to explain why our actual capitalization is insufficient to buy a new Volvo. Doesn’t sound like a winner in the investment category.
- Stellar stock market standout? Wait. You need to ask me if this company is a standout or not? I think you forgot to read the memo entitled “Be Confident In The Company You Promote” or something. Not good.
- Trading alert for China Datacom Corporation (CDP) Ah, someone bold enough to actually list the company name in the subject of the message. That’s good. But digging around a bit in Google and Yahoo Finance reveals that this might not be a hot investment after all, as they’re a “pink sheet” (aka microcap, aka penny stock) and their Web site’s blank: http://www.3gcity.cn/ which doesn’t help me figure out what they’re doing!
Bah, I think that I’ll stick with my more traditional methods of figuring out up and coming new firms: analyze the market and its trends for myself.
How about you? Have you ever succumbed to investment advice from unknown third parties who send you upbeat email tips?