"TheStreet.com" features a multiplicity of voices -- and it seemed every one of them could be heard on the show this weekend. By my count, we put nine people on air this go-round. And that was considering that there were two notable no-shows:
Gary B. Smith
(my "Chartman" partner) and
James J. Cramer
, a.k.a. "The Trader" (Jim who?).
We also managed to tackle a multiplicity of issues in our 30 minutes minus commercial breaks. These included, but were by no means limited to, safe havens for individual investors, the merits of money-market funds, a mutual fund in which the Great Unwashed pick the stocks, ways that investors can dodge the tax man and why the Capitalist Pig hereafter will be known instead as the Chauvinist Pig.
The viewer at home can't appreciate the way many of us on the show have become fast friends from our daily interactions leading up to each week's half-hour of intensity. I only get to see these folks now and again in New York, but I chit-chat with producer
and his sidekick
throughout the week. The fun for a "remote" contributor like me begins when the New York folks start talking in my ear a few minutes before airtime. Remote coordinator
cheerfully checks me in. Then the calming
, director of technical operations, makes sure I'm up to speed on what's coming next.
This week, the pre-show banter focused on our many guests in the New York control room, including
husband and various family members of
, our guest from
Dain Rauscher Wessels
still is small enough that we have a family feel about us, and it sure is fun for friends and relatives to visit while we tape.
Word on TheStreet asked the provocative question: If
Procter & Gamble
can get creamed like a dot-com (Quoth
: "Are we just not washing enough?"), is there any safe haven in this stock market? Greenberg jokingly offered an unpalatable suggestion: money-market funds. The short version of our conclusion as far as I heard it is that, no, there is no safe haven. One must invest in the stocks that make up the U.S. economy, even when the only sector that works for traders -- not investors -- is technology.
presented a free advertisement for the
. This outfit actually takes its cues from individuals out there and has had a solid short-term return. But the people who are offering their picks aren't necessarily buying into the fund, nor are they required to. The fund has attracted assets so far of only $1 million.
tax maven Byrnes supplied what easily was the most informative element of this week's show by listing for viewers concrete ways to turn their investing expenses into tax deductions. This was clever stuff. She explained that so long as one's investment costs exceed 2% of adjusted gross income, items like newspaper subscriptions, accounting and legal costs and even travel to one's broker's office can be deducted. That'll make viewers some money.
A review of past predictions showed that Greenberg knew more about biotech stocks than shares of
and that I had a better handle on the
initial public offering than I did on when
will settle its antitrust case with the
But the most revealing comment in our show's final segment showed that fund manager
has the wrong word in his title, the Capitalist Pig. Dissing shares of handheld computer maker Palm, Hoenig said, I think, "An IPO is like a woman -- the less you know about them the better."
Hmm, Jonathan, we financial writers probably don't have the analytical skills required to properly figure that one out. But aside from his misogyny -- ably laughed off by Buttner, a woman about whom fans of her mutual fund column always want to know more -- Hoenig seems to be implying that shares of Palm, at 70, are way overvalued. We'll judge the Pig on that prediction down the road, not on his social commentary.
Adam Lashinsky's regular column, SiliconStreet.com, appears Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. In keeping with TSC's editorial policy, he doesn't own or short individual stocks, although he owns stock in TheStreet.com. He also doesn't invest in hedge funds or other private investment partnerships. Lashinsky writes a column for Fortune called the Wired Investor, and is a frequent commentator on public radio's Marketplace program. He welcomes your feedback at