Back in a previous life when I had more disposable income (and a more reckless attitude toward risk), I engaged in some stock market daytrading. I enjoyed some successes, experienced some losses, and on the whole I am sure I did not do as well as if I simply invested the money with a professional manager.
Anyways, as the CEO of a small firm, I was an ideal client for cold call stock brokers, some of whom were with reputable brokerages and some of whom worked for boiler rooms. I purchased 1000 shares of stock in Big City Bagels at about $2.00 a share in 1996, and shortly thereafter the company went into a one-for-five reverse split, meaning I then had 200 shares. Meanwhile, the price of the stock plummeted, and then Big City Bagels merged with VillageWorld.com (VILW) after news of a stock scheme broke.
I came across the VILW stock certificate this morning while cleaning. It did not bring back fond memories of the sleazy tele-broker who pumped this worthless investment.
The last time I checked, my 200 shares of VILW stock were now worth $0.00195 a share, meaning that I have in my hands a stock certificate about $0.04. Of course, since the SEC suspended trading on VILW after the company failed to file required reports every year since 2004, finding a buyer to collect my $0.04 will be difficult indeed.
Caveat emptor and so forth.