In Ur Computer, Picking Ur Stocks

From the Land of Always Loljobs, another little story for y’all:

A little over a month ago a friend came across a job posting which she shared with me. The work was writing filler content for an investment blog. I applied, and between my credentials and a few writing samples I was accepted. I didn’t think myself honored, but hey: a job’s a job.

I wrote about ten articles. They gave me very specific guidelines for my work. I followed them very closely. All the while remaining healthfully SKEPTICAL.

The resulting articles were… shall we say charitably, a short stop between the bovine’s rear and the fertilizer-cart. But that was the name of the game. Within the constraints imposed, I tried to give a good showing. And why not?

I wrote about ten articles before demanding to see some cash. I had – as I predicted – a heck of a time getting my money for the articles. But – rather surprisingly, I confess – get the money I did! How about that?

The website where the articles were supposed to go has not put them up. But after checking around, I found that – again, as predicted – other web sites are carrying my articles.

They posted the articles long after I wrote them, so they had to replace all the specific numbers with generalizations. Rendering them EVEN LESS USEFUL than when I wrote them! They added dollar-signs where none were supposed to be, rendering information wrong where not just ludicrous. They also gave each article the dirty end of the Edit Stick. And – my favorite – added a “does not own” disclaimer to each article… which is not always accurate.

My name is nowhere near the articles. Fortunately :-)

If you’re interested, you can read the beasts at (and Part II, o’course) and . There are probably others out there. Buggered if I care to track ’em down.

Let me be clear that I’d sooner recommend you purchase a kilo of raw meth from a uniformed federal officer while standing on the grounds of a primary school than I would follow any of the ‘advice’ herein provided. But should that stop you from giggling at my analystese? I HOPE NOT!

Godspeed, internets:


PS I can only state what has crossed through my mind a hundred times: it would be the work of a few hours to write a computer program that would spit out these articles in quantities unlimited. A simple screenscraper, some basic IF:THENs (IF the stock has gone up <10%, THEN use an adjective from the “SYNONYMS FOR ‘GOOD'” page; IF the stock has gone up >10%, THEN use an adjective from the “SYNONYMS FOR ‘AWHELLYEAH'” page; etc.)… and all such soi-disant analysts would be out of business.

And the world would be a better place.


~ by davekov on 1 December 2011.

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