Global Investing: Who Do You Trust?

Wall Street rules have changed, but there are still conflicts to be avoided

Only three years after New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer cleaned up equities research on Wall Street, investors seeking advice on which stocks to buy and sell find themselves muttering a familiar question, Who do you trust? Independent analysts who are supposed to be conflict free aren't. Big-brokerage analysts, the "sell side" bunch, are doing better--but they have a long way to go. The answer, then, as ever on Wall Street: Trust yourself and, maybe, your dog.

That doesn't mean you should dismiss Wall Street research out of hand. Much of what analysts produce is helpful, especially if what you seek is...

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