“Life is actually far better than it is in the movies. And it takes longer.” – Seth Godin (Author)
Recently, I was getting dressed and glanced at the “headlines” scrolling across the TV screen of a major financial news network. The script said “Dow up in 14 of past 20 sessions”. The inference, since it was splashed up on the screen: this is unusual, this is news. In fact, the broad stock market is up roughly 68% of the time so this is simply par for the course, it is not newsworthy. Nevertheless, the “news” anchors proceeded to breathlessly proclaim this refrain.
The mind-numbing presentation of information and opinions on these networks compounds a common problem we see with investors today…difficulty in maintaining focus on long-term goals. Far from being helpful or even benign, the grand majority of what passes for “news” isn’t really “news” at all. It is fluff to fill air time with no meaningful value.
In a practical sense, absent never watching TV or reading anything in a paper or on the computer, the present day situation is a reality. Our best advice is to treat all of it as entertainment, just as you would a movie or a play. It likely has only a minor connection to your reality; your finances; your goals.
We often refer to information of this type as “junk food for the brain”. Just as you want to limit real “junk food” for health reasons, it is a good idea to limit the intake of electronic “junk food” for overall financial health.