Lawrence C. &
Rosanne C. Oakley, a husband-wife team, head the
administrative operations at WallStreetCorner.com, Inc., which publishes
www.WallStreetCorner.com. Larry has been editor of Conservative Speculator (CS)
for the past 25 years, and is the editor of the five editorial columns at
CS' goal: Help its
readers to make more with the 10% they put into special emerging growth
situations than they make with the 90% they put into everything else.
Rosanne, who has
written several very successful books, was president of a large financial
public relations firm for 15 years. When that was sold a decade ago, she worked
with Larry in the development of WallStreetCorner.com.
Larry, who has degrees
in engineering & accounting, has been a featured speaker at over 60
international investment conferences. Before creating CS, he & Rosanne
wrote two computer & seven investment newsletters for various publishers.
Larry's early background includes several years as president of a successful electronic
test equipment manufacturer who’s IPO he personally underwrote, marketing
director of a NYSE company, & marketing manager of the electronic component
manufacturing division of a Fortune 500 company.
My name is Walt
Raczkowski. I'm CEO of the firm that designed WallStreetCorner. I interviewed
Larry & Rosanne at their home.
Walt: "Why did you
originally decide to move CS to the Internet?"
reasons at first, Walt: (1)-- to save money on postage -- a big item when we
sent to people in many countries; & (2) -- to take advantage of the growing
popularity of the Internet.
Walt: "What was the
first thing you did after deciding the Internet might be a good bet?"
first thing we did was conduct a survey of our readers. We asked them what they
really wanted to have when using the Internet in their investment activities,
& what irritated them about the Internet.
surprised us. They told us they didn't need another place to just get
information on a particular company. In other words, if they knew what company
they wanted information about, there were lots of places they could go."
Walt: "That's what
they didn't want. What is it they did want?"
they wanted was expressed by hundreds of personal comments. I enjoyed reading
them. The bottom line consisted of three things:
wanted opinion. They said there were hundreds of places they could go to get
data, but precious few if any where they could get personal opinion from
someone with a great track record.
wanted original content. They wanted to be exposed to new situations. They
wanted to know about the emerging growth situations that Larry finds, since
they had taken advantage of his finds for so many years already.
"And third, they
were irritated by the many advertising banners, pop-ups, & flashing ads
that distracted them at most sites. They didn't want to be bombarded by all
sorts of offers at a site where they expected to get really important content
& opinion that may help them make money. Our readers are serious investors.
That's one reason they have always liked CS -- it never had advertisements or
inserts like so many other newsletters.”
results made us decide to go to the Internet. We decided to give investors
& financial professionals exactly what they wanted & needed. We
designed WallStreetCorner so that almost everything about it is original
content & personal opinion. No advertising. No banners. No distractions
from what was really wanted."
Walt: "And we adhered
to that goal in our design of WallStreetCorner. We think the site is unique.
It's been a great challenge. We feel the result is well worth the effort.
Larry, do you have any simple strategies that will help your readers to do well
with the special situations you concentrate on?"
Larry: "Yes -- we
give our readers strategies related to investing in special situation,
low-priced, small-cap, & high-gain-potential emerging growth companies.
That type of company has high risk. Fortunately, not many speculative situations
turn out to be disasters, but some do -- that is a risk one must accept. Here
are three of my most important strategies:
"1. Be prudent --
the total funds allocated to speculative stocks should be limited to a small
percentage of one's cash, certainly no more than one could lose without
discomfort. I then suggest no more than 5% to10% of that small portion be
invested in any one stock, to spread risk.
"2. Do not accept
our opinion as the reason to invest. Call the company. Get a feel yourself. If
you are not totally comfortable, pass. We give readers an ample number of
possibilities in CS, in the Research Reports of the “Special Situations” listed
on our home page, in the more recent addition of “Special Emerging Growth Situations” section
also on our home page, and in my four other editorial columns at the right side
of our home page. Our task is to expose our readers to situations we think have
exceptional long-term appreciation potential. We often remind them that they
have the responsibility of making their own investment decisions. We admonish
them to not give up that responsibility.
"3. Apply a
moving stop-loss strategy. If the price goes up, raise your stop-loss guideline
point to something like 20% below the new price. Keep doing that as the price
rises. If the price goes down to your stop-loss point, grit your teeth &
sell. This limits loss, but lets profits
Walt: "Do any of the
companies you write about pay you a fee for giving them editorial
Larry: "No. Our
most important policy at WallStreetCorner is that situations selected for
inclusion in CS, or in any of our editorial venues have never been, are not
now, & will never be, charged a fee of any kind for editorial coverage, nor
are any prerequisites imposed, other than our personal opinion that the company
has an excellent chance of attractive appreciation in the long term."
Walt: "Have many of
your finds moved up after you covered them?"
Larry: "Yes --
most of the companies we uncover have indeed gone up in price. They do so based on their fundamentals -- not on technical
considerations such as double tops, etc."
Walt: "I know you
don't accept advertising at this time. Do you intend to begin accepting
advertising to take advantage of the large growing number of serious investors,
financial planners & advisors, analysts, & brokers who frequent your
"Absolutely not. Our readers made it plain that they would greatly
appreciate a site that gave them exactly what they wanted, & did not
include those things that annoyed them at almost every other site on the
internet. We intend to continue to abide by their wishes."
Walt: "How about just
getting paid to rent out your CS subscriber list, or your database of people
who have e-mailed you to request e-mails alerting them to new special
Rosanne: "No. We
ourselves get tons of unwanted mail & e-mails. We do not want to be
responsible for increasing our readers' junk mail. We are serious about
protecting the privacy of our readers, so not only do we not accept
advertising, we do not rent, sell, or divulge any of our lists to anyone."
Walt: "A lot of
people at this point would ask how you make money if you don't charge for
editorial coverage & don't accept advertising. What's your answer to
right. We get that question a lot. We usually share the following account with
them: A few weeks after WallStreetCorner was up I got a call from a friend. He
was the CEO of an exciting emerging growth company I had written about in CS.
He said: `Larry, I love your site -- how much would you charge to prepare a
corporate profile on my company & put it on your site for a year?"
considered that for a few days, I got back to him & said we'd do it for $14,400
per year if he'd take the responsibility of downloading a copy of his company's
Research Report from our site, marking it with the required changes to keep it
updated, & email it to me so I can post an updated version. His reaction
was surprising. There was silence for several seconds. He then said `Ummmm...
are you sure?' I said `of course.' He said `Would you be willing to guaranty
that price?' I said `sure.' He said `And how much stock do you want?' I replied
that we did not want any stock.
"He was even more
surprised. He said: `I've been getting much higher prices from other sites,
& they usually also require free-trading stock, or options, or at least
Form 144 stock.'
"I replied that
we want to support the market -- we do not want to hurt the market, so in over
95% of the occasions, we have not accepted any type of equity -- after all,
think about it. A company that accepts free-trading stock for exposure on the
internet will have to sell that stock at some point -- unless they are
exceptionally responsible, that stock becomes an overhang on the market -- it
acts to suppress the price of that stock. It could possibly defeat the reason
for having exposure on the Internet. We do not object to others accepting a
high percentage of free-trading equity, but we decided early on not to do so, &
we have pretty much followed that policy for the past 25 years. We have
accepted part cash and part restricted stock, but even after the year was up,
we usually didn’t sell any of the stock -- if and when we do sell, it is with
extreme care to not hurt the market for that stock in any way."
"Actually, that gentleman's company was our first participant, & we
have many emerging growth situations that are anxious to have exposure at
WallStreetCorner, especially on such a clean basis. In fact, we recently
decided to offer visitors to WallStreetCorner the opportunity to have free
subscriptions to CS. Our only source of revenue is now our emerging growth
company participants that either have us prepare a
Research Report. As mentioned earlier, we have greatly expanded the service we
provide -- not only the readership of serious investors in over 96 countries,
but the valuable email distributions we make for our clients."
Walt: "I understand.
I've talked to people who have known Larry for many years. They say he's one of
the extremely small number of people in this industry
who is squeaky clean & has always been so. That's a great reputation to
have achieved. Is there any other reason why you have such a good reputation in
the industry, Larry?"
Larry: "It's probably
because Rosanne & I refused to accept cash or equity of any kind for our
editorial efforts. Our policy has usually been to not trade in any stock that
we are writing about, or that are clients at WallStreetCorner. We could have
made a lot of money by doing so, but again, we decided early on to avoid any
activity that could in any way adversely affect the market. We've always tried
our best to help achieve sensible market action that properly reflects the
goodness & an appropriate amount of the potential of the companies we cover
editorially, as well as those we work with that are clients. We have on rare
occasions accepted restricted shares from some companies that were cash tight.
In those cases, we had to wait for a year to pass before selling, & even
then, we have seldom sold those shares. Because of the economic times we are in
now, we find that emerging growth companies often prefer to pay a reasonable
monthly cash fee plus offer us an incentive of restricted shares, so we have
developed ways to accommodate those companies.”
Walt: "So many people
have told me that they like the way you write. I understand that you are known
worldwide as the “Elder Statesman of Emerging Growth Company Writers.” Can you
explain what makes them say that?"
it’s because I’ve been around the block – `elder’ may be an accurate word. But
yes – CEOs have told me that I am the first person who really understands what
their company is all about. I think there are two things that probably helped.
First, in investigating a company, I try to understand the `nut' of what the
company is all about, & explain that in words that the average investor can
understand. I am annoyed at the professorial language many writers use -- it
seems as though they are trying to impress the reader by using big words
instead of trying to simply get the point across. Second, I don't hype a
Walt: "I can see why
people like the way you write. -- Rosanne, how would you
characterize the folks who follow Larry's editorial coverage?"
readers are conservative investors who like to put a small portion of their
funds into special situations. They are of course from all the U.S.
states... & so far, based on the e-mail requests I have received, they are
from more than 96 countries & areas, including the diverse places listed at
the end of each issue of CS, and actually, our database of serious investors
Walt: "Larry -- how
do you find all of the emerging technology growth companies that have brought
you fame because of their subsequent growth?"
Larry: "We pick
special situations from those presented to us by our network of brokers, market
makers, PR & IR companies, investment bankers, venture capitalists,
readers, & key people in various industries. We then interview the CEO,
president, chairman, or CFO to get a good feel for the company's prospects. Our
primary criterion is our opinion of the stock's potential to double or better
over the long term. Incidentally, I define short-term as less than six months,
mid-term as six to 12 months, & long-term as greater than 12 months."
Walt: "Is CS still
available in print form?"
only folks who still got a print version were those who did not as yet have
computers, & that number has since diminished to zero. CS is now accessed
exclusively at WallStreetCorner along with Larry's other editorial columns and
our clients’ Research Reports.
Walt: "How often are
Larry's editorial columns posted?"
Opinion, Stock Pick, Comment, and Bold Ventures columns at WallStreetCorner are
usually posted every couple of weeks or so. CS is published either monthly or
occasionally quarterly, but all of the other columns are really extensions of
Walt: "What are your
Rosanne: "We are
constantly doing things that increase the usefulness of WallStreetCorner, &
therefore the number of people who take advantage of its original content &
Larry's personal opinions. We are taking steps to expand our reach to even more
foreign countries -- that appears to be working, seeing that folks in at least
96 countries already regularly visit WallStreetCorner.
"As a broker
friend said to Larry: `Larry, I see WallStreetCorner as the premier web site
for up & coming emerging growth companies & small-cap situations. I see
the site as the premier source for finding small-cap stocks that have excellent
appreciation potential.' -- We plan to do whatever it takes to make that
characterization consistently accurate.
recently received the following e-mail from a viewer in the Far East: `I have
been enjoying reading your opinions & reports, first time this morning,
& quite frankly I have never encountered such honesty & integrity in
`stock market experts' from the many investment websites that I have browsed.'
That kind of comment makes us feel good.
www.WallStreetCorner.com was the First Runner Up in the Sales & Marketing
segment of the `Cisco Systems Growing with Technology Awards' program. We
really appreciate that sort of recognition."
"Incidentally, why did you recently add your new section titled “Special
Emerging Growth Situations?”
recognized that there are many companies that truly have products that can be
properly characterized as serving emerging growth markets, but that do not have
the cash to pay for an up-front annual fee. Their CEOs recognize, however, that
they need the kind of exposure we provide, and especially the email
distributions we make in their behalf.
“Frankly, we decided
to help a few such companies. Preparing an editorial in a special section of
the site is our way to help some companies when all of our other editorial
locations are full and other companies are on a waiting list for an open
Walt: "What do you
mean by a few?”
Larry: “I say a few
because we decided to pick just a small number, perhaps as few as one to four,
and any that wish to join us after the small number we settle on has been
reached will have to also accept being added to a waiting list. Non-clients
have to pay $1,500 per email distribution.”
Walt: "I like the
sound of that Larry – I want to thank you both for taking the time to give me
this interview -- I'm pleased to have been a part of your plans."