Investment News Channels have become really popular over the last few years. As people start to get more and more interested in personal finance, the stock market, and retail investing, the demand for easily accessible content on these topics seems to be at an all-time high.
The problem, though, is that not all channels or topics are the same in terms of the actual value you can get from them. Investing News Channels, and shows in particular, are so unreliable that they honestly are more entertainment than news!
To clarify, when I refer to “Investing News Channels,” I’m talking about tv channels or shows that have an “expert” investor (or a panel of “experts”) giving you their predictions on the market and telling you what stocks you should buy or sell . . . and when. Usually, this involves a lot of yelling, flashing lights, and sound effects.
If you’re looking for sources that will give you quality investment advice and help you on your path to financial independence, Investing News Channels are NOT the answer. Seriously, DO NOT LISTEN TO THEM. I know, that sounds harsh, but keep reading to find out the 10 top reasons why you should avoid relying on Stock/Investing News Channels and why these channels are not helpful for you in growing your wealth on your way to financial independence.
1. Shows Only Discuss High Profile Stocks
These channels tend to focus on stocks in the same way tabloids focus on a specific celebrity who happens to be going through some drama or feud at the time. In other words, they pick and choose which stocks to talk about based, not necessarily on the objective qualities of the stock itself, but on whether the stock is getting a lot of buzz or if it is in the headlines. This is why these channels never seem to highlight index funds, which (for us) was our best investment towards financial independence.
2. Shows Are Not Geared Towards Financial Independence/FIRE
FIRE is a relatively new movement and there are pretty much no tv shows that are talking about it right now. And if any of these existing shows happen to discuss FIRE at all, it’s always through a dismissive lens, as if pursuing FIRE is completely unrealistic for people making normal amounts of money. This is simply not true, and Amon and I are living proof of that! We were government employees who were able to achieve financial independence and retired early in less than 10 years! Though they may not want to acknowledge it, the FIRE movement is growing very fast and sooner or later these channels are going to have to come to terms with that. But for now . . . let’s just see what happens.
3. Shows Create Herd Mentality
These shows cultivate a sense of urgency that isn’t really necessary and only serves to add sensationalism and pressure you into buying or selling. They make it seem like if you don’t buy a specific stock at a specific time (usually NOW), then you’ll be missing out on a deal of a lifetime. BUT what they don’t mention is that if you follow their advice and buy that stock at the same time that everyone else watching the show does, then the market- and your investment- is likely not going to perform as well as you thought. So take their advice with a grain of salt and be aware of other changing circumstances that might affect the performance of your portfolio.
4. Shows Don’t Discuss Mundane but Necessary Strategies For Success
You can not develop a successful, long-term investing strategy, especially one that aims for financial independence and early retirement, based on the advice of these channels. They aren’t talking about your 401Ks, your Roth IRAs, your HSAs, your 529 Plans, your Custodial Accounts- they NEVER talk about this stuff! But when you’re pursuing FIRE, it’s really important to understand the mechanics of all these different accounts and investment options. You’re just not going to get this information from an entertainment-focused stock show. You have to go do your own research!.
5. Shows Are Headline Driven
There is so much more to learn about investing than these one or two headlines that stay on these channels for weeks! And these shows are so focused on these big headlines that they ignore the really important legislative information that affects your financial future. Tax laws, laws on healthcare, laws on retirement accounts, and social security - these aren’t very exciting topics, but they are things that you NEED to understand in order to secure your financial future.
6. Show Recommendations are Too Late
By the time these shows get around to recommending a particular stock to buy or sell, it is always going to be too late. What I mean by this is that these shows aren’t basing their advice on predictions, they’re basing their advice on what is already happening! They do this on purpose because they don’t want to be wrong and lose the faith of their viewers. After all, you can’t be wrong if what you’re talking about has already happened! Unfortunately, what this means for you as a viewer is that by the time you hear this advice and buy the recommended stocks, the price has already shot up and you can subsequently see your money drop . . . sometimes immediately!
7. Shows Fail to Take Ownership For Bad Predictions
These shows can tell you one thing one month, have it fail spectacularly, and then by the next year completely ignore how that previous prediction failed. And they don’t have to address it because it is a one-way show! There is no one to hold them accountable and no way to voice objections or concerns. And what’s worse is that they make so many predictions that they are able to cherry-pick the times when they are right in order to make up their claims and “prove” how reliable they are. Here is the truth: It is impossible to ever accurately and consistently predict the stock market. So whenever you have someone who claims to know what’s going to happen next . . . be very skeptical.
8. Shows Don’t Teach Stock Valuation
These shows are entertainment and that’s it! You’re not actually learning anything when you watch these shows, other than being kept abreast of “pop news” in the stock world, and the individual opinions of commentators. There isn’t anything offered that will actually help you achieve your financial goals more efficiently or effectively. You’re not learning anything in particular about specific stock selection. It’s all just fluff.
Now if you DO want to learn about stock valuation and selection, what I recommend is to go old school and pick up a book. And not just any old book, but THE book: The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham. This book will show you how to really evaluate your investments, and talks about individual stocks, index funds, and the overall mechanics of investing. To really learn, you’ve got to pick resources that will go into detail and these investing tv shows just don’t do that.
9. Shows Use Too Much Jargon
The level of technical jargon that these shows use is totally unnecessary. It seems, in all honesty, that they use such inaccessible language to make it seem as if what they are offering viewers is more valuable than it actually is. Investing is actually a fairly simple and straightforward process, but these shows make it unnecessarily complex.
10. Shows Aren’t Focused on Long-Term Investing
These shows are only 30-60 minutes long and air at least once a week. They have to come up with new topics to cover every single episode, and because they always have to discuss something new and exciting, they aren’t too focused on long-term investments. The shows are simply not set up in a way that encourages following the same topic or investment in-depth, over a long period of time and really gauging how that investment is doing. So these shows are almost always talking about day-trading, quick sales and buys, etc. and these are not things that are going to lead to a successful FIRE strategy.
So, if I haven’t made myself clear: Let me essentially knock you over the head with it: Do NOT rely on Investing News Channels for financial advice, especially if you’re pursuing FIRE. The focus of these channels and shows is entertainment, not information. You can watch these shows, but just don’t take their advice seriously. Make your decisions based on your own research, from legitimate sources that actually take the time and effort to really analyze and explain the mechanics of investing. Sure, Investing News Channels can be entertaining. But, when it comes to making your own personal investing and finance decisions, walk away. In fact, don’t walk . . . RUN!
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