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« ETF Update: Time to Diversify? | Main | Sell in September? Time for Reality! »

August 31, 2009



I find it hard to believe that the people making these charts do not realize the con they are trying to pull. So, why make them, and disseminate them, when they know that other knowledgeable people will think them stupid? To make money, like everything. I can think of three ways:

1. To sell systems to the gullible (but this will have the data behind a pay-for wall and is easily seen).
2. To sell books or generate web traffic. Dogs of the Dow would be an example of the former, whereas the Foolish Four would be an example of the latter. There are blackjack books that give out important information that is worth the cost of the book. Probably the same is true of investment books and sites. But there is also a ton of garbage out there.
3. To get people to trade with you. You put out false or misleading data hoping to get retail investors to trade one way, with you trading the other. Only if you expect to make a lot of money would you take the reputation hit. Possibly, if it works, your reputation with your insiders will grow even if your reputation with others falls. An example of this would be the fact you only hear gold investing commercials on Bloomberg at gold market tops.


If only people just stuck to looking at Bangladesh's butter production.

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