Editor's Note: This article was previously published on RealMoney Sept. 28.
In an interview many years ago, the legendary trader Paul Tudor Jones was asked whom he didn't like amongst newsletter writers or gurus. His answer: "Judge not, lest thee be judged."
I'm reminded of that regularly now that I've reached an age at which peers or friends of mine have high positions in some very public companies. (Note: This is not to imply I share their spotlight or success. However, being in my mid-40s, living in D.C., and having worked at
for 15 years in places ranging from Dallas to New York, you tend to come across a wide variety of upwardly mobile folks!) And some of those companies are in the unfortunate situation of having a not very favorable spotlight on them.
As an example, a good friend of mine had until recently a top spot at
Another is a senior executive at
( FNM). Along the way, I've known "movers and shakers" at companies ranging from
( SEBL) to Long Term Capital Management.
Anyway, a few of these folks, or their companies, have been in the news lately for a wide range of unflattering reasons. And the tendency of many people is to think the guys in charge are just flat-out screwups. Or that they were just this side of Marquis de Sade.
Frankly, I used to be that way myself. And sometimes I still am. But more and more, as I actually know these folks, I think:
There's a person I know as a good guy. Went to his son's bar mitzvah. Employed his daughter as our baby sitter. Sure, he did some bad things. And yes, he probably deserves the meted out punishment. Still, we've all slipped from time to time, and frankly, it's easy to slide down a path you know you shouldn't take. These people were the ones who got caught, and while there are no excuses, I hold my tongue for a brief second because I know that given a different set of circumstances or a different sphere of colleagues, it might just as easily been any one of us in the spotlight.
Anyway, to all my friends, best of luck.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
Hibbett Sporting Goods
( TNT), and
Charts produced by TC2000, which is a registered trademark of
Worden Brothers Inc.
And that is the final word from Wall Street Station, where I've noticed there no longer seems to be any gurus who make the market move. Not too long ago, when Abby Cohen sneezed, the market bumped. Or how about when all those tech oracles had their newsletter readers in a titter? But, now? Now, the closest person to a guru is Alan Greenspan. Yeah, pretty dull!
Gary B. Smith is a freelance writer who trades for his own account from his Maryland home using technical analysis. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks.
Smith writes a daily technical analysis column for RealMoney.com and also produces a daily premium product for TheStreet.com called The Chartman's Top Stocks --
click here for a free two-week trial. While Gary cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to send your feedback to