Investment nerds like us find humor in stuff that most people think is boring.
As an example, one of our favorite sources of comedy is financial media punditry (see our related diatribe On Predictions ). While not much different than the slick political pundit found on cable news channels, the financial pundit is someone who can be perceived and/or portrayed by mass financial media to be an expert on investing and delivers his or her opinion in an authoritative manner often without regard to its validity, accountability or future accuracy. The pundits' delivery vehicles — CNBC, Bloomberg TV, Business Insider, Yahoo Finance, etc. — are all in the business of drawing attention and making money for themselves by preying on two primal emotions of the average viewer or reader: fear and greed. Where it can get dangerous is when pundits attempt to give investment advice. Their “advice” often may come in the form of misleading financial information designed to either scare listeners into doing something ill-advised, such as selling during market declines, or woo them into buying something they do not need without any understanding of their driving investment goals and objectives.
Not a day goes by without the financial pundit rhetoric on full display. Just this past week, investor and author Jim Rogers (whose biggest claim to fame was working with the hedge fund luminary George Soros) made a bold prediction that got a lot of attention in the financial media: there is "100% probability" of a recession occurring in the U.S. within one year. We have no idea if there is going to be a recession or not within one year (unfortunately our leading economic indicators are simply not that good to give us 100% certainty!), but saying it is definitely going to happen is a bold statement in this business.
The comedy in all of this (hat tip: Cullen Roche/Pragmatic Capitalism and Daniel Crosby’s tweet) is that apparently Jim Rogers likes to make this so-far-incorrect prediction on a pretty regular basis:
Of course, a prediction made by any financial pundit should be taken with a grain of salt, as their predictions are rarely tested for accuracy after they make them. Great comedy indeed!
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