BAD NEWS - WHY THE FINANCIAL NEWS MEDIA CAN COST YOU MONEY!Written by Dr. Scott Brown, Ph.D.
The communication innovations we have around us today like internet, financial newspapers, and special interest television channels focused on investing like CNBC are a high speed pipeline of nonsensical chatter. All these sources of information mean that there is no shortage of media people trying to answer our questions about stock market and specific stocks. You have to remember that news media are constantly competing to survive against other stuff you can watch. If they don’t always sound like they know exactly what is going on then you won’t watch their presentations. If you don’t tune into their show then their ratings go down. If their ratings go down they get fired and their show gets cancelled.
This means that financial journalists are in business of finding great stories and sounding like authorities no matter what. The stock market is a great place for them to dig up news ‘scoops’ to feed to public. They don’t really check their facts very well and sometimes not at all. This means that if some insider wants to feed you a line of bull manure then all they have to do is maintain good connections with financial journalists, sponsor an investment show, or outright buy an investing TV channel like Jack Welsh CEO of GE did when he set up CNBC. What a great way for inside executives to control flow of news information to public then to actually own one of only financial news channels…but not so great for you! These journalists also kick up fire by bringing in so-called ‘experts’ to talk about each side of some topic that real experts would not consider important. This just makes it all more confusing for public to understand what is important when buying or selling a stock. Shows on CNBC like ‘Closing Bell’, ‘Kudlow & Company’, and ‘Mad Money’ do nothing but confuse and misdirect attention of most individual investors in public. Even worse this means that financial news media allows overpriced stocks to be recommended through analysts in inside web that inside executives are dumping on public because they are trying to get out. This actually happened at top of bull market in 1999. For a great historical description of what happened read Maggie Mahar’s book entitled “Bull.”
Identity Theft – More Tips on How it Can Be AvoidedWritten by Charles Essmeier
Recent security breaches at several credit card companies continue to worry Americans, as stolen financial information can lead to identity theft. Identity theft occurs when someone obtains your Social Security number and/or other vital information and uses it to pose as you. By doing so, they can take advantage of your good credit history to open new credit card accounts or obtain loans. They get to spend money, but you get to pay bills. It often takes a victim a year or more to even detect that he or she has been a victim of ID theft; clearing up mess caused by an identity theft scam can take years and can harm you personal credit report indefinitely.
We have covered a few identity theft tips in previous articles, but here are some more things conscientious consumer can do to minimize chances of being latest victim of an ID theft scammer:
When engaged in online banking activity, avoid using short or obvious passwords. Names of children, family pets, favorite sports teams and like are obvious choices and are easily guessed by thieves. Many scammers now use “dictionary attacks” to obtain passwords, which will try every word in dictionary until password is cracked. If you use a common name or word, you are vulnerable. If you must use words from English language for passwords, use long ones. “TheNewYorkYankeesTotallyRock” is a better password than “Yankees.” If you can, use a mixture of letters and numbers. Longer is better.
Buy a shredder. Keep important documents, of course, but shred