Commentary

Financial Statement

By Paul McCutchen |

The Media’s Bull Market

Every day you hear a reason to panic. Every day the local or national news presents a unifying underlying message: “coming up next, reasons why the end is near.”

As a society, we live and die by what the so-called “experts” tell us. Why? Because it’s easy. Why do your own research when there is someone who will do it for you and deliver it directly to your television, computer or phone instantly? We don’t question the motives or credentials of the experts; we just take it as fact.

Right now you can sit down and, depending on what source or writer, you can get completely different views on every topic dealing with the market.

Some say everything is going great and others will tell you to get in a bunker because it’s all about to end. Complete chaos and confusion leads to great ratings.

Basically what that says to me is, STOP WATCHING THE NEWS! If you look through history, you will find there have always been financial issues going on throughout the world, which is the constant. There have always been reasons not to invest and to be scared of the market.

On the other hand, by investing with discipline and little emotion, over long periods of time, you will most likely produce consistent, positive results.

One thing that is not a constant is the media.

The 24/7 coverage of the stock market is relatively new. Online, emotional trading through the Internet is new. All of the talking heads and celebrity “experts” are new. The dozens of media networks and outlets are all in the business of making money.

And to make money, they need you to watch, but they don’t need you to succeed.

When the market is doing well, ratings drop. Think about it. Would you pay more attention to a day when the market moves up 300 points or if it went down 300 points? Did you know stocks are off to their best start this year since 1998? It’s true, but a headline like that doesn’t get ratings.

The media holds a vested interest in market volatility. If you listen to the talking heads and they tell you how to invest and it doesn’t work, what happens?

You can send them an email, maybe, but your results don’t affect them at all. The main point to take from this is to educate yourself. Don’t just take the word of one person or one source. Look at facts, not emotions.

Paul McCutchen is a financial adviser with the Global Wealth Management Division of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in Fayetteville. The information contained in this report is not a solicitation to purchase or sell investments. Any information presented is general in nature and not intended to provide individually tailored investment advice.

CONTACT: Paul.McCutchen@morganstanleysmithbarney.com



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