Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Information Overload

I've read Ken Fisher's columns and books for awhile. He's taken a lot of heat for being way too bullish and was wrong in 2008. But very few people truly put themselves out there and own up to it when they're wrong. I see it every time I watch financial television, the bring on somebody who has be terribly wrong, and they won't own up to it. Instead their touting their next theme, blah, blah, blah. Fisher has owned up to the fact he was wrong, and continues on.

In his recent Forbes column, a paragraph jumped out at me regarding information overload in today's age:

In the early days I promoted the idea of spending time in libraries to gain facts that other investors didn't have. Not many people did that kind of research, so it worked. We have a reverse problem now: too much information that's too accessible and not too reliable. There's a lot of mischief and manipulation on the Internet, masquerading as fact or as casual commentary. Beware.

This is a big problem in the Internet investing age. So much information is at our fingertips. So much of it is worth ignoring, but its there nonetheless, and I think it weighs on our decision making. If you look at a service like StockTwits, you should think about filtering out some of the more reliable posters and only follow them. Otherwise you get massive amounts of information and who knows where its coming from.

In the end, I'll take the extra information. The ability to find information is endless and that can be great if you know what to look for. Just get educated, and be picky with who you trust.

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