Most broker/dealers recommend that clients buy or hold onto stocks of companies until the day those companies file for bankruptcy, according to a study by Weiss Ratings. Despite widespread concerns about dubious ratings following scandals at Merrill Lynch and other brokerages, in the fourth quarter of 2002, Weiss found that only 10 out of 30 broker/dealers switched their recommendations to "sell" before companies went bankrupt.

"We have seen widespread investigations by the state regulators and the SEC, a massive public outcry, and solemn promises by Wall Street to change its ways. Despite all this, most brokerage firms continue to urge investors to buy or hold the shares in companies, even as their lawyers are marching up the steps of bankruptcy court," said Martin D. Weiss, chairman of Weiss Ratings.

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