The Basher's Handbook
Reprinted here as a service to those who doubt this actually exists, or is simply an unfounded urban legend.
Is the "Bashing" of a stock an essential part of the online investment landscape?
Our Constitution guarantees us free speech and we have always valued the lessons gleaned from dissent. When does dissent cross over that imaginary line and become "Bashing"? To often we find well grounded dissent capriciously labeled as "Bashing" by over zealous investors bent on protecting a stocks reputation at any cost. The "Bashing" that is addressed on this site is quite different from dissent. The Anatomy of a Basher strives to look at the calculated erosion of confidence in a given stock. Erosion by means that are, in every sense, void of truth, hinged on deception and innuendo, and motivated by greed at the expense of others. This compendium is offered to aid in identifying the telltale signs of "Bashing", and hopefully provide a counter balance to this heretofore unchecked manipulation of investors fears for personal gain.
IS IT EASIER TO SCARE PEOPLE INTO SELLING THAN IT IS TO SCARE PEOPLE INTO BUYING A STOCK? I have asked some knowledgeable investors this question and the answer is always: "YES, OF COURSE YES!"
WHO BASHERS PREY UPON
Consider the elderly that are investing for retirement, they find their way to the message boards for validation only to see false posts about "SEC Violations" and "Class action suits"... or the head of a "typical growing family", with children to put through college, who is monitoring a message board only to read posts by a "pack of 15 to 20 Bashers" (probably 5 or 6 under various alias's) posting continuous disinformation... what do you think these new investors will do? It's safer to not buy or even sell the stock, put the money back in the bank than to deal with all this whirl wind of "unsupported" negative chaff.
The Internet has lured a whole new class of investor into the market. A new investor is just that - New! This new investor, while learning the basics, is particularly vulnerable to the tactics of professional Bashers. New investors tend to lurk in the background of message boards, content to form independent opinions based on what they read with their own eyes. Very often, honest, intelligent and cautious people can easily be overcome by a well orchestrated propaganda effort.
You must always remember that their is a lot of money to be made in just the motion of a stock UP or DOWN it doesn't matter! And Bashers have money at risk just as you do. But they have the edge of fear, lies, and falsehoods to post while preying on the un-initiated. The average investor dose not have the edge of organized deception.
Recent revelations have indicated that even Market Makers (those charged with keeping the playing field level) have been involved in stock manipulation by Bashing on a stock message board. HAVE NO DOUBT THAT THIS IS A REAL THREAT!
Lesson 1: Remember, BASHERS NEVER Bash A BAD STOCK. Check the boards for stocks with no potential. They never have any Bashers. Bashers only go after stocks that are moving up or have excellent potential to do so. Bashers work to bring the price down to either increase their position at the expense of others or help a Short make their bones.
Lesson 2: BASHERS ALWAYS BRING UP OLD NEWS THAT YOU HAVE HEARD MANY TIMES. New startup companies always have a few bits of bad news. The Basher will post this over and over again. Unsophisticated Bashers will try to freshen up old news with a new date or by-line in an attempt to fool you.
Lesson 3: BASHERS POST MANY TIMES A DAY. They try to wear you out. They comment on everything, every other post, and can answer every question. THEY KNOW IT ALL! There is no positive comment they won't Bash. They try to control the board. True longs may have to confront the Bashers or they will appear to the newbies as being the people with all the information. This is best accomplished by posting positive, well researched data on the company, repetitively, while trying hard not to engage the Bashers in direct repartee. REMEMBER - LONGS... RESIST USING THE BASHERS ALIAS!
Lesson 4: BASHERS WILL LIE TO YOUR FACE. Never trust a Basher. The truth on startup companies is that they make mistakes. What new company hasn't? The Basher will compare your issue to a another companies, financials - deals - management, etc., trying to lure you into making an Apples to Oranges comparison. Remember each company is unique and while it is prudent to seek out established indicators, do so with care and don't take someone else's word for it. Strive to come up with at least a "six-pack" of indicators so your vision of the state of a company is not tied to a single barometer. Not doing so is tantamount to going to a Race Track and betting on the "Pretty Brown Horsey". BASHERS WANT TO WHISPER IN YOUR EAR - PLANT A SEED OF DOUBT, AND HOPE THAT YOU ARE NOT SAVVY ENOUGH TO RESEARCH THE TRUTH ON YOUR OWN. This is how they achieve their greatest success.
DOUBT + FEAR + LAZINESS = BAIL OUT!
This is your investment... work for it, protect it and don't panic on the words of very shadowy figure that "has your best interest in their heart". Consider that one factor: Someone you have never met, is not a member of your family, is now, out of the goodness of their hearts - GIVING YOU FREE ADVICE (that you didn't ask for). It's a no brainer. They have motives $$$$$$$$$$$$.
Lesson 5: Bashers know YOU CAN'T VERIFY THEIR STATEMENTS. That's why they make the vague statements they do. They rely on you being to lazy to research their droppings other than to scan the board for others opinions. This is particularly dangerous when you consider that Bashers work in packs and often validate and back up each others nonsense with what appears to be "innocuous and unsolicited" verification by comrade Bashers. Let's face it, we are all conditioned to "believe" everything we see in writing. If others by virtue of their "posts" also confirm this belief, then we are subconsciously doomed to swallow the hook, line and sinker... Basher - 1 Honest Investor - 0
Lesson 6: The Bashers PLAY ON YOUR LACK OF KNOWLEDGE. They can lie about information and you won't know the difference (unless you have done your own DD on the company and know the truth and facts).
Lesson 7: Bashers play on your lack of patience. You have held a stock for a while. You knew it will be a big stock someday, but the BASHER CAN GET TO YOU BECAUSE YOU ARE TIRED OF WAITING FOR YOUR GAIN. That's when the Basher is best. You are tired. You have forgotten the goal for the stock was to hold it for one year. The Basher is bothersome, so you dump it on a bad day. Some others also dump. Then you get mad for your loss and return to let everyone know how mad you are. Then you turn into a semi-Basher as well. THE BASHER HAS WON, AND GAINED A NEW ALLY - YOU!
Lesson 8: BRING THE PRICE DOWN. That is the Basher's job. The truth is not important. Lies are the norm. Post continuously on the board every day. They are trying to scare the newbies that are just investigating a stock. They are trying to wear down the faithful longs on the board and gain free reign and control.
A BASHER HANDBOOK:
Do not underestimate a Bashers influence on a stock. The Pro's are good at what they do and what they do is profit from your losses. Below is their "hand-book". Learn from it or you will be donating your hard earned money to them!