Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Credibility of financial blogs is questionable: Investment News

via the estimable Fintag .Yes, again. Yeah, I know he has a hedge fund. I read some of their blogs too. I never said they weren't smart!

So, what good is a financial blog? Why should you read any blog? Why should you allow yourself to possibly be influenced by anything you encounter, like a blog, or the New York Times, or Fox News? If some blogger has a discernible axe to grind, you should indeed factor that in as you are reading or viewing. Is there a sales pitch in what you read, even a veiled sales pitch?

My own intent, sincerely stated, is to warn folks of investing or personal finance mistakes, and bad deals. Sure, I'd like more clients for my fee-only investment advisory business, but I develop my business in other ways than through this blog. This blog, like Fintag, is anonymous. Getting introspective here, could I or other bloggers have other motivations, possibly questionable ones, which might work to the detriment of the reader or a third party? In my own case, I really don't see any. First, my readership is small, but presumably reasonably sophisticated in its outlook on things. If I "cry out", so to speak, against generic problems with a type of investment product, or against a client-unfriendly business practice in the financial services industry, one pretty good test of what I say is whether it is propositionally true. I know that I am by no means the only investment adviser around who wishes to run the most exemplary little shop to be found. If I were to describe the most desirable sort of adviser-client practices I know of, with some explanations or support information, noting that I am by no means the only one operating this way, is that a sales pitch in some way?

If you read a story in what has come to be known as the "MSM", the mainstream media, and find it to include subtle (or not so subtle,) editorial coloring, shading, texturing, etc., do you discount that, never forgetting the source, as you read? You really should.

A test: Can you take such media as the Financial Times, The Economist, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times, and the CBS News, et al, and conclude that there may be the same problem as the linked article alleges exists among bloggers?

Credibility of financial blogs is questionable - InvestmentNews



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