An excess of content and data are two things that were probably not thought too much about 20 years ago. Today this certainly isn’t the case, and if you’re not aware of it, that doesn’t mean you’re not feeling the brunt of the overload’s force. Content is everywhere, especially investing driven content. Millions of data points are floating in the sea of information waiting for you to pluck them out. Overloads are dangerous. In this case, the overload of investment content and data is particularly dangerous because it has the potential to do the opposite of overloading your net worth.
Are you bullish? Are you bearish? Are you neutral? Do you want to find support for your position? No problem, because you’ll find plenty opinions in all directions you search. Plus, since we are awash in articles and tweets about the direction of the market, the best way to standout is the be as flashy as possible. What’s going to catch your eye in order to drive you to my site? The more clicks, the more eyeballs, the more ads, the more engagement, the more profit. Most sites, investor related or not, are in the business of paying the bills and making money (socking). Heck, I’m even selling two books on this site in hopes to cover annual operating expenses!
The point is that at a certain level greater content does not help promote the greater good of your portfolio. It actually makes things more confusing. In an effort to grab your attention opinions, and the data to support them, often get more radicalized in order to capture your attention. The existence of the technological advances around us have yet to change what we call human nature.
What’s an investor to do? Well, if you’ve done a stock screen before, you can apply such an analogy to what you should develop for your investment news and data gathering process. First, focus on a few sources that you know will provide you with a baseline of thought. For example, you may use an aggregator news site, such as www.realcearlmarkets.com to provide you with a general overview of the breath of market opinion. Then you may use a few specific sites for investment ideas or more focused investment discussions. The Wall Street Journal/Barrons or Investors Business Daily come to mind as two heavyweights in that field. Lastly for your data collection and analysis, you should focus on using the tools at your disposal within your trading platform or a finance sub site on Yahoo or Google (finance.yahoo.com / finance.google.com).
Selecting one site from the three areas above is going to provide with more content on a daily basis than you probably have time to read and review. Three content providers can easily overload you. Think about the thousands of other content providers that want your attention. You would be (and might be right now) overwhelmed with the millions of voices shouting a million different messages your way. How would you possibly be able to make a sound investment decision with wave after wave of information smashing you in the face? You can’t.
Structure and process are key when defining your investment strategy and developing a routine to enable you to succeed with whatever strategy you choose. Don’t let the waves of information push you around. Your the captain of your investment vessel.