A week or so ago I was sitting at my desk thinking about this, and about the hatchet-job that the deregulated loan and stock markets have just done on the economy, and a question popped into my head. I have been unable to find a good answer for it so far. The question is this:
Why is ANYONE allowed to purchase stock in a company for ANY amount of time LESS than a year?
We have a stock market system that is basically a gambling house, stuffed with cons and shills and day-traders, clawing at public perception for the sake of a one-week purchase window, doing nothing but sucking money out of the system. This is almost entirely because they can buy stock and sell it in a matter of days, even minutes. That is not enough time for a company's real-world fortunes to grow or shrink; not even enough time for the brokers involved to get their damned facts straight. It makes absolutely no sense at all. I want to know why stock purchases aren't always, ALWAYS locked in for a year at least, allowing the company you purchased stock from to actually do something with the money, and if you want to sell earlier than that you should be allowed to receive ONLY the money you put back in, or less.
There are early-withdrawal penalties on all kinds of financial transactions. Why the hell aren't there any on stock trading?