Be careful of the media...
Updated: Dec 13, 2019
Remember, their job is not necessarily to tell you an accurate truth, but to make money.
There is always a lot of information about financial markets in the media, on social media very accessible on smartphones these days. The job of the press is to "Sell News", and the story they portray to sell news can vary significantly between the start and end of any given day. Even if it be inaccurate, distorted or entirely out of context, if the story sells, then the media will present it and sadly, the truth or real meaning is often overlooked or left out altogether.
The mountain of news stories create a massive amount of "NOISE" in the media (in many forums and forms) however, the big question is "What is worth listening to and what should be ignored?" For the inexperienced or uneducated investor, this can be an extremely daunting challenge. As the video suggests, with the right Financial Adviser to guide you through the mire of media stories and articles, then the journey can be much more rewarding ... even pleasant!
A recent article by Jim Parker (Vice President - Dimensional) titled "Interesting vs Actionable" – click here to read in full – takes this point a step further. Jim comments on the accuracy or rather inaccuracy of market forecasts and how these are generally wide of the mark ... he also references Niels Bohr, Nobel Laureate in Physics who once said: "Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future".
While there can be many interesting stories in the world news daily, it is exceedingly difficult to form a "sensible or reliable" investment strategy of the back of these new stories. I would very much like to echo Jim Parker's summary comments, i.e. Focus on what is actionable, rather than what is interesting.
Actionable items include:
How you allocate your investments across various asset classes, e.g. stocks, bonds, property, cash.
How you diversify your investments across sectors, countries and currencies.
The attention you pay to fees and taxes; and
How regularly do you re-balance your portfolio.
Unlike news stories, these are the things you can control and with the knowledge, expertise and experience of a quality Financial Planner, this process can be made a whole lot easier.