Top 12 List
Signs That It’s Time To Sell


12. You can’t get any work done because you’re turning on CNBC every 15 minutes to check on the market.

11. Your mother calls to tell you she’s got a crush on Louis Rukeyser.

10. You start dreaming about hot mutual funds instead of sex.

9. You feel the urge to ditch your day job to become a financial planner.

8. Canadian gold-mining shares suddenly seem too tame for you.

7. Your eyes don’t glaze over when you read about the capital gains tax debate in Washington.

6. More than half the time at any party you attend is spent talking about mutual funds.

5. Your kids start bringing home stock tips from school.

4. You seriously consider putting next month’s rent into stocks to make some quick bucks.

3. Your best friend says, "I’m not greedy: I just want to make 25 percent a year."

2. You feel inadequate because you made only 15 percent last year.

And the number one reason that its time to sell, drum roll please:

1. You see a bull on the cover of People Magazine.


List (with modifications) courtesy of Newsweek Magazine.


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Quoth the Banker, "Watch Cash Flow"


Once upon a midnight dreary as I pondered weak and weary

Over many a quaint and curious volume of accounting lore,

Seeking gimmicks (without scruple) to squeeze through some new tax loophole.

Suddenly I heard a knock upon my door,

Only this and nothing more.


Then I felt a queasy tingling and I heard the cash a-jingling

As a fearsome banker entered whom I’d often seen before.

His face was money-green and in his eyes there could be seen

Dollar-signs that seemed to glitter as he reckoned up the score.

"Cash flow," the banker said, and nothing more.


I had always thought it fine to show a jet-black bottom line.

But the banker sounded a resounding, "No.

Your receivables are high, mounting upward toward the sky;

Write-offs loom. What matters is cash flow."

He repeated, "Watch cash flow."


Then I tried to tell the story of our lovely inventory

Which, though large, is full of most delightful stuff.

But the banker saw its growth, and with a mighty oath

He waved his arms and shouted, "Stop! Enough!

Pay the interest, and don’t give me any gruff!"


Next I looked for noncash items which could add ad infinitum

To replace the ever-outward flow of cash,

But to keep my statement black I’d held depreciation back,

And my banker said that I’d done something rash.

He quivered, and his teeth began to gnash.


When I asked him for a loan, he responded with a groan,

That the interest rate would be prime plus eight,

And to guarantee my purity he’d insist on some security –

All my assets plus the scalp upon my pate.

Only this, a standard rate.


Though my bottom line is black, I am flat upon my back,

My cash flows out and customers pay slow.

The growth of my receivables is almost unbelievable:

The result is certain – unremitting woe!

And I hear the banker utter an ominous low mutter,

"Watch cash flow, watch cash flow."


By Herbert S. Bailey, Jr., reprinted from 1/13/75 issue of Publishers Weekly

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