For the last time: Insight is not Advice

I keep reading stories like this that manage to totally miss the point of what the financial media and social financial media are supposed to be about – the focus is always on this non-existent premise of “people giving advice on TV or online.”

For (hopefully) the last time, I’m going to make some clear distinctions in bullet point format, I’m very busy right now:

1.  No one should be taking or giving advice on TV or on social media. Period. Advice is meant to individualized and personal, it should be about retirement and risk tolerance and it should be specific to the person receiving it, not broadcast in one flavor on the web or a TV station.

2.  The true value of having smart people on TV or the Radio or Twitter is the insights they share into what they themselves are thinking and doing

3.  None of this sharing is meant to be interpreted as “This is what YOU should do” – if that’s how you’re reading it, then it is you who has the problem, not the media itself or the participants.

4.  Information sharing should lead to enlightenment so that people can judge it for themselves and formulate their own opinions based on how they think it might affect them personally or financially.

5.  When I see Jeffrey Gundlach or Warren Buffett or Marc Faber or David Tepper on TV, I am interested to hear why they are anticipating a certain outcome or why they are positioning their portfolios in a certain way – I am not under any impression that they care if I choose to follow them or not, nor should anyone else be – Insight is not Advice.

6.  People need to get over the concept that anyone who says something positive on a market or stock or sector is a “tout.”  Why can’t people just say they like a certain investment without a cacophony of overgrown children reading something insidious into it?

7.  If I say I like the Berkshire Hathaway B-Shares, for example, how is it that anyone can construe “I want you to buy them also” from that statement?  I don’t care what you do.  Neither do the other million people on Twitter or StockTwits or CNBC or Bloomberg or Yahoo Finance.  Do whatever you want, there is no upside for anyone speaking about an investment in public for you to buy it unless you are buying it from them.

8.  The guys that make statements like “I want YOU to be in XYZ stock” deserve to dodge the tomatoes as they’re thrown, the wording they use sounds like a recommendation.  Most people in social media or traditional media do not speak that way.  Please understand the difference.

Bottom Line: Not everyone sharing information is giving advice to the general public.  Not everyone sharing insight into their own way of thinking cares whether or not they’re convincing you to agree or to act on it.

Grow up.








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