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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

How to read financial news

By Morgan Housel






JewishWorldReview.com | The amount of financial news published these days is staggering. The volume of news and analysis could drop 90 percent and still be completely overwhelming.

How do you make use of it all? As a financial writer who spends an embarrassing amount of time sifting through news, I have a few suggestions:

Read things you know you're going to disagree with. There is so much media content today that you can always find someone who agrees with you. Bullish on Apple? Thousands of writers are, too. Think the government is a giant conspiracy? There are countless blogs for that. Think the global recession was caused by celestial bodies falling out of alignment? I'm not kidding, folks -- there are blogs for that, too, and I'm doing you a favor by not telling you what they are.

The huge diversity of opinions makes readers vulnerable to something called "confirmation bias." It's when you start with an answer and then dig for information that backs it up. It's really dangerous, because once you find someone else who agrees with you, you become more convinced that you are right -- even though you can find someone who agrees with you about literally anything.



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In investing, Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger advocates the intellectual approach of Charles Darwin, who regularly tried to disprove his own theories. I'd recommend doing the same with financial news. You will probably learn the most from people with whom you disagree. They cause you to challenge your existing beliefs, many of which may be driven more by emotion than by fact.

You don't have to get crazy with this. But whenever you're convinced of a trend or a theory, go out of your way to read the counterargument. At worst, you continue to disagree with it. At best -- and frequently -- you gain a perspective you'd never thought of before.

Read old news. As "The Black Swan" author Nassim Taleb writes, "To be completely cured of newspapers, spend a year reading the previous week's newspapers."

It is treated as a given that old news loses value. I disagree. Reading old news can provide far more insight than current news.

Consider this, from a December 2008 Wall Street Journal article:

"Mr. Panarin posits, in brief, that mass immigration, economic decline and moral degradation will trigger a civil war next fall and the collapse of the dollar. Around the end of June 2010, or early July, he says, the U.S. will break into six pieces -- with Alaska reverting to Russian control ...

"California will form the nucleus of what he calls the 'Californian Republic' and will be part of China or under Chinese influence. Texas will be the heart of the 'Texas Republic,' a cluster of states that will go to Mexico or fall under Mexican influence. Washington, D.C., and New York will be part of an 'Atlantic America' that may join the European Union."

The value in these prediction-type articles -- which make up a big portion of financial news -- comes months or years after they are published, when you can see how hopelessly inaccurate they were.

Or take this headline from August 2011: "Dow falls 512 in steepest decline since '08 crisis."

That wasn't a bad prediction, of course. It's what actually happened, and it felt like a big deal at the time. But 1 1/2 years later, how many people still care about it? No one. The Dow Jones has regained all of its losses and then some. What seemed monumental then is irrelevant now. You gain that perspective only in hindsight.

These are both extreme examples. But read enough old news, and you quickly realize two things: The majority of predictions never come close to being true, and most of what we think is important news is trivial in the long run. Once you become convinced of this, you react differently to today's newspaper.

Read a mix of professional and amateur content. Professional journalists -- those at The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Financial Times and so on -- will always be more factually accurate, have better access to reputable sources and be able to dig deeper than most amateur bloggers.

But they also have deadlines, quotas and bosses with quarterly earnings to worry about. That makes them susceptible to turning non-news into something meant to sound important. The best examples are journalists ascribing reason to daily market moves. "Dow Falls on Profit-Taking," for instance. No one knows what that means.

On the other hand, amateur bloggers tend to write only when they have something meaningful to say (though there are exceptions). When stumped, they just don't publish anything, sometimes for days on end. It's no big deal. They answer only to readers, who demand quality and nothing else.

Ideally, you should read a healthy mix of both, never one or the other.

Don't think every news story is actionable. This might be the most important. Thousands of news articles are published every day. Few should compel you to action.

Quarterly earnings news stories rarely provide anything substantive enough to cause you to buy or sell. Same for industry trade news, analyst upgrades and downgrades and -- especially -- economic reports.

Most financial news should, at best, be treated as something that incrementally helps you understand the big picture.

Here's a short list of my favorite financial writers and websites (besides, of course, Fool.com):


  • Any half-serious investor should have a Wall Street Journal subscription. It covers 90 percent of relevant financial news.

  • Counterparties.com and AbnormalReturns.com are the best news aggregators.

  • For economic data, no one comes close to CalculatedRiskBlog.com.

  • Eddy Elfenbein (crossingwallstreet.com), Joshua Brown (thereformedbroker.com), Barry Ritholtz's The Big Picture (ritholtz.com) and FT Alphaville (ftalphaville.ft.com) consistently provide the best market-related content.

  • Read the columns by James Surowiecki of The New Yorker every month. Twice.

  • Derek Thompson of The Atlantic consistently writes thought-provoking pieces. Jonathan Weil of Bloomberg digs deeper than 99 percent of his journalist peers. Carl Richards of The New York Times is one of the best personal-finance writers in history -- no exaggeration. Robert Johnson of Morningstar writes a good weekly piece on the economy. They're well-written and data-driven.

  • Take 30 minutes every weekend to read The Economist. (Bonus tip: Narrate it in your head with a British accent and you'll feel smarter.)


Read on!

(Morgan Housel owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Berkshire Hathaway.)

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Morgan Housel, a columnist at The Motley Fool, is a two-time winner, Best in Business award, Society of American Business Editors and Writers and Best in Business 2012, Columbia Journalism Review.


Previously:


Housing: Partying like it's 1925

A rebuttal to student loan horror stories

CONGRATULATIONS: We just saved half a trillion dollars

End this crazy tax: It will boost the economy

Medicare: A dangerously good deal

Economic future looks bright

The Biggest Threat to Your Portfolio (It's Not What You Think)

Bond Market Bull Run dead at 30



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