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Welcome to The Barry Lank Financial Management Newsletter, your source for reliable stock tips. This newsletter was founded last Thursday when I, Barry Lank — the founder and visionary behind The Barry Lank Financial Management Newsletter — bought stationery with believable-looking letterhead.

Many people ask what qualifies me to give advice about money. Many people. Many, many, many, many, many people ask me this, especially after they’ve seen how I live.

But whenever they ask that, I pull my bathrobe a little tighter around me, sit back on my milk crates continue playing “Call of Duty.” You see, I’m an optimist. And the reason I’m an optimist is that I don’t have any recent newspapers in my house. The most current financial journal I’ve read is from 1998, and it says we’ve discovered something called “The New Economy.” The stock market will never go down again. It can’t. Isn’t that great?

So let me start by answering a few questions from my readers:

“What is `buying on margin,’ and how can I get involved with it?”

Let me answer that question by asking you another: Why don’t you just burn all your money and hold some kind of solemn ceremony while you dump the ashes in the Pacific.

“What are bonds?”

I could explain what those are. So could a lot of people. But I’ve got to tell you, bonds are … they’re something a girl would buy. A “chick” investment. Don’t get me wrong. They’re profitable. But if you’re a guy, do you really want a girl’s portfolio? That’s all I’m saying.

“What are stocks?”

When I own a stock, I actually own a little piece of a company. What happens when a company makes a profit? Why, I make a profit. What happens when a company does not make a profit? Holy cow, I could lose everything! Where’s my broker?!

“What is … that?”

I save money by bottling my own soda out of what people leave in their glasses at restaurants and such. Want some?

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In conclusion there are only three sure-fire ways to preserve or increase your money:

1. Hide all your money in a broken dishwasher and post yourself on your front porch with a shotgun loaded with rock salt.

2. Find an active financial market. The surest way to find an active market right now is put your money in a briefcase and run around and around the earth so fast that you go back in time.

3. Based primarily on my failure to learn anything new about money since high school — your best strategy is to buy a really bitchin’ stereo.