Photo: Wikimedia Commons
And now for some timeless comedy courtesy of the Marx Brothers…Many investors in a company will receive an annual report and send it right to the recycling bin.
About 50 years ago, comedian Groucho Marx got one such annual report from Franklin Corporation, a company in which he was an investor.
Here’s an excerpt from the letter he wrote to Franklin Corporation’s president Herman Goodman:
April 24, 1961
Dear Mr Goodman:
I received the first annual report of the Franklin Corporation and though I am not an expert at reading balance sheets, my financial advisor (who, I assure you, knows nothing) nodded his head in satisfaction.
As a brand new member of your family, strategically you made a ghastly mistake in sending me individual pictures of the Board of Directors. Mr Roth, Chairman of the Board, merely looks sinister. You, the President, look like a hard worker with not too much on the ball. No one named Prosswimmer can possibly be a success. As for Samuel A. Goldblith, PhD., head of Food Technology at MIT, he looks as though he had eaten too much of the wrong kind of fodder.
At this point I would like to stop and ask you a question about Marion Harper Jr. To begin with, I immediately distrust any man who has the same name as his mother. But the thing that most disturbs me about Junior is that I don’t know what the hell he’s laughing at. Is it because he sucked me into this Corporation? This is not the kind of face that inspires confidence in a nervous and jittery stockholder…
Finally, a serious investor who talks about the real issues.
You can read the rest of the letter at Letters of Note.
This and other letters can be found in The Groucho Letters: Letters From And To Groucho.