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The editor complaints that a WSJ columnist received

October 31, 2022

Posted by Chris Roush

Jonathan Clements

Jonathan Clements, a former Wall Street Journal personal finance columnist, writes about the common complaints he used to receive from editors.

Clements writes, “So, what were the criticisms I received? They were threefold:

“You’re repetitive. Week after week, I’d hammer on themes like the superior long-run return from stock investing, the importance of diversification and holding down investment costs, and the futility of trying to beat the market. Was I repetitive? Absolutely.

“But there’s value in repetition. Amid the financial markets’ daily turmoil, investors often lose sight of fundamental truths and make foolish changes to their portfolio. To stay the course, many folks need to be regularly reminded of what sensible investing looks like.

“Equally important, the alternative to repetition—espousing a new investment strategy with every new column—would almost certainly hurt readers’ portfolio performance. Some writers, of course, do indeed devote every article to a new stock, mutual fund or market outlook. That certainly gives them plenty to write about. But I’m not sure it does much for readers, beyond getting them to fret unnecessarily over their investment mix and probably trade far too much.”

Read more here.

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