Extreme Opinions

In the world we live in today, we are inundated with 24 hour news and information from more sources than ever before.  New gadgets and devices continue to roll out to capture our attention with fascinating technologies.

Smartphones and other portable devices allow the user to stay connected from even the most remote locations.  Social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook have amplified the chatter to a level that no one would have dreamed of at the beginning of the millennium.

A troubling byproduct of this flood of information is the ease with which extreme messages are being propagated.  From cable news shows to the blog-o-sphere, we are being bombarded with ideological beliefs that are driven mostly by emotion and have little use for facts.  During turbulent times especially, irrational views can become pervasive because they touch emotional nerves that otherwise would not be as sensitive.

A Ratings Game

Avoid Extremes
Avoid Extremes

Larger than life persona’s on both ends of the spectrum do their best to keep us all in a constant state of anxiety because they know that if we are provoked enough we will continue to tune in.  The name of the game is ratings, because higher ratings translate into higher advertising revenue.

Glenn Beck and Michael Moore are polar opposites on the political sphere, but they have more in common than either one of them would care to admit.  The challenge they face is trying to blend editorial content within a format that is meant to entertain.  They both endeavor to create an emotional response in their audiences by enhancing certain aspects of the subject matter while leaving important details out that would possibly cause a different reaction.

Motivation that was born of their formative experiences is altered by a cycle of capitalistic one-upmanship that can distort even the purest of intentions.

Unfortunately, blurring of the lines between truth and fiction in the information landscape is all too common, and often the consequence for the consumer is drawing a conclusion without having heard the full story.

Separating Fact from Fiction

Keeping fact separated from emotion is an important part of our job and something that we spend a great deal of time doing.  A healthy dose of skepticism is necessary, as we have found that even the most respected source of information can often be influenced by their biases.

We employ various methods, such as quantitative research, to enhance the opinions and analysis gathered from our trusted sources.  We also talk to people in our industry as well as our clients to get a perspective as to how others are experiencing the economy.

There is no easy solution to charting the course that we feel will provide the best opportunity for success.  By remaining consistently disciplined in a long-term approach to investing, we believe that we can gain an advantage by filtering out the noise.

Photo Credit : truthout.org

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