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Investing Based on Headlines


Holy Toledo, Batman! According to this July 4, 2022 article JP Morgan (a bank everyone has heard of) says oil prices could surge 240%!!! We better sell everything and buy oil stocks, right? Done! No wait, what's this article the very NEXT day, by the SAME author...



Now Citigroup says oil prices are going to "tumble" to $65/barrel (about 40% when this article was written). Sell all those oil stocks we bought yesterday!


Dear reader, this is why we don't invest solely based on what we read in the newspaper (or online). And why trying to figure out the markets by pulling up a finance website every so often, or even every day, is not the answer. At least a few times a year clients will ask me about an article they read, often suggesting that we make changes to their portfolio based on it. And truly, I do not mind these conversations. But, in almost every instance, I try to steer them away from making that change, at least if it is based solely on a headline. Headlines are designed to sell newspapers and/or generate clicks. Here we see the same author on the same website write two articles, one day apart, and they say diametrically opposed things! To be fair, he is just reporting on the latest Wall St. investment bank's report, and that's fine (it's probably his job), but please, please make note of this. A story you read today may just be the precursor to the opposite story tomorrow.


Me? I'm looking at things like Commitment of Traders reports, sentiment surveys, fund flows, put/call ratios and how the market reacts to headlines like those seen above. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, you'll almost never see articles on mainstream websites about these things; they're just not easily digestible. So by all means, feel free to read the news. Just understand that I'm probably not reading the same news as you, or at the very least, I'm not reading it the same way that you are.

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