by Tom Bradley
Salman and I were in New York on a research trip recently. As is my habit when I’m staying in hotels, I turned on business television. As I’ve pointed out numerous times, I don’t do this very often because it’s not good for my mental or portfolio’s health. It’s super short-term oriented. It’s focused on news events that are entertaining, but often have little impact on returns. And it’s all about action, not patience and discipline.
It shouldn’t have been a surprise to me then that everything happening in the markets right now is being linked to the U.S. election and the potential interest rate increase by the Federal Reserve. On CNBC, the iconic Joe Kernen went so far as to say that the U.S. stock market’s 4-month pause was the result of investors waiting for the Fed to raise rates. Ugh.
So, while we were walking around NYC, Salman had to listen to me rant about how useless and misleading these shows are. When we were getting particularly punchy, I suggested that I should pitch the networks to do a regular show. I’d barely uttered the words when Salman responded, "That would be the worst show ever!"
"Just imagine: Have a long-term plan (keep it coming) ... stick to it (whoa) ... diversify fully (now you have my attention) ... keep your fees down (do you think low-fee firms can afford to advertise on CNBC) ... don’t trade too much (boring) ... don’t try to time the market (come on, it’s all about predicting the market) ... use your contributions to rebalance your portfolio (oh geez) ... get started early (wow!). This will make for scintillating theatre."
OK, bad idea. I’ll just turn on ESPN from now on.