Economics can be frustrating

Some of economics can be frustrating because it is less objective than, say, math. But I would suggest that finance and statistics are just as frustrating. One financial analyst says that Microsoft is a buy and one says its a sell and they are both looking at the same data. Or what is worse, both rate it a strong buy because they are biased by their investment banking relationship and the average investor doesn’t know it!

It’s not proving a link between God and miracles. It’s about making decisions based on your view of the world. This is exactly why your source makes such a difference. My hope is that you haven’t made up your mind until you see the facts and you objectively view the situation from all points of view. The point isn’t to do battle over the analyses but to see through the bias in the analysis of others, get as much direct source information as possible, and use it so you can come to a more informed decision.

For example, many analysts rated dot-com’s a strong buy when anyone with their own brain saw that they weren’t earning any money. Following the heard cost a lot of people a lot of money.

And your opinion has to be more important than ANYone else’s as it’s what you are going to base your decisions on. Do you expand inventories or do you contract them? Do you issue new debt now or later? Do you acquire that competitor now or wait? These are the types of decisions you will be faced with eventually if you aren’t already.

Maybe a more concrete example would help. I think it’s wrong to buy long term bonds now because interest rates are likely going to rise and therefore their price will fall. I also think its a great time to issue long term debt for a company. At least refinance existing debt. I base this decision on my opinion of the market, not anyone on CNN or CNBC. I may very well be wrong, at least in the near term, and I am still looking for signs from the market that may change my mind.

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