Popular Media Investing Advice—and Why You Should Avoid It

David Gaffen

Smart Money and Fortune covers tap into the fascination that exists with stock picking that isn’t going to go away, no matter how bad a bear market comes to hammer the financially uneducated. Picking names out of a hat (which the Wall Street Journal famously did for years, looking at how a dartboard portfolio did against actual money managers) is interesting; it drives sales of magazines, and it provides investors with some kind of hope that they can accomplish the elusive goal that we fail at—to defeat the market’s average, to come out in front, by getting a few investments right. When you think about it, trying to come up with a bunch of stocks that will outperform isn’t ...

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