Things I Don’t Care About — And Neither Should You!!

One of the biggest challenges for investors is filtering out bad, useless, or even costly “information.”  I have a method for screening out the noise and using my time more effectively.  Part of it is keeping the TV on mute and using TIVO to check out anything that is really significant.  You can also just skip articles that obviously do not meet the test.

Here is a good starting list of what to ignore.  Feel free to suggest additions.

  • The Hindenburg Omen – or any other method using BO (i.e. backtested overfitting) and failing the smell test.
  • Commentary from people who are famous for being famous – their websites confuse media appearances with credentials.
  • Tobin’s Q – a great idea fifty years ago, but not relevant for modern companies.
  • Bond guys opinions about stocks – don’t ask your barber if you need a haircut (Warren Buffett)
  • Stock guys opinions about bonds – see above.
  • PMI data lacking multiple business cycles – you have to start somewhere, but we do not need to believe it.
  • Recession predictions from some “expert” who cooked up a model last week – too few cases, too many variables.

You can save many hours and also avoid some bad decisions by rejecting this useless and harmful noise.

You may also like


  • Rod Georgiu October 25, 2016  

    How about”no recession in sight”from people that recently cooked up a model?

    • oldprof October 25, 2016  

      Rod — Sure. Any weak models are open to question. I never see this sort, however. Maybe it just isn’t newsworthy unless there is a recession warning. Do you have anything specific in mind?

      Thanks for joining in.


  • Don Perrine October 25, 2016  

    Jeff, I learned these lessons the hard way. Based on my experience, anyone who follows this advice is taking a shortcut to better results with lower stress. Thank you for your quality information and sound advice.

    • oldprof November 7, 2016  

      Thanks, Don!


  • Joost Bakker October 30, 2016  

    All commentary starting with “this chart just looks like…..”. Another case of few cases, many variables.

    • oldprof November 7, 2016  

      Joost — This is not correct. The methods are derived from thousands of cases and tested on thousands of others. You are only seeing the product.

      I appreciate the comment. I clearly need to write more about this.