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The Big Investment Lie by Michael Edesess

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1The Beardstown Ladies versus the Professionals

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The Beardstown Ladies would have had it made for good if they hadn’t been so naive and honest.9

In the early 1980s, Mrs. Betty Sinnock, a grandmotherly woman of homespun wisdom, formed an investment club with fifteen other women—also senior citizens—in the town of Beardstown, Illinois, population 6,200. They called their club the Beardstown Business and Professional Women’s Investment Club.

They got together regularly to study public companies and to select some to invest in. They joined the National Association of Investors Corporation (NAIC), an organization of investment clubs. They researched ...

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