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This is written with serious investors in mind. I'm a former reporter, private investigator and institutional equity analyst who digs deep to find niche undervalued and undiscovered securities. I manage money for individuals, institutions and family offices via my business Long Cast Advisers. This blog is part decision-diary, part investment observations and part general musings about Philadelphia sports. It should not be viewed as a solicitation for business or a recommendation to buy or sell securities.

Monday, June 16, 2014

my urge to vomit when i watch CNBC

listen to any radio station and every 10-15 minutes you'll hear "the market/S&P/Dow/futures are up/down/flat today." watch TV and the so called '"business news" will report the same. CNBC and Bloomberg were created to track every moment of the market day.

But reporting every 15 minutes on the Dow is as useful for understanding the economy as reporting net deaths and births every 15 minutes is useful for its picture of our population. it's just a lot of noise.

how is it that the direction of an arbitrary and curated market index like the dow or S&P has become such an overwhelming part of our daily conversation?

how is it that this has all become so pervasive yet remains so meaningless? i understand the media's need for soundbites, but so many datapoints can be packaged that are more relevant indicators to the economy ...

- weekly gasoline supplied
- monthly vehicle miles traveled
- average weekly price per click
- weekly rail traffic
- volume or breadth of the market
- number or percentage of stocks hitting new 52-week highs / lows

... the list can be quite creative and endless.

from the media's perspective "the market" is a great way to engage our fear or elation, which sells ads, but there's a harm with equating the market with the economy. people actually mistake one with the other.

when daily changes in the dow or S&P are equated with the economy people can never appreciate the important and occasionally complex issues that impact their jobs, their companies and their household budgets.

as a patient investor, my concern with the market is only relevant for the opportunities it creates to acquire portions of business at a discount to their underlying values. but it should worry everyone with an interest in the long term health of the country that we perpetuate ignorance every 15 minutes of the day.

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