WALL STREET: The Ignorant Investor

How much do the nation's 12.5 million stock-market players know about the companies they invest in? To many of them, reported the United Shareholders of America last week, the stock market is little more than a numbers game of profits and dividends. In a sampling of 2,000 U.S. stockholders, the organization discovered that 51% did not know a single product made by any company in which they owned stock. Another 6% guessed—and guessed wrong, e.g., credited Bell & Howell with making aircraft, General Motors with gasoline, and Swift with trucks. Some 55% could not name a single president of...

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