Financial Media – History or Hysteria?


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Part 7 of our Back to Basics Series

Turn on the news, read the papers or scroll through your newsfeed. Do you end up feeling confused, fearful, or anxious about the future? Welcome to the distraction economy – “if it bleeds, it leads!”

The biggest obstacle to overcome is the financial media, which preys on our emotions and fears. This media hysteria causes many to be distracted by headlines, noise and negativity rather than focusing on truth, logic, and data. Your anxiety level goes off the charts and can cause you to sabotage your long term goals, swayed by the noise. This violates the very trust we often place in the media as a voice of reason and truth.

We know that emotions play an important role in many of our decisions. This often works against us, especially when our fears and emotions are being exploited. We must remember that the media is a business that makes money from advertising when they are able to grab our attention.

Let’s take a look at events that have hit the headlines since 1970 and compare them with what actually happened to the stock market in the long run. The following picture tells a great story:

Progressing toward your long-term goals requires focus, direction, and discipline. Don’t be swayed by the things that are trying to steal your attention. Try to think critically about the messages and headlines that you see and look past the headlines by engaging your financial advisors in the conversation.