Wall Street's Hype Machine

It could spell trouble for investors

David Talevi wanted to take hold of his financial future--and he did. The 32-year-old Talevi, who runs a trailer park in Wells, Me., decided to open an online brokerage account. It was easy--just as it was in the TV commercials. "They talked about low-cost trades and ease of use. You can make a bunch of money--you heard them all, they're still playing them," he says. In the words of the young woman in the Ameritrade brokerage ad, he didn't just want to beat the market, he wanted to "throttle its scrawny little body to the ground and make it beg for mercy."

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