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Commentary, Opinion

The silly game of media projections

Are you tired of all the predictions going around on CNBC and various journals and newspapers? You must see this hilarious video; interviews with the homeless on “Wall Street”.

I got this link from this post by Ramit Sethi. In India the equivalent of the media insanity about predictions is perhaps embedded in this moneycontrol.com page – where analysts pour in their views about “Sensex is going to be rangebound” and “Mkts ready to retest all time highs”.

Unfortunately, as Ramit said, none of these predictions have any accountability. In fact, they are wrong a tremendous amount of the time. I don’t have statistics for India – but I know that every analyst I see on CNBC seems to take reverse positions every other day, about where things are going.

And it’s not just silly. The prediction business has a manipulative twist. One analyst, E. Matthew , has even been indicted by SEBI for recommending a stock and then personally taking the opposite side. Simply put, he said “Buy” and then sold his own stock. And vice versa.

Some journals even try to put together a list of stocks that they’ve recommended – but they only list their winning picks – and almost never list their losers. What you have to do is manually track them – and that’s not easy to do, so they get away with it.

If you’re buying or selling based on recommendations from such analysts or journals, you may want to look in a mirror right now. If you don’t see the word “sucker” written on your forehead, you might want to switch off that TV channel and keep the magazines in the entertainment section instead. And when you make your investments, make decisions based on your own assessment, not anyone else’s – especially not that of the media.

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