Why Cable Business News Will Drive Your Investments Into the Ground

Where I used to work, we rotated MSNBC, CNBC and CNN Business in the background non-stop. Every market movement relevant to the energy market was followed, analyzed, and regurgitated on those channels. For the oil trading desk I worked next to, every threat of Iranian oil embargo, every possible hijacking off the Somalian coast, every Nigerian riot, would send the trading guys off in a flurry of activities.

Back in 2007, oil was trending up into infinity and beyond, and everyone was in a great mood. I don’t know about now. But my point here is, these kinds of reporting are great and useful.

For a trader.

But you are not a trader, are you? You don’t trade Forex or options for a living, do you? Because if you are an investor – and I define an investor as someone that holds investing instruments for the medium to long-term, then SHUT OFF the TV. They are worse than useless. They are downright detrimental to your investment portfolio.

The business reporting business, much like the regular media outlet, is like a stage. There is a cast of characters. They play their roles to the T, and they do not improvise. The networks themselves are self-serving media machines that get turned on for one reason and one reason only: to make a profit. Next time you see Maria Bartiromo, Erin Bennett or Becky Quick, you need to realize who’s paying their bills. It’s the advertisers, usually financial service companies that fill up these 10-20 second slots right after they tell you they’ll be “right back”. And who do they return with after the commercial breaks? Oh don’t you know it, it’s the in-house economist/strategist/analyst from those very firms.

Do you see what I see here? I see irreconcilable conflict of interest. I see many of those guests coming on the show with a very clear agenda in promoting a certain investment style, a sector which they are experts (and happen to do business) in. The intentions are not always malicious, but it does place a bit of a gag order on the interviews themselves. After all, should a disagreement arise, how far can an anchor go on challenging their guests’ positions, knowing fully well their counterpart is partially footing her salary.

And then there are those anchors that leave you scratching your head. These are the personalities that would be better off working in the pits of the Chicago Options Exchange. Because they seem to confuse their responsibility in covering useful business and economic analysis, with pulling hourly trading tricks out of the hat.

Lastly, there’s the experts themselves. Now given these are rational, intelligent analysts and economics that have swum against the tide and now at long last proven right. They come on the show with little to sell. What happens? Firstly, there’s very good research indicating that (much) more often that not, one year of correct outlook is usually not followed by another. So statistically speaking, the much celebrated genius you are watching on screen is probably going to be wrong in whatever it is that he is championing right now.

Secondly, there is the issue of ego. Imagine if you are an academic that has been writing papers on some obscure anomalies in the market or impending doom for years, floundering in relative obscurity. To be proven right all of a sudden, exalted to rock-star status, touted on cable news as the sage, paraded trough conferences like a peacock, what would that do to an average man’s ego? They may be genius, but they are still ego-centric just like everyone else, right?

It’s easy then to see how they could be affected by newly-found fame, attention, influx of respect and adoration. Not wanting to disappoint, or merely driven by stubbornness to continue being right, it’s no surprise that success in market predictions are rarely replicated, year after year.

So with all these: Conflicts of interest, confused role-playing, ignited by gigantic egos. Are you not better off by turning off the cable news? Pick up the FT or the WSJ, brush up on investment classics. There’s more than enough sense out there to keep your money safe.

The Investoralist is a blog that explores the fundamental principles of investing in today’s media-obsessed, amnesic, sound-bite driven world. Instead of focusing on technical aspects of securities analysis, we try to uncover the confluence of factors that have frustrated and confused many investors, and provide meaningful discussion based on a holistic look at the macro-investing environment.

The Investoralist came about when its founder got tired of the inaccurate, irrelevant, and often contradictory information that perpetrates the business media networks. As a passive investor herself, she felt under-served by one-sided and microscopic analysis that led many investors astray.

The Relevance of Business News Update

Every frequent traveler on business needs to know the latest business travel news. If a new company is in town with great flight rates, and travel packages, this is valuable information.

Unless you know about the good deals, you will pay more than you need to. Or you can have a disaster that is avoidable. Suppose you book a flight, and you didn’t know that the day you leave is also the start of that airline strike. Too bad you didn’t know ahead of time, you could have booked with a different carrier.

If you have some travel news, you can be in the know about your destination. What is the weather where you are going? If you are coming from somewhere warm and don’t know to check the weather, if you head somewhere cold you’ll be miserable.

Imagine if you didn’t check and you assumed it is summer everywhere because you are experiencing summer at home. But in some places, your summer will be their winter! If you pack only thin clothing you’ll be very uncomfortable.

Are you traveling to a country where English is spoken? If not, this can be a barrier to your getting around if you don’t speak the native language. Try to arrange a guide or interpreter.

What if you are in a bad area? You can put yourself in danger without knowing. You don’t want to wear dressy clothing and carry a great bag if where you are traveling to is full of pickpockets and criminals. In China, you want to be careful with your credit cards as misuse of this information is common. Know the laws of an area and also the typical problems.

Laws are very important, if you run afoul of them you can end up in a lot of trouble. Even if you don’t do something criminal, you can find that some laws will make your travel inconvenient. Take China. If you have a drivers’ license in America or Europe, you still are not permitted to drive in China. If you are planning on renting a car to get around you are out of luck.

The Best Business News Now a Click Away

The world around us is changing at the most rapid pace. Never in the entire history of human beings have the world witnessed the most dramatic as well as the life altering changes taking place at such a pace. In such a scenario, people need to keep themselves abreast about the latest tidings that take place and especially those that have a larger bearing on the lives of the common man. The need to stay informed about the latest tidings is all the more important in the world of business. The gigantic leaps that the technology has taken over the past few decades has completely altered the way business is viewed as well as carried out all over the world. One medium that has a tremendous potential to inform, and change the business world is the internet. But everything on the internet is not worth even looking at, leave alone gleaning. The business news particularly that one comes across on the web are not all worth reading.

The solution to this problem is itself present on the internet. There are many sites on the net that can offer you all the relevant and important business news that matters. These sites can help you in gleaning the best information regarding the business news, the stock market news, the marketing news or the strategic consulting news. Anybody who wants to stay informed about the latest in the world of business can now visit these sites and get an insight into the latest in the world of business.

Many of these sites have the business news ranked according to their merit. All that is required is to visit any of these sites and view the best and the latest marketing news, stock market news or any other most popular business news.