Say What You Want About CNBC …

Posted on Jul 2 2015 - 11:40am by Sharpe Trade

Let me start off this little piece, by saying that if I am going to watch financial media?  I prefer to watch Bloomberg.  As a matter of fact, I have it broadcasting on the monitor next to me at the moment.  

So, that being said up-front …

There is something I have noticed over the years.  It seems that many new retail traders seem to want to ‘prove’ some sort of ‘business and investing savvy’ by cutting into CNBC.   As if everyone who works with, or anywhere near CNBC, are a pack of idiots.

“Idiots” specifically, being the word that they like to throw around a lot.

Their favorite target seems especially to be Jim Cramer.

Personally, I believe much of the reason they do this is that such retail traders suffer from the Dunning-Kruger effect.

But let me begin with Jim Cramer. Let’s keep in mind, that much of what Jim does, is about entertainment.  That’s all debatable and completely subjective.  It’s not really my ‘bag of tea’ so to speak, but I realize that’s just me.  

Remember … I prefer to watch Bloomberg.  

Regardless, let’s zero in on investment and trading concepts.  What’s odd about all of the criticism leveled at Jim? Is that the criticisms are against his short-term trading prowess. There’s only one problem with that. Jim himself states that he is an absolutely horrendous short-term trader. He sucks at it, and he himself says he sucks at it.  So I really don’t understand all of the criticism leveled at a skill that he says he doesn’t possess.  Myself?  I wouldn’t take a trade based off his television show if my life depended on it.  But if I recall correctly, when it comes to his own portfolio, he’s more of a large to mega-cap guy, longer time-frames. And make no mistake … it takes very little time as you listen to Jim before you realize that when it comes to the fundamental story of most any company out there, the guy is as sharp as a tack.  I pride myself on my memory, but his ability to rattle off facts, strategies and metrics on near any company that is brought up in conversation is impressive.  

Moving on …

Yes, many thoughts broadcast on CNBC, are ideas with which I may heavily disagree, or ideas that I think are silly.  

As I said, I prefer to watch Bloomberg.

However, much of that can be attributed to the fact that they bring on guests, and guests have their own thoughts, ideas and opinions.  So “CNBC” did not tell you to buy a Russian ETF, or a Greek ETF.  Some two-bit guest they interviewed said it was a good idea, that guest never came back because of it; and they have to constantly scour for people to give an opinion and every single side of the equation in what is basically a “Buy”, “Sell” or “Hold” business.

CNBC has aired some television shows recently that I think are not only good, but are needed in the space of investing and trading education.  I have lamented … for years … that knowledge regarding  basic business operations is sorely lacking within the United States.  And CNBC seems to be addressing this problem in a fun, interesting and entertaining way.

The first show to do this was “Shark Tank”.  Various entrepreneurs are offered the opportunity to pitch their idea to the ‘sharks’ as potential investors.  I don’t watch it a lot, simply because I’m not much into the venture capital scene.  Especially to watch other people’s ideas pitched to investors.  It just never interested me.  It’s sort of like watching the NFL draft take place.   That’s just me, and my own individual tastes.  But that there exists a television show that broadcasts education regarding business?  Profit Margins?  Gross Sales?  Cash Flow?  That … I appreciate.

Another show has caught my eye as of late.

CNBC’s “The Profit”, with Marcus Lemonis.  This is a series that I actually find interesting, and I watch it whenever I can. Mr. Lemonis offers his expertise to struggling small businesses around the country in exchange for an ownership stake in the company.  Rather than concepts being ‘pitched’, we watch Mr. Lemonis ‘working the day to day problems’, ‘in the trenches’ so to speak.   Educating business owners as to the importance of record-keeping.  Profit Margins.  Strategy.  Cash flow.  I watched one episode, and although the exact terminology was not used, what he was doing was trying to convince the couple of the wisdom behind vertical integration as it would apply to their business.

So … say what you want about CNBC, but personally?  I think shows like “Shark Tank” and “The Profit” are extremely educational and productive as they address the dearth of knowledge in the United States when it comes to basic business operation.

1 Comment so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. NewLife July 10, 2015 at 10:38 am - Reply

    As I get more acquainted with the markets,I’m less apt to outright criticize mainstream media, though I still do have some complaints about it.

    Certainly the hosts of many of those shows are anything but stupid, and as you said, there are some who are like walking encyclopedias of company fundamentals.

    The issue often times is more about how useful their info is for what you’re doing. I’ve found that opinions in general seem to taint my own views and I do worse the more I hear.

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