By now everyone has seen the brokerage house commercial that begins with the wide-eyed confession by the firm's chief talking head, Ty Won On, that "it is clearly not the 80's and 90's any more!"
For a long time analysts and potential customers have puzzled over this. What could it mean? Everyone knows it's not the 80's and 90's, but in fact, the century has rolled around, and it's much late than he thinks. Did the head of a large brokerage house go to bed hung over in the mid-nineties and wake up in 2013? Or did he fall into a coma and only wake up this year, his eyes full of wonder at all the changes he has missed?
We will never know and we probably wouldn't care much, except for his remarkable claim that "you will make money in good times and never lose money in bad times." What a deal, you might think, if you too had fallen asleep and missed the last 30 or 40 years. But everyone who has not slept like Rip Van Winkle remembers how much has changed since the good old days when ponzi schemes were hot, and that we no longer believe brokers who promise unending profits in good times and bad alike.
Apparently Mr. Young slept peacefully through the noisy fall of Bernie Madoff, who never missed a quarterly profit target thanks to some creative book keeping. After Bernie, everyone knows that you can't make money all the time. Will someone please tap Mr. Won On on the shoulder and tell him we already knew that it was not the 80's and 90's anymore, and that we are wise to brokers with infallible systems?