When "Hold" Means "Dump It"

In analystspeak, the stock rating can mean anything from sell to buy. Sometimes hold even means, well, hold

For investors who jumped into stocks during the market boom of the late '90s, making money seemed like a sure thing. With all the "strong buy" and "buy" ratings tossed around back then, analysts faced little risk of being held accountable. How things have changed. Today, with so many stocks in the doldrums, brokers are taking heat from angry investors who can't understand why the "buys" didn't turn into "sells" as the market started to tank.

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