Friday, October 21, 2011

Be Independent

Almost exactly three years ago, Washington Mutual basically declared bankruptcy, resulting in shareholders losing pretty much their entire investments. A day before the bank went down, here's what analyst recommendations looked like:

Though it makes little sense that there were so many "hold" recommendations, at least a good number of analysts rated it a "sell". This represents an improvement over analyst recommendations for Lehman Brothers as it went down.

There are a couple of interesting notes, however. Goldman Sachs upgraded WaMu about 2 weeks before it went down. "Capital and reserves appear to be stable," wrote analyst Brian Foran.

Fox Pitt, a firm that "provides clients with equity research and capital markets expertise", actually had this rated "Outperform" as it went down, according to Yahoo! Finance.

The bottom line? When you invest, know what you're buying; the "experts" have their own agendas. While certain banks look cheap once again, it's important that you know what you're buying. If you don't, you should probably stay away.

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