Dear Mr. Berko: In 2005, you said Yahoo Finance was a good free source of investment and statistical data, and I’ve often used it to help me make investment decisions. But Yahoo recently changed the format, and it’s really crappy. The information is terribly reduced. The site is confusing and clunky to use. Necessary information is missing and hard to find. And there’s tons of wasted space. It’s a disaster. Is there any way to get the old site back? I’m willing to pay for it, too. Or can you recommend other stock sites that I can use for investing information?
I also need your opinion on a company called Accelerate Diagnostics. It has invented a diagnostic machine that takes a blood sample and within several hours can provide a detailed analysis that would normally take days. What do you think? — MS, Oklahoma City
Dear MS: The abominable restructuring of the Yahoo Finance site demonstrates why Yahoo (YHOO-$38.60) was purchased by Verizon. Having stinky earnings means having stinky management. And stinky management hires stinky people, who make stinky decisions.
I wasn’t surprised by the number of readers who went berko over Yahoo’s recent website change. So I called a bigwig at Finance at Yahoo (let’s call him Tricky Mickey), one of the remaining gormless engineers, to ask whether one could access the old site. I’ve called three times, but Tricky Mickey won’t return my calls. Frankly, I think he’s emotionally incapable of doing so.
I use Yahoo Finance, which is free, and eight other sites, which cost between $399 and $8,000 a year. I’m uncomfortable recommending those pay sites; however, Charles Schwab, Fidelity, MSN Money, Bloomberg, FreeRealTime, E-Trade, Thomson Reuters and Scottrade are excellent free data sources. Each is enormously superior to Yahoo’s grossly purged site, which contains considerably less information and almost zero data on mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, preferred stocks, etc. The reason for the redacted site is that Yahoo’s management really believes it’s superior to the old site and will attract more advertising. Yahoo’s people, who once ruled the Silicon Valley, are very good at making stupid decisions.
Tricky Mickey is among the reasons Yahoo can’t prosper. Realizing that Yahoo is imploding and watching the sharks circle because they smell Yahoo blood, the best engineers have jumped ship. The dumb ones, who can’t find other jobs, remain. And those who remain (the stupids) will have trouble finding jobs when Verizon takes over.
Remember the old adage: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Tricky Mickey is fixated on fixing things that “ain’t broke,” which probably makes him feel useful. He is the pillock who redesigned Yahoo Finance, which has a huge useless map detailing the location of every company covered by Yahoo Finance. Tricky Mickey screwed the pooch. Yahoo Finance was among the few products management could brag about and a go-to source for quick, succinct, easy-to-access data on innumerable investments. Today Yahoo Finance is a limp rag. Thousands of loyal users woke up one July morning to discover that Yahoo Finance had been hijacked by an inferior Yaphooey Finance. Meanwhile, Verizon must be very careful which Yahoo people it retains to prevent its employees from being infected by a slothful Yahoo culture.
Accelerate Diagnostics Inc. (AXDX-$19.50), with an expected $2.3 million in 2016 revenues, is a company that provides in vitro diagnostics. It offers a rapid platform for the diagnosis of infectious pathogens. AXDX was founded in 1982 and has yet to earn a dime, but it has a market cap of over a billion dollars. AXDX looks like a smart speculation, based on its high-speed identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing of pathogens from patient samples, which is much faster than conventional methods. AXDX shortens the normal analysis time by at least 40 hours, creating the potential to expedite optimal therapy for patients with high morbidity and mortality risks. AXDX expects revenues of $23 million next year (a tenfold increase from 2016), and some docs I know are buying the stock, which is strongly recommended by Thomson Reuters, Market Edge, Morgan Stanley, Piper Jaffray and Credit Suisse. Go for it, but be careful out there; this isn’t a widow-and-orphan stock.
Please address your financial questions to Malcolm Berko, P.O. Box 8303, Largo, FL 33775, or email him at email@example.com. To find out more about Malcolm Berko and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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