not the only one who can have an index. So can I. But unlike his, which revolves around today's hottest trends, mine focuses on stocks from yesteryear that had no biz rising then and certainly, unless proven otherwise, have no biz rising now.
I'm gonna call it Greenberg's
Garbage Index. This is one step removed from Cramer's
Red Hots or
B2B because unlike his, which include many stocks that didn't exist two years ago -- a few of which really might have some kind of a future -- mine is filled with stocks that have, how shall we say, "histories." They have histories of hype, histories of hope and histories of horrible disappointment. These are companies that have little in the way of institutional following or investors, and have made little or no money.
And here they are rising
, as if they've been discovered for the first time.
Join the discussion on
Herb's Latest or tell us what you think on
Greenberg's Garbage Index
If I were an adviser, hedge fund manager or trader, I'd be saying that just as Cramer's B2B is an index that could be bought
an index, rather than as individual stocks, the Greenberg Garbage Index is an index that could be shorted. Because as sure as I can tell you that I won't be living on the East Coast for the rest of my life -- stuffed like a tomato for another day on
New Jersey Transit
-- most of these stocks are likely to disappear from radar. Until the
round of hype hits.
We're talking about stocks like one of the great promotes of all time,
, whose digital copier machines were going to (or so said its promoters) take over the world. Its stock got as high as 100 before falling to as low as 5. Look what has risen from the dead!
? For years it supposedly was going to come up with a hot new battery technology. I pounded on Valence day after day, back when it was based in the Bay Area and I was with the
San Francisco Chronicle
. (I hit it so much, I guess, that the company moved to that hot technology haven of Henderson, Nev.) This time, I am told, some very smart people believe the company really does have something that will be a big-time success. I say treat it like you'd treat a supposedly hot drug in Phase 3 clinical trials. Too many of those turn out to be disasters.
, known best for its WordPerfect software; now, presto, it's a Linux company.
is a biotech company where hope seems to be constantly springing eternal.
, a digital scanner company. See Presstek.
, which beat the bears not long ago when it got FDA approval for its synthetic skin, used as a burn treatment. However, it's still losing gobs of money, and demand hasn't been anywhere near expectation.
, which has developed Chinese language character input for cell phones.
just did a deal with one of its competitors. Used to be known as Multi-Corp. "Used to be known" is the part of
company story that should worry potential investors.
is a developer of information-security products, technologies and services. Its so-called digital certificates have revived the former Instant Publisher.
, a provider of video-on-demand. Same story, third time around.
, which bills itself as a development-stage enterprise whose principal activity is developing, producing and marketing a telephone-based product utilizing its own patented E-Paper technology copy. It's also one of the longest-running jokes among short-sellers. It
yet risen in the latest cycle, but I included it because if it does, you know some kind of top is near. I leave it to
Gary B. Smith
to explain which one.
And before you spam me for including one of your favorites on Greenberg's Garbage Index -- or because I missed some -- remember, that's why it's an index. Who knows? One day one of these companies really may make big money and get some legitimate respect. Betting on just one, however, could be the quickest way to lose a life's savings.
Meanwhile, if you care to carry on a dialogue about the index -- especially you Corellians, as
calls them -- each stock in the Garbage Index, including Corel, has its own message board. (Ripping off Cramer and proud of it.)
Herb Greenberg writes daily for TheStreet.com. In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, though he owns stock in TheStreet.com. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. He welcomes your feedback at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Greenberg also writes a monthly column for Fortune.
Mark Martinez assisted with the reporting of this column.