By in Economics, Investing, Personal Finance

Do you Read the Wall Street Journal?

I love the Wall Street Journal. I read it every day and devour the “Money and Investing” section first! Fridays have me dreaming over the “Mansions” section. If you don’t have several million dollars to spend on a home, do what I do, enjoy window shopping. Bloomberg Businessweek and Money Magazine are also on my regular reading list. So which parts of these investing news publications are the most important? Read on and find out.

Take Business News with a Grain of Salt

Take Business News with a Grain of Salt

Do You Care About the Daily Ups and Downs of the Dow Jones Industrial Average?


I laugh when someone says to me, “The DOW was up 100 points or the NASDAQ fell 100 points”. In fact, here’s a quote from today’s WSJ:

“Stocks spent the day in a narrow band, with the DJIA finishing down 5.83 points, or less than 0.1%, at 15419.68.”

How does this information help me grow my wealth? It doesn’t, in fact it’s just noise.

Should I buy or sell based upon how the stock market indexes performed?

I’ve invested for decades and adhere to a balanced approach because the research supports the efficient market hypothesis (EMH). In general, the efficient market hypothesis alleges that in the short run, stock prices move randomly up and down. Over the long term, it is almost impossible to beat the returns of the market. Because the market rapidly incorporates most public information into stock prices. This means that stocks trade at their “fair value” and it is quite difficult to “beat” the market over time. (I know, there are market anomalies, but that’s for another article).

How to Read the Financial and Investment News

Here’s my advice when reading the financial news; keep abreast of major trends. I’m interested in new investment products such as the new Floating Rate Note from the US website.

There are certain news topics on which to focus. For example, be aware of worldwide market growth trends. For example, is growth in developing markets such as India, Brazil, and China waning? Or, is the European debt crisis coming to an end? If you hold individual stocks, keep abreast of the newest developments in the company and it’s market. But, don’t worry if the market goes up or down on a day to day basis. If you try to time the markets you will fail.

In sum, be an informed citizen of the world and the economies. Be an informed consumer of the business, economic, and investing news. Remember, everything printed is not worth your attention.

Barbara Recommends

If Money doesn’t Buy Happiness, What Exactly Does it Buy? at The Finance Buff. Why are we working so hard. A philosophical question for certain, but worth a read.

What’s the Meaning of NAV? at Wealth Pilgrim.  This is one of those investing articles I wish I’d written. Every investor needs to understand the Net Asset Value Concept and this is a great explanation, with images as well!

How I Live on Less Than $40,000 at Len Penzo. Len has a series of folks who live on less than 40K. Get inspired and motivated to live large on less. I love this series because it emphasizes living over consuming!

$500 Cash Giveaway at The College Investor. As if there’s not enough great stuff on this site, they are offering cash.

How to Maximize the Return of all of Your Financial Activities at Investor Junkie. Greater return = more money. This article gives you (for free) a great synopsis for maximizing your resources.

Take Some Money Off the Table and Book Profits at ETF Daily. Although I don’t advocate market timing, if you have some profits and expect to need some of your investment capital in the next five years or so, now might be a good time to trade some paper gains for real profit.

5 Ways to Get More Done by doing Less at blog. I’m obsessed with organization and productivity. I’ve been working on these items my whole life, you’d think I would be sick of these topics already. But guess what? It never hurts to revisit and learn more about time management and productivity.

Sometimes All You Need is Time Management at Money Smart Life. Why not check out another productivity article. My theory, if you read about productivity enough, some of it is bound to stick :).

Win a Copy of Clark Howard’s Live Large for the Long Haul at Couple Money. And if you’re interested in the book, check out the site’s reviews. It’s a no lose proposition.

Barbara Across the Web

What business and financial publications do you read? How do you act on the information?

image credit; google images_flickr creative commons