Blogs, podcasts, videos, books, webinars, articles, newspapers …the amount of financial commentary published these days is staggering.
The volume of news and analysis could be cut by 90% and it would still be completely overwhelming.
So how do you make use of it all?
As a property commentator who spends an embarrassing amount of time sifting through news, here are a few things I’ve learned over the years.
1. Read things you know you’re going to disagree with
Since Google is keen to take you down a rabbit warren where you’ll only find more content like you’ve already read, this makes you vulnerable to something called “confirmation bias.”
This is when you start with an answer, and then dig for information that backs it up.
This is really dangerous because once you find someone else who agrees with you, you become more convinced that you are right.
But think about it…it’s not really hard to find someone who agrees with you about virtually anything.
I see this all the time when inexperienced investors find a property they “love” and then work backwards looking for data to confirm the (emotional) decision they’ve already made.
To prevent you being a victim of confirmation bias I suggest you look for counter arguments to things like the investment strategy you’re planning to employ.
At worst, you’ll continue along the path you were heading. At best you gain a perspective you’d never thought of before.
2. Read old news
If you spent some time reading last year’s news one thing you’d learn from history is that we don’t learn from history.
Read enough old news and you quickly realise three things:
- The real value in those articles which are forecasting the future of our property markets or the economy comes months or years after they are published when you see how hopelessly inaccurate they were.
- The majority of predictions never come close to being true. Just look at all those forecasts of our real estate markets collapsing made a year ago.
- Most of what we think is important news at the time is really trivial in the long term. Sure these short term influences seem important at the time, but it’s really the solid fundamentals and long term trends you should be focussing on.
Once you realise this, you react differently to today’s news.
You may even be completely cured of following the financial news.
3.It’s not the media’s job to educate you.
While professional journalists will always try to be accurate, I’ve found that when it comes to the fields of economy, finance and property many of the journalists really lack perspective which leads to them easily being influenced by media releases from “want to be experts” chasing a headline.
Then they have deadlines, quotas and the need to get eyeballs on their articles as their organisations have already sold this space and this makes them susceptible to turning non-news into something that sounds really important.
4. Don’t think every news story is actionable
While there are thousands of news articles, bogs, podcasts and videos published every day; very, very few of them should ever compel you into action.
Most financial news should, at best, be treated as something that incrementally helps you understand the big picture.
If you find yourself tempted to take action after reading the news, do your future self a favour and read less of it.
Here’s what you could do instead…
If you’re keen to take advantage of the new property cycle you can trust the team at Metropole to provide you with direction, guidance and results.
We’ll steer you through the “fake news.”
Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned property investor, we would love to help you formulate an investment strategy or do a review of your existing portfolio, and help you take your property investment to the next level.
In “interesting” times like we are currently experiencing you need an advisor who takes a holistic approach to your wealth creation and that’s what you exactly what you get from the multi award winning team at Metropole.
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