Ask this question of the chief executive officer of any broker-dealer, and he or she will give you an answer in 60 seconds or less: "What is the value of your business today and how do you plan to increase it?"

Answer: "The value of our business is (the market capitalization, or number of shares times price per share) and the way we plan to increase that value is (whatever plan they announced at the last shareholder meeting or press conference)."

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