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Getting advice on the internet? November 22, 2009

Posted by shaferfinancial in Finance.

Don’t do it.  There I said it.  But for fun, I sometimes look around the internet for what goes as financial advice.

See this thread at Bogleheads.

Here a poster asks about an investing formula she found in a book [great book by the way].  The reactions are of course predictable because the forum she posted it on has an ideology of indexed mutual funds and asset allocation formulas.  Anything else is “nonsense” in their world.  But note, the people responding have no clue as to what the strategy is.  They assume much, but know little.  Fact is, the formula in the book [and supported by a web-site] is a value investing formula they could have been lifted off the pages of Ben Graham’s investing books that spawned the greatest investors of the 20th century.  Not that I am saying everyone should follow “The Magic Formula,”  but at least understand the stuff you are criticizing :-).  The worse part is this web site is suppose to be one of the best places for financial investing advice!

Better to educate yourself over time, read widely in the subject, give greater emphasis to people who have in public [Like Greenblatt the author of the book and Warren Buffett another well known value investor] made superior returns, and come to a well earned understanding of investing than go to a web site [any website including this one] for your advice.

Postscript:  I see someone has actually posted some truth on the post at Boglehead.  Pretty much shut down the snarky comments except for a couple of folks who can’t see the truth because they are “true believers” in the bogglehead strategies that says no one can beat the market!



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