I hadn't planned on doing a piece this morning as we're having a great stay in Boston, but a peek at Barron's today got my blood boiling.
And just when I make a momentary vow in Friday night's video to take a hiatus from advisory and guru bashing, Barron's (the only after-hours market reading I ever do, and even that's limited to two sections so as not to inject a variable which could mess with my head) leads today's edition with "Cramer's Star Outshines His Stock Picks".
The article provides an extensive analysis of Mr. Hype's abysmal performance results, includes the quote, "The only regrettable thing about any of this is that CNBC and Cramer won't meaningfully discuss how his advice pans out", and goes on to reference various staunch defenses of Mr. Hype's actions by CNBC which included severely restricting Barron's access to both the network and the hype machine.
And while I agreed with much of the content, I took significant exception to the following quote: "IT IS RARE THAT ANYONE BEATS (their caps, not mine) the market over time, so there is no disgrace in the underperformance of Mad Money's stocks. Barron's then goes on to admit that even their "picks" were wrong.
No disgrace? No disgrace?? [as my wife wonders why my face just turned beet red]
Here we go again.
Here's my rebuttal.
I remain sick and tired about how "accepting" most in society are of mediocre performance. In schools, we dumb down education to the lowest common denominator such that those with the potential to make a huge difference in this world are encouraged to underperform. We give everyone awards at the end of the year for "participation", so as not to exclude anyone from "feeling good" about themselves, including below-average Johnnie who skips out of school yet whose parents are head of the PTA.
We then take this concept and continue it in the adult world where everyone continues to believe that "average" -- or far worse in this case -- is also acceptable. If we were to believe the continual written and visual financial press, we're to believe that everyone should be making money only if everyone else is. If the market is down, we all should be down ... and you'd better not be up for fear of skewing the curve. Sounds just like 9th grade science.
I could write for days on this, as it attacks one of my strongest-held core beliefs that we should neither listen to the screaming hype-machine masses that are only looking out for their own individual interests and pocketbooks, nor accept the strengthening standard of mediocrity in this world. It's as if we've completely lost the ability to think for ourselves which brings us full circle back to "Johnnie" needing self-interest snake oil "gurus" to tell him what to do when he's an adult -- at least in body.
Here's a novel concept ... how about if we all get off our asses, think for ourselves, roll up our sleeves, and take some responsibility for self-improvement so that the bar eventually gets raised for everyone?? My wife is cheering.
Yes, it is a disgrace.
A disgrace that none of us should accept.
We need far more Bamboos and fewer Bonsais.