In investment management where you spend much of your time reading, gathering and analyzing information. The trustworthiness and reliability of news and information is vital to your success. The same is true for all investors. You need reliable and trustworthy information to make informed investment decisions.
The ugly reality is that it is getting harder and harder to find sources you can trust. The decline of print media has eroded the quality of many of the best print publications. The Wall Street Journal announced earlier this month that due to an accelerating industrywide decline in print advertising, it had to combine multiple sections of its newspaper, cut back on coverage, and lay-off staff.
The Wall Street Journal is one of the leading papers in the country. What does this say about the rest of the industry?
Declining quality of coverage isn’t the only problem though. During the election, Wikileaks broke the story that some in the news media effectively acted as surrogates for the Clinton campaign. Many may have already suspected a liberal bias from the media, but if you had been under the impression that journalists’ opinions were limited to the Op-ed section of the paper, this is a disturbing revelation.
We are also now reading about the proliferation of fake news content across the internet. Facebook, Google, and Twitter are all coming under fire for allowing fictional news content to show up on their sites.
What were once trusted sources of quality news and information have been compromised by bias and a promotional motivation.
Where does that leave you? If you want an information source you can trust, you are probably going to have to pay more for it. There is no other model that better aligns the interests of its subscribers with the interest of the publisher, than a 100% subscription supported model.
The era of ad supported print media is undoubtedly dying. What takes its place? A free, unruly, and potentially unreliable, internet will fill much of the void, but niche premium publications that focus on quality and accountability will also gain favor in this new environment.
For self-directed investors, these publications will become a necessity. For those investors who turn to an advisor, well, financial news and information are one less thing to worry about.
Jeremy Jones, CFA
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