June 9


Fake Financial News


I wasn't able to finish my stories about Grammy and Pop and our family venturing out to Niagara falls.

One of the standout moments of the trip has got to be our visit to the Selfie Museum.  The kids managed to talk us into an upgraded discount package that included the wax museum.

Now, Grammy is a big fan of wax museums. We came face to face with a wax statue of Serena Williams, and she's massive! Standing next to her wax likeness, her arms were as thick as my legs.

Alex had his heart set on trying a Tim Horton's restaurant (there is one on every corner) but ended up disappointed.  Publix has much better donuts.  We also made sure to get maple syrup in a bottle shaped like a maple leaf.  I'm not sure if you can get more touristy than that.

How do you know if a market economist is making stuff up?

His lips are moving.

Navigating financial articles can be challenging.  Today, I am going to help translate financially related headlines so that you can be better armed against Fake Financial News.

First I’ll show you a headline, and then I will give you candid remarks from the author (at least what I imagine they might be).

Headline: Stocks rise on optimism a government shutdown will be avoided (Fox News Business)

Candid Remarks from Author:  I have absolutely no idea why the stock market is up 1% today.  I guess the government shutdown might have something to do with it.  But, seriously, I really have no idea. Markets are driven by human fear and greed which are notoriously difficult to predict.

Headline: The One Stock I’d Buy Right Now (Motley Fool)

Candid Remarks from the Author: 
I hope this headline caught your attention and you clicked on it.  Now listen to me speculate on how one small pharmaceutical stock is ready to skyrocket. Of course, if my stock picking were consistently correct, why would I write articles for a financial news site making $50,000 a year?  

Headline: 10 Reasons for Investing in Gold Bullion (GoldSilver.com)

Candid Remarks from the Author: I’m assuming everyone already realizes we are just trying to sell you gold.  It’s strange how we want to sell OUR gold when we believe it’s so valuable, isn’t it?

Do we charge you a significant markup?  Yes. Will you find it difficult to sell your gold at the same value?  Yes. Does gold have stable and consistent historical returns? No. But….if you act now we will give you a free safe!

Headline:  Latest Warning Sign for Markets: A Possible ‘Earnings Recession’ (New York Times)

Candid Remarks from the Author:  I will show you a bunch of impossible economic data you won't understand..... analysts expect earnings to rise by just 1.2%…. Wall St. analysts are slashing forecasts…. The financial community expects an earnings recession….

Granted, I don’t know what the stock market will do.  If these analysts could accurately predict stock market changes, they would live on a private island. People from around the world would fly there, bow at their feet, and beg them to handle their portfolios.

Headline:  Emerging markets are red hot right now. Three investments for the rest of 2023 (CNBC)

Candid Remarks from the Author:  Is investing in something "red hot" smart?  Probably not. Can investing in Brazilian stocks and Mexican bonds be profitable?  Sure. Is it appropriate for most investors? Well…..

I realize that long-term disciplined investing is extremely effective.  The truth is- we don’t have enough news articles on the website this week. We thought the headline sounded compelling, and we’re competing for "clicks."

Headline:  Want to Be a Millionaire?  Stocks Made it Harder. (USA Today)

Candid Remarks from Author:  This article talks about how people who had close to a million dollars in their 401k last year found their balances dropping below a million dollars due to poor market performance.

So stocks made it harder to be a millionaire, right?  Now that I think about it, how is this even a story?! My headline is extremely misleading.  I feel guilty for making it seem that stocks, with hundreds of years of consistent success, seem like a bad idea.

We are USA Today!  We are a respected news organization.  Why are we using "clickbait?"  Times in the newspaper industry are tough….  you’ve got to do what you can to survive.


I apologize for my snarkiness. This kind of reporting is poor for your financial health.  Countless times, hard-working Americans see their investments falter because they pay too much attention to Fake Financial News.

Remember that 20 years ago, the financial news machine didn’t even exist.  Investors did just fine without it.  Fake Financial News does nothing but muddy the waters, create confusion and fear, and hurt long-term returns.

Remember that according to a long-term study by Dalbar Inc, investor returns are far below actual market returns. In fact, over the past 30 years, the stock market has returned an average of 10%. The return for an average investor? 4%.

Ignore the headlines.  Stick to your plan. Watch videos about kittens.  I believe it will give you just as much relevant information.  Plus all that cuteness will lift your spirits.

Be Blessed,


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