- By The Notorious CFP®
By now, most of my clients are acutely aware of my love affair with MSM financial journalists (on par with politicians) as I consider absorbing modern news akin to consuming Mountain Dew in order to boost your energy level and satiate your appetite... yes, technically it's calories, but are you really improving your situation? It's been my experience during research that online news outlets like The Atlantic, The Economist, Vox, HuffPo, Slate, Salon, Daily Kos, Mother Jones and Five Thirty Eight that proport to enlighten the population are primarily just shills for Big Tech and political activists with overfinanced journalism degrees passing off fiction as real news until they can find a better job or to push some political narrative.
Information on both sides of the political divide is becoming so overtly biased and manipulative that it's honestly hard to watch and I suspect readers would be better off consuming nothing at all than what is currently being offered. Their spelling, grammar and vocabulary feel like a freshman term paper. All that to say that I'm not a fan and cannot for the life of me understand why people watch news on their TVs in 2022. It's baffling, like do you drink water from the toilet as well?
Even a cursory review now and then leaves me more confused and frustrated, and wondering if that's the purpose:
CNN, MSNBC and other mainstream news outlets are almost ALWAYS wrong about most things, but nothing more than investing and the financial markets. It's not that they're stupid, at least that's not the full explanation. It's because they're biased humans with an agenda. And like politicians, they rarely go much deeper than the surface for facts because the modern news cycle is so brutal and rushed. And they're not exactly full of STEM graduates. Their priority is to get the story out quickly to get the views and clicks, and that prevents them from fully utilizing logic, reason and accountability.
The media doesn't even seem that concerned about accuracy anymore. Which is convenient because most of them are journalism majors. Even if they were truthful and thorough in their conveyance of fact, they would be hampered by their lack of intelligence and an impossible dictate for them to act and report prudently and patiently. That's why their influence on the culture has been so devastating the last few years and also why they're going out of business so fast. As far as I can ascertain, no one who is serious about understanding the world is watching cable financial news. It's all moved to blogs, podcasts and (gasp!) Twitter.
Here's a litte hint: Retail investor and CNN consumer sentiment is actually one of the most reliable contrarian indicators in existence. This means they accidentally tell you exactly what NOT to do. This is because - like many news sources today- what we consider a journalist in modern parlance is really code for an activist (the same phenomenon also exists at MSNBC and Fox). For instance, I obviously don't read MSNBC because a.) I'm literate and b.) prefer to live in reality. But I happened to stumble upon an article last week (on Trump, shocking...) and had no idea how bad their business model has gotten. Putting aside the overt (and frankly embarrassing) political slant, the grammar was atrocious and the general premise was surreal, like some screed off Reddit. I wondered, "Does this really pass as journalism today? Do people really read this garbage?" If so, it explains so much. If you know a MSNBC consumer or enthusiast, my advice is run. Example: These were their top stories of the day on the day I was researching this post.
If these headlines don't make you laugh and/or roll your eyes, they've captured you too...
If you have doubts about how bad MSNBC is, here's the link to the front page. I'm writing this in Summer 2022, but I suspect that it's as mind-numbing to you on the day you're reading this. And $100 says there's at least one Trump or MAGA reference to dog-whistle to the lowest common denominator humans. Just call it a hunch. Few are deluded enough to think that cable news hosts like Sean Hannity or Joy Reid are any more credible sources of objective journalism than say, your grandchildren or the cast of The View.
If you're unfamiliar with The View, congratulations, you're one of the lucky ones. It's like The Jerry Springer Show for the 21st century. It's hosted by dangerously unhealthy, decrepit women- which is why you almost NEVER see pictures of them standing off by themselves. They're always overlapping because they sit too much and think too little. They are often wearing what amounts to very expensive moo moos and yell over each other about topics they know nothing about, but of which they still generally all agree on. Each season they type-cast a single token white women who is both conservative and vapid, and the entire episode devolves into verbally beating her like a pinata until she responds with something so stupid it deserves it's own video clip. She's like the evil Russian villain in 1980's action movies.. you always know how it's gonna' end. The show runs at 11 AM, when most of their audience is presumably just waking up, and is primarily programmed by powerful white men and geared towards unemployed women (much like modern advertising and political campaign teams).
It's also hand-downs the dumbest show on television, and that's a very low bar. You will never find someone who has admitted to watching it, unless you live in a nursing home without remote controllers. The View seems to be premised around Dante's 9 Circles of Hell, and it literally hurts your brain to watch it. But every once in a while, the firmware in the heaviest hosts short-circuits from a toxic combination of cat litter and boxed wine and they threaten to go on sex strike if no one listens to them. Which seems like an odd strategy for these ladies... but hey, work it if you got it.
As a result, the talking heads in political and financial news media simply read off a teleprompter an agenda that is linked at the hip with a delusional narrative of how their bosses think the world works from their million-dollar condos on the UWS. (Trust me, none of the people you see on TV are coming up with insights on their own, they're all well-paid cattle.) If you can understand and recognize the premise of The View (to mentally injure it's audience), then it's not a leap to connect their business model to that across all of their programming, which is to prevent you from being successful in life. Thus, if you are consuming any information through a television (vs. pure entertainment), I am here to tell you this just might be impacting your success in life, especially in the realm of investing. My advice is to use your television for entertainment purposes only, consider anything emanating out of it as some version of fiction, and enjoy it like a Coca-Cola- temporarily stimulating but ultimately debilitating if it becomes a habit.
And for God's sake, if you are watching any television during normal business hours, please stop. Smash your TV. Your family and country deserve better. We need more productive citizens and less zombies slurping down something not only lacking in substance but actually counter-productive. It's 2022, no one is getting their news from the television anymore, it would be like telling me you pay for cable television. Cable news is like shot-gunning Coca-Cola all day long every day, and wondering why you're overweight, with bad skin, lonely and no one likes you. There are so many other productive and personally beneficial activities one could engage in, why would you waste your life being lied to and misled?
If you don't believe how bad it is out there in the modern media, I'm here to share with you a few articles that I've been collecting over the last couple of years on the "clear ad present danger" of racism in my beloved cycling community, ones that you've probably never even thought about because you have a brain. I had no idea I was condoning such evil with my weekend warrior pedaling. At what point does the government get involved, or this become part of someone's campaign platform?
It always seems odd to me that you never see many minorities at racial justice protests. How do you think these folks would react to "a stock market drop that hurts primarily minority investors?" Why is no one talking about this?
It gets better.
To top it off, at the intersection of universities and social justice, I'm just learning that not only are bikes racist, but my entire "swim-bike-run" triathlon lifestyle has been perpetuating bigotry. Up until now, I just assumed my enjoyment was related to insufficient access to girls and unresolved issues with my father. All of which is understandable since I live in Kerrville and there's like five black people living in our entire county. We have almost less diversity than Africa, Asia and at least four other continents. (Reading from prepared mea culpa).. This makes it hard to swim on Friday nights from 7 - 8 PM, when the empty pool now only serves to reinforce the social construct that perpetuates all this white privilege and requires me to re-examine how I will protect minority swimmers under the age of 29 this summer...
- Do you see it?
- Are you now dumber because of these headlines?
- Are you starting to see the code in the matrix, and the connection between mainstream media and cultural disintegration?
- Do you have any ideas how to dismember both?
Hint: It's all fiction. Usually nothing more than fantastic invented narratives invented in one's (self-hating) head, approved by a (malicious, desperate) editor and then brought into "reality" through (corporate-owned) mainstream news outlets. I pick on the racism designed into bikes and swimming pools by the KKK because we all recognize it's inherently stupid. But this untruth is pervasive in almost all modern news outlet in almost every topic today. One must assume it's all misinformation and misdirection... meant only to confuse, upset and engage.
What does this have to do with investing?
To be successful with money and finance, you have to first reject "racism in cycling." But it's not enough to simply stop at the most absurd and obvious headlines. You have to inherently assume the truth is the opposite everything you read. Following along a constant theme I continue to reinforce, you must not only ignore the news, but trade against it. When you behave contrary to the existing prevailing narratives, you both a.) align yourself with truth and b.) move contrary to the consensus. Which can only lead you to success.
You must not only ignore the news, but trade against it. When you behave contrary to the existing prevailing narratives, you both align yourself with truth and move contrary to the consensus. Which can only lead you to success.
For instance, when they are promoting either fear or greed, investors would literally benefit themselves by assuming that truth is the opposite of whatever it is they're saying. I'm convinced the media hates investors and wants to see them suffer losses.
For instance, what do you make of CNN's current agenda below and at this link? What would be an contrarian response to this 'information?'
The media's self-destruction is a self-perpetuating cycle, one they happily (and desperately) extend to their audience, like a friend who smokes cigarettes. But a gradual slide to ideological stupidity doesn't have to be your journey nor destiny. You can choose to not only ignore them, you can both live your life and trade investments against them.