OLD Media Moves

How to get the most out of the financial media

November 19, 2013

Posted by Chris Roush

Barry Ritholtz writes about how readers of the financial media should assess and use the information.

Ritholtz writes, “One thing I detest most about the financial press is the lack of accountability. All sorts of nonsense is said without penalty. On TV, guests are rarely called out for terrible calls or stock picks. Columnists can say anything without worry of anyone remembering their really dumb statements.

“I use a simple calendar trick to hold talking heads accountable. Whenever someone makes some wild claim or rolls out yet another set of predictions, I diary them. Any calendar or even your Outlook will work, but I especially like to use a simple app called FollowUpThen.com.

“As an example, have a look at this letter published exactly three years ago, signed by a long list of economic wise men and politically connected policy wonks. It warns of ‘currency debasement and inflation.’ My esteem for these folks’ economic judgment is now significantly diminished; each of the list’s signatories now get assessed as incompetent forecasters.

“Second, I hold myself to the same standards, calling myself out annually. I publish a list of my worst errors each year (see this and this). Doing this is a humbling act that keeps me honest (and beats others to the punch). If I am going to trash others for their dumb predictions, I must at least hold myself to the same sort of accountability.”

Read more here.

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