Financial Entertainment is Closer to a Carnival Than to Financial Advice
It’s always fun to see reactions from people I meet when I tell them what I do for my work. The title “financial planner or financial advisor” means different things to different people. A common response I hear is a question regarding a short-term investment idea they heard from a financial pundit (usually on TV). The details are different, but the category is the same. What do you think about gold? Should I be investing in a speculative currency? I heard Crammer say… You get the idea.
Sometimes the lines get blurred between financial advice and financial entertainment. Financial entertainment is the business of getting people to watch or read something regarding financial markets. You might think of it as advice, but the people who create this media think of it as entertainment. Their goal is not to help you in your quest for financial independence, but rather to increase their ratings, subscriptions, or click-through rates. Their two favorite weapons appeal to our deepest instincts for survival; fear and greed. Actually, in many cases, greed could be viewed as the fear of missing out on an opportunity. When we sense fear to our well-being, our minds focus intently. To gain an audience in a noisy world, the financial entertainment carnival creates fear and greed out of thin air.
Financial advisors, on the other hand, design a plan and a strategy that is unique to your goals. Consistently outguessing the markets with “investments” that are more like speculations is not an investment strategy and it is not likely to help you reach your long-term goals. So if you are serious about a realistic strategy that has a high probability of getting you where you want to go, walk away from the bright lights and cotton candy of the carnival and find an advocate that can give you real advice.