Every time I see headlines about future budget deficits, I keep telling myself “that is a weather forecast!” Most folks read the headline, perhaps scan the first paragraph, proceed to get bummed out and turn on the NCAA Tournament.
Just drill down into this a bit. The forecast is for a $9 trillion deficit to amass between now and the next ten years. Ten years!
Ten years ago, we were all worrying about Y2K. Remember?
Buried in the next-to-last paragraph was this little golden nugget. Read this whopper: “Long-term deficit predictions have proven notoriously fickle — George W. Bush inherited flawed projections of a 10-year, $5.6 trillion surplus and instead produced record deficits — and if the economy outperforms CBO’s expectations, the deficits could prove significantly smaller.”
There is so much ink spilled every day in the financial media that is essentially nothing more than predictions, or a public relations spot for something else. Unfortunately many of the PR and predictions become headlines. Our decisions can be swayed by too many headlines that are merely predictions or opinions. I’ve come to the conclusion everything written by the financial media has an agenda attached to it. Or said another way, everything written by the financial media is intended to make you do precisely the wrong thing.
I cannot help but laugh when I see some “expert” interviewed about the stock market, and the excuses/reasons given why markets went up or down that day. “The market is worried about inflation.” Later the same week “deflationary fears rattled the market.” Look, the market is not that smart — or that “forward-looking.”
Don’t get hung up on the Dow Jones. The Dow Jones may not be a “relevant” yardstick for you to use. After all, it’s only 30 stocks…and you might not own ANY of them. And avoid predictions and projections. It’s just a waste of time.