Tales from the tranches
I didn't have the money to invest in Telstra shares when the telco was first carved up and bastardised but I wouldn't have bought any anyway. My thinking was that, as a taxpayer, I already owned it and it wasn't anyone's to sell. I still think that.
And, while my idealogical stance on things very rarely pays off, this time it did! The 'mum and dad investors' are the losers as they watch the value of their stock continue to wither. The genie's out of the bottle now and the big T is just another player in a crowded field so my initial outrage has been replaced by a resigned shrug.
I've never been a fan of privatisation for above reason. How are we compensated for the money that goes into a government instrumentality when the govt. of the day decides to flog it off? We're not. If they do feel there is some legitimate reason to sell then we should be offered 'free' shares by way of compensation.
II Down in the tranches
The one thing I will say, though, is that Telstra have among the best ads of anyone in the business. I assume that it is a private ad company that runs them. They have become all but iconic, with the phrase "Not happy, Jan!" reworked and reappearing in different contexts, and the one about the Scottish chap trying to get parts for his Goggomobil so memorable that another company ran ads substantially using the same idea.