The news that Apple Computer Inc. is studying irregularities related to its stock option grants came as a surprise to many investors. But not to Little Red Riding Hood, who had been given the opportunity to study Apple's financial reports several months ago and predicted a problem.
This is how it happened. One day Little Red was taking a walk in the woods to Grandma's house. As usual, she wore her little red cape and hood over her t-shirt and jeans. She carried her Macintosh computer (she and her grandma would be checking out the latest developments on Google News), and the cords from her iPod (she just HAD to hum along to her favorite tunes!) hung from her ears.
Suddenly a big bad wolf, an overly eager stockbroker in a business suit, jumped out from behind a tree and said, "I see you're an Apple Computer fan. Like to buy some Apple stock?"
Little Red was startled. "I…I…use the products, but I don't know much about the stock," she said.
"Here's all you need to know," answered the wolf, opening his attaché case and grabbing out all sorts of Apple financial statements and reports. "Take my advice and invest in Apple. You'll make a bundle, believe me."
"My what big reports you have," answered Little Red.
"Just take a look," the wolf said, thrusting the stack of reports at her. "You'll see I'm right. I'll meet you here tomorrow and we can make plans for your stock purchase."
Little Red shrugged, took the reports, and continued on her way. When she got to her grandma's house, she sat down, spread out all the reports on the living room floor, and studied them for several hours. Her conclusion? This was NOT a good investment. There was something fishy going on, and it didn't bode well for the stock price. The next day she delivered the bad news to the wolf, who didn't take it well. He snatched back his reports, slammed them into his attaché case, and strutted off, shouting over his shoulder, " You don't know what you're missing out on, little girl. This is a great investment."
"Liar liar, pants on fire," Little Red muttered under her breath to his departing back.
When the news broke about the possibility of stock option irregularities, the big bad wolf lost his job. He had been pitching nothing but Apple stock and all his clients were furious with him. Little Red, though, took pity on him. She persuaded her grandmother to give him a job as caretaker of the woods surrounding her house.
Little Red Riding Hood continues to enjoy her walks in the woods, her time spent with Grandma -- and of course her Macintosh and iPod. She is living happily ever after and is thinking about becoming a financial analyst.