Monday, June 27, 2011

Bad Financial Advice

AccountingDegree.Com recently posted "10 Financial Gurus Who've Given Terrible Advice," a short piece that nails almost all the biggies for providing the masses with advice ranging from silly (buy a commode instead of a toilet) to expensive (buy stocks! in 2001, 2007-8, etc.). Simon Constable (my co-author on The WSJ Guide to the 50 Economic Indicators That Really Matter, out since May and doing pretty darn well) and myself are not mentioned, perhaps because our book is too new but, more fundamentally, because we offer a different type of product. Instead of pretending we are gurus with special information or knowledge that we deign to share with the average American, we take the role of teachers, carefully explaining how investors can learn about the economy for themselves. Ultimately, our advice is not that investors should follow blindly the advice of purported gurus but rather that they look at and understand for themselves the cues that the economy constantly spews out. The book tries to demystify the economy in general and investing in particular, thus inoculating investors against the sometimes dumb advice of Donald Trump, Bernie Madoff, Jim Kramer, and so forth.

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