The Experts

By -

At the risk of seeming obsessed, I've got to vent a bit more about a certain well-known organization that makes a lot of money selling financial publications.

I used to run their ads here, but I decided a while ago I could not in good conscience run those ads anymore since the opinions emanating from the aforementioned house seemed – to put it kindly – unhelpful.

I happened to run across one of their missives from 14 months ago. It was stating that precious metals were about to plunge hard, and this sentiment has been repeated pretty much constantly ever since. Here's a quote from the August 2009 publication and a graph of the gold spot price to put things in context.

1013-gold

At the beginning of this year, there was a prominent headline in boldface type in the January issue of one of their principal publications. It was as follows, and a quote of the financial-based ETF symbol IYF is shown with it.

1013-runaway

My point in this isn't to diss a firm that has made (countless) bad calls. Lord knows I've been off the mark a lot this year. My points are twofold: (a) I respect an organization or a person a lot more if they will, at least occasionally, prominently state how they have screwed up royally; (b) please don't put a lot of stock in "experts", no matter how popular or well-read they are.

After all, if a firm makes 500 predictions, and one of them comes true, you can milk that one good prediction in your advertisements for years to come. You don't have to tout the 499 misses that were printed alongside the one exception.

Slopers are collectively a trustworthy bunch. Learn from them. But as for the rest of the world – – – take it with a grain of salt.