Enron Stock Chart
"When fiascos like the Enron bankruptcy, auditing scandals and analysts' conflict of interest occur, investor confidence can be at an all-time low," says investopedia.com. "Many investors are wonder whether or not investing in stocks is worth all the hassle. At the same time, however, it's important to keep a realistic view of the stock market. Regardless of the real problems, common myths about the stock market often arise. Here we go over these myths in order to bust them."
How embarrassing is that? Can you imagine being Enron, the kid that parents use as the example of what will happen if you don't eat your vegetables? No one uses the Enron stock chart as an example of good business practices.
Conspiracy theorists are still talking about Enron and looking for ways to prove that there was something shady going on; something shadier than a simple collapse.
"Obviously, there are very shady dealings around the Enron-Cheney relationship that need the full attention of Congress, the SEC, and the US Justice Department. The energy plan wasn't about energy independence at all or it would have addressed conservation much more seriously," says Donna Fezler on the website whatreallhappened.com.
"Former Enron Chairman Kenneth Lay lost more than $400 million in 2001 as Enron collapsed in one of the greatest corporate falls in history," said forbes.com. "But he wasn't even the biggest loser in the Enron debacle."
In 1985, Belco Petroleum founder Robert Belfer combined his oil firm with Houston Natural Gas. The company borne from this joining was named Enron. Belfer quit after the merger to pursue his own investments, but he kept his Enron stock. Belfer's stock was worth more than $700 million at its peak. After Enron filed for bankruptcy, Belfer's oil monies were reduced to a measly $110 million, all funds he'd kept after stock sales before the company collapsed.
"So the next time you find yourself dreaming of becoming a billionaire," Forbes warns, "Remind your future self to diversify your holdings when you get there. That's the only real way to ensure that you'll keep breathing that rarified, gold-scented air."
This lesson has apparently struck home. Since 2001, retirment account holders have reduced their number of company stocks to 13.7 percent from 18 percent, says Cerulli Associates in an article MSN Money by Tom Middleton. Moreover, Middleton recommends dumping company stock to make sure the same doesn't happen to you.
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