1. They are entertainment first – as we all know commercials pay the bills. Their job is to keep you tuned in with the next breaking news item, opinion or must know tip and have you watch the commercial before they tell you.
2. Experts are a dime a dozen – no one really knows the future and one person with as many credentials and education as another often have opposing views.
3. Predictions are rarely followed up on. Guests often make forecasts and are rarely taken to task on their bad calls. You may be listening to someone who has a very poor predictive track record.
4. The language of the media evokes emotions. Words like destroyed, crashed, plunged, crushed, soared, collapsed, greed, fear, scary and many others do more harm than good.
5. Their time frame does not promote successful investing. Most daily TV shows focus on the minute, hour, day or month. Being a successful investor requires a much longer time horizon, namely years or decades.
6. Most of their guests have a vested interest. While some programs provide disclosures, most do not. The guest may be promoting an opinion that they will benefit financially from.
7. Opinions counter to the anchors are seldom heard. Truth is hard to depend on and must be researched before believed. This goes back to vested interest and appearances. No show wants their main celebrities to look bad.
My advice is to keep these tips in mind when you are watching the shows. Do your homework and keep your perspective. There is no Holy Grail of investment advice to make you quick money. There are however, many ways to lose your money fast if you are naïve about what you hear on the tube.
The author of this article, George S. Urist, MBA, CFP® is President and Owner of Urist Financial and Retirement Planning, Inc., located in East Syracuse, New York. George Urist has been a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner and Registered Representative with LPL Financial for over 26 years. George can be followed on twitter @gurist and can be reached at 315-445-2147 or at email@example.com. Securities offered through LPL Financial. Member FINRA/SIPC