Investment Pornography – Bulls and Bears and Brexit, oh my!

If you listen to the investment experts you see on the business networks like CNBC or Bloomberg to get advice every day about your stock portfolio or potential investment strategies, you’re likely to find in a space of an hour or so a complete jumble of advice. After hearing it, it may cause you to want to heave up your lunch or even worse, pull a blanket over your head and wait until it’s all over!

Investment Pornography - Bulls and Bears and Brexit, oh my!

That’s primarily due to what I call, are you ready…“the bullish bear, I think here’s what to expect or it may be something else, voice of sanity and a really good guess strategy” theory. Let’s face the facts, many of these “experts” have no more idea than you or I do especially if they’re working every day on TV and radio for a paycheck. After all, wouldn’t they be investing their own money and making big bucks with all of that so called knowledge and forecasting? While there are a few key rules in investing and growing your money, a lot of what is spouted each day is what is known as “investment pornography”.

What is Investment Pornography?

Investment pornography is an attention getting headline, sound bite and traffic stopper that you hear and read about all the time. Frankly it almost never has any real significance other that getting you very excited or very depressed depending on what it’s blaring on and on about at that moment. You might hear the tease on the upcoming segment on one of these networks like “coming up next, how you can invest in the next Microsoft” or the “5 best investment funds for 2017”! History proves time and time again that these stories just don’t pan out.

Ok, I’ve basically told you here that you can’t make these talking heads your new religion and I believe that to my core. So what can you do to make smart decisions about your investments and not make yourself crazy or involved every minute of the day monitoring them?

What To Do Instead

First thing you have to think about is long term investing, especially if you have time on your side and you aren’t staring at retirement. With you being able to weather the rise and fall of the market despite its various segments being influenced by everything from politics, weather and mosquitos, you know that over the long haul, the market will rise and that you will make money. That is as long as you don’t think that every day is a profit maker, you use common sense, and you have some tolerance for risk.

Next, study the history. Look at the results over the years and see what the cycle was, is, and may be. If you had looked at the market back in October of 1929, you might never invest again. With the British decision to exit from the European Union a few days ago, the forecast we all heard was “disaster” and yet, the past 4 days we’ve seen the Dow breaking its all-time record! Do you think that Rockefeller or DuPont stayed out and said I have had enough?

My third suggestion may sound like a retraction of what I began this post about, but it isn’t. I suggest you get some knowledgeable advice. That is advice from someone who makes his living advising you, not on TV or radio, but a licensed fiduciary acting in your best interest who practices points 1 and 2. Whether you make your own decisions or not, get some help before you do anything. Remember there is no sure thing and there’s always a risk when investing.

Finally, don’t just rely on one source of information. There are several publications out there that are fairly dependable and shy away from investment pornography. Here’s a list of some of the very best and why, but don’t think you have to subscribe to all of them. Visit them on the internet or check your local library for free copies of every one of these well known items. Even if you look at them every so often you will be better off than eating your lunch or dinner in front of the “TV geniuses”.

Reliable Investment Publications

Kiplinger Magazine – This no nonsense monthly magazine covers it all in rather simple language and has a track record that is very respectable. It also publishes a retirement newsletter, a tax newsletter, and special reports so it’s very comprehensive. It may be the one you want to subscribe to.

Money Magazine – Monthly business profiles about the people and their business that are straight forward and respected.

Investor’s Business Daily – A very serious, very detailed paper with a track record for some of the best advice.

Wall Street Journal – What can I say that the name doesn’t tell you?

The Economist – Not just financial news but also politics, economic development and other reports that affect the world.

U.S. News and World Report – Another comprehensive, dependable magazine that talks about all of the influences to your money and financial well being.

The New York Times – World-renowned for its journalistic reporting style and weekly business reporting.

That’s a good start for you to consider. What are you doing about your investment portfolio these days? Are you a Bull? Are you a Bear? Are you confused like many are? You can stay on the sidelines and wait if you choose, but will you ever get in the game? If you do, educate yourself and you just might be a real success!

15 Comments

  1. I’ve learned a good bit on investing over the last few years, just by reading as much on the topic as I can get my hands on. The big things I follow is not to panic when you see the market swings and not pay any attention to the main stream headlines. I’m in it for the long term.

  2. Emily @ JohnJaneDoe

    Ignoring the talking heads is a very good policy. They are far too focused on short term price movements. We used to watch a lot of business TV when we had cable. I found Mad Money fun, but never took Jim Cramer too seriously.

    I do still like the Nightly Business Report on PBS. It tends to be pretty measured in its approach to business news, though it’s affiliation with CNBC has made it more like other business news shows over the last couple of years. If you like getting some of your business and economic news from TV, I think it’s still one of the better choices and a lot less sensational than most other options.

  3. Jack

    Investment porn. Great term for all the hype.

    While I’m skeptic of the markets in general these days due to the constant manipulation from the central banks, I do still have money invested. For no nonsense investment advice, I’m a big fan of Kiplinger’s and IBD also.

  4. A wonderful side effect of cutting the cord is not being subjected to the talking heads. Your last point about not relying on one source is so important. It’s too easy to just jump on the latest fad. You need to develop your own reasoning and build up some confidence when it comes to investing.

    1. Oh Mrs. Groovy, unfortunately I haven’t cut the cord. If anything I’ve wrapped it around my neck and it’s choking the life out of me. 😉 I wish I could do what you’ve done, but baseball won’t let me. Anyway, developing your reasoning is very important when it comes to investing and just about everything else.

  5. Timing the market is a fool’s game. Invest in a diversified mutual fund portfolio as your main investment strategy. If you want to “play” the stock market, do it with money you can afford to lose and buy stock in companies you believe have a long-term positive outlook. Buy and hold. Not sexy, not exciting, and not likely to land you in the poorhouse.

  6. “the bullish bear, I think here’s what to expect or it may be something else, voice of sanity and a really good guess strategy” theory.

    LOL.

    I love Kiplinger, but I’ve got to say even they have some headlines that are kind of investment porn-y, especially in articles about the current investment climate. Their long term articles are terrific though.

  7. Mrs. CTC

    I’m just starting to learn about investing as we will hopefully be out of debt soon, and I have to admit this pornography is scaring me off a bit. Thanks for pointing out that most of these experts don’t have a clue of what they’re talking about, I will check out the sources you recommended!

    1. Thanks for your feedback, Mrs. CTC. Checking out those reports, particularly free at the library, is a good place to start. Then you can decide if there’s anything you’d like to read regularly. When it comes to the talking heads, remember even a broken clock is right twice a day, but don’t rely on it for timing.

  8. This title made my day Gary, what a cool way of calling all these complex wannabe terms! I would recommend keeping on the watch out for real finance updates from reliable sources and have a good judgment on what kind of news come from which sources. Totally agree with you on that!

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