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  1. #1
    unpakwon is offline Senior Member
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    dictate what our nest eggs were worth

    Could anyone please explain the following parts in bold in easy English?

    Many retirees and employees, unaccustomed to seeing the stock value decline, were aghast. It was hard for us to realize that 10 percent of the shareholders, and (horrors) nonemployees yet, were, by succumbing to the whims of the market, (1)dictating what our nest eggs were worth. Instead of complaining, though, we should have (2)appreciated all the money we'd made up front. In November 1998, UPS stock had been valued at $20. To have it hovering around $60 in a year tripled our money. The stock has yo-yoed ever since, most of the time in the $65-$83 range. Not a great five-year return, and it would have been much higher (3)except there has been a continuing compression of the Price/Earnings ratio of UPS stock.

    In (1), does "dictating" mean "controlling" in the context? I think "what our nest eggs were worth" refers to "our company," but I'm not sure.

    In (2), what's the meaning of "appreciate" there, "raise in value?" And is "made up front" a connected expression?

    Could I rewrite (3) like -it would have been much higher "if it had not been for a continuing compression of the P/E ratio of UPS stock?" And I'm not sure of what "compression" means there. Is it something like "a continuing decline of the P/E ratio?"

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Re: dictate what our nest eggs were worth

    In (1), does "dictating" mean "controlling" in the context? I think "what our nest eggs were worth" refers to "our company," but I'm not sure. The "nest eggs" are the sums of money which are in the pensions scheme for each employee. The size of these is affected by the activities of the shareholders.

    In (2), what's the meaning of "appreciate" there, "raise in value?" And is "made up front" a connected expression? Appreciate here is exactly that. The employees should have recognized with gratitude how much money was inthe pension funds.

    Could I rewrite (3) like -it would have been much higher "if it had not been for a continuing compression of the P/E ratio of UPS stock?" And I'm not sure of what "compression" means there. Is it something like "a continuing decline of the P/E ratio?" I think this would make sense.

  3. #3
    unpakwon is offline Senior Member
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    Re: dictate what our nest eggs were worth

    It's been helpful.

    Thank you so much.

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