The finance guy in a pitch I heard today used the old line, "these numbers are conservative." He went on to explain to us why it was that we should not believe his numbers because he was going to outperform his own projections. I always wonder why it is that companies insist on claiming that their numbers are "conservative." I would rather know what the company really thinks it is going to be able to achieve, rather than what it thinks it will be able to outperform. Ultimately, the key to meaningful financials is meaningful assumptions. And if a pitch is interesting enough, we'll push on those assumptions to try to determine if the projections are realistic or not. Saying that they are "conservative" won't change how we view those assumptions. But it will probably make us more skeptical to start.