Facts, Beliefs and Agendas

The advent, and increasing use, of social media, has led to greater access to information, while, at the same time, has increased the difficulty of differentiating between facts, beliefs and agendas.

Successful investing requires an understanding of what is actually factual and what is not.  This is not easy in part because many, so-called facts, are subject to selective dissemination.  There is a reason for testimony, under the penalty of perjury, to require the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  In pursuing an agenda, many pronouncements only include facts that support the case being made and manage to leave out relevant additional information.  Politicians and marketers seem to be particularly prone to this type of “fact”. 

Investors should also be aware that information, such as performance claims, is highly dependent on the selected starting point. 

All comments and suggestions are welcome.

Walter J. Kirchberger, CFA