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Real Times News Will Not Increase Your Bankroll

Another explanation as to why real time news is useless:

Mike Bloomberg became the richest man in New York by selling traders just fifteen seconds head start on the data they needed. Fifteen seconds costs thousands of dollars a month per trader. But in most cases, what we get online is not actually in real-time and it’s not news, either.

Getting ever closer to the first moment is expensive in other ways. It might cost you in boredom, because watching an entire event just to see the good parts takes time, particularly if there’s no guarantee that there will even be good parts.

It might cost you in filtering, because the less you’re willing to wait, the more likely it is that you’ll see news that’s incorrect, out of context or not nearly as valuable as it appears.

When journalists, analysts and pundits are all racing to bring you the ‘news’ first, you get less actual news and more reflexive noise. Go watch an hour of cable news from a year ago… what were they yelling about that we actually care about today?

And, it turns out, the five minute head start you got from watching that news live has no real value to make up for all the costs that go with it.

On the other hand, if you can figure out how to bring actual, interesting, useful breaking ‘news’ to those that will pay for it, you can provide quite a profitable and beloved service.

In the last ten years we’ve redefined breaking news from “happened yesterday” to “happened less than fifteen seconds ago.” The next order of magnitude will be prohibitively expensive and (most of the time) not particularly useful. Better, I think, to hustle in the other direction and figure out how to benefit from well-understood truth instead of fast and fresh rumor.

Shout to Seth Godin for words of wisdom not intended to buttress trend following, but damn well do.

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Posted in Holy Grails
One comment on “Real Times News Will Not Increase Your Bankroll
  1. Jim Rohrbach says:

    you don’t need news to be a successful investor. All you need to do is follow what the market does. It is always right and it tells you every day what it did, after the close. I have been timing the stock market for over 40 years and I do not let the news or predictions influence my decisions. Just go with the trend and do not take big losses. Some say I am the Best Market Timer. Check me out.

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