Charlatans, Tramps and Thieves

It’s hard to remember when the world of online investment opinions didn’t exist. Nobody knew or cared what the individual was buying or selling. Opinions were reflected in the price of a stock.

But since the late 1990s the internet has fostered an unlimited array of charlatans, cranks, fools and so-called gurus. Today, any idiot can shout his own stupidity. Much of this is nonsense but the noise is deafening to everyone and confusing to many.

There was the need for more information because Wall Street did a miserable job of getting the word out to investors. But, for the most part, the information vacuum that was created has been filled with haters, screamers and shouters. Granted there are some nuggets amidst the garbage, but the effluent predominates.

Blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and the other social media outlets are full of analysis, predictions and cries of pending doom. The vast majority are pointless forecasts. Perma-Bulls and Perma-Bears coexist in the never-ending circus that serious investors avoid. No one remembers their absurd calls. But again, the noise is deafening.

Smart investors know that online opinion is garbage. There’s no accountability, no performance review and no regulation. Caveat Emptor couldn’t be more applicable.