Last night I watched John Stewart’s program where Jim Cramer of CNBC was put on the hot seat. Through this program the single thought that resonated within my mind is that Financial advice should be dull, boring and pragmatic. The culture of making important long term investment decisions should not be based on ranting, or entertainment but on solid fiscal information. I have to admit that I really enjoyed the grilling, and the pointing out of what seems to be the duality of the system of them and us. For the longest time ‘we’ as in the common hard working people have been sponsors of a lifestyle and attitude that determines benefit and bonus not through real world success, but through perceived success, over inflating, and manipulating the market.
The fact that Jim could come on and try to rebuff the accusations, and find himself falling completely short with capability. Jim was called out and from what I could see, rightly so. I would hope that others would also be called out to ensure that the people who watch and believe that what they are watching is information that is the best interest of the general population. However it seems to be targeted to the select few who fill their own internal coffers. I really believe it and expect that there is not easy path to getting wealthy. Its a mix of hard work, sweat, tears and pain that allows you to get ahead. If its easy then there is something that is amiss, if extraordinary promises are made chances its not a real tangible and sustainable situation. I honestly do not watch CNBC much, I had through the presidential race, but I am starting to find that the reporting on most of these stations are biased one way or another. Simply put most reporting as gotten to the point of requiring the element of entertainment/sensationalism due to the ongoing pressures of advertising dollars. Splashy screens and over promising tag lines to prop up viewer ship seem to be the norm. These in my opinion are a misrepresentation of truthfulness.
I am in no way a journalist nor a financial expert . I spend my days punching on a keyboard and writing code. I will not speak of my personal methods of saving/investing because quite frankly it is personal. I do want to point out however that the advice that we see on TV does not provide the deep and pragmatic thought required to plan for the future. I would love to see a separation from the financial news and the organizations they cover, to ensure that there is no vested interest in the success of the underlying organizations. How really is it possible for these cable companies to offer unbiased information when they themselves have such a vested interest in the market, and their employees as well. I am not a fan of the SCC and its methodologies as I believe that entertainment should be managed by free speech and choice but I do think that any show that wants to say they are a Financial reporting show, should be regulated and have to follow rules of disclosure, and how they advertise themselves.
These are tough times, and the last thing we need is more of the same. Lets call out our financial experts and make them accountable to providing truthful evaluations. To stop the marketing of a brand and to give real world advice that benefits everyone.