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There are lots of other commentators in the market who want your time, attention and money. Chief executives want you to buy their company’s products as well as their stock; newsletter writers want your subscription dollars. Journalists want you to read their work (and tweet them, please). Headline writers want you to click on the article. Regulators want their budgets maintained or even raised. Politicians want to be re-elected.
Like a good trial lawyer, you must always question the obvious, and consider alternative explanations for what you read and hear. You can’t blindly accept everything you hear as truth, nor can you cynically reject everything. Being able to discern between what is valuable and who is truthful is a critical skill for investors.
Barry Ritholtz, a Bloomberg View columnist, is the founder of Ritholtz Wealth Management, an asset management and financial planning firm. He is a consultant at and former chief executive officer for FusionIQ, a quantitative research firm.
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.