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Living in a post-fact world? September 21, 2008

Posted by shaferfinancial in Uncategorized.
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There have been much commentary and books written about how easy people find it to ignore inconvenient facts. “True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society” by Farhad Manjoo is a great account of this phenomenon.  Many, including this author, point their fingers at the web as starting this process.  However, I think it goes back much farther than this.  After all, scientists have always had their critics, long after their discoveries had moved from theory to established fact (Think Darwin!).

Currently, much of the critique is centered on politicians and voters.  Politicians lie and we don’t care seems to be the refrain.  OK, tell us something we don’t know!  But even more insidious is the constant bombardments of lies coming to us on a daily basis from industry.  I think if I have to look at another commercial from an oil company or domestic car manufacturer telling me they are really environmental friendly I will barf! 

So when I tell you that Wall Street is lying to you, many people will sluff that off as “tell me something I didn’t know!”  But, the point is that the lies of Wall Street are going to impoverish you when you can least afford it.  If I sound strident at times, it is because I know that you can do better with your finances.  It is because I know you can learn to differentiate financial fact from fiction.  On this Sunday morning before I take my son to Sunday School, I am going to repeat a chart from yesterday to drive home the point.  Once again, I am not a brilliant stock picker, nor lucky, only made a decision to look at facts instead of fictions!

 

For the last year, HCN up 25% (+6% dividends), Berkshire Hathaway up 10%, S & P 500 down 18%.

My portfolio up around 15% mutual funds down around 20%, a 35% difference!

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