But Paul, so and so from social media told me to put all my money in this company!”
With the increase in media attention the past couple of months, I hear this more and more every week and wanted to clear some of this up.
A social media influencers job is to attract an audience!
Make no mistake, the media plays a crucial role in our society. But the media contains more than just reporters and journalists. It contains social influencers or stock market gurus. An influencer’s job isn’t to report, but to editorialize; to give their opinion. And to make their opinion profitable by getting you to follow their page and eventually becoming a paid member for their stock picks of the week. (After all, the “media” is really just a collection of corporations or individuals trying to make money. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s important to remember it.) To make their opinion profitable, influencers have to attract an audience.
The best way to attract an audience is to be as loud, entertaining, and sensational as possible. But “loud, entertaining, and sensational” shouldn’t ever be confused with “knowledgeable, educational, and thoughtful.”
It can be fun to listen to these “stock market gurus” but never rely on them. There are too many stories of people blowing their retirement savings on a “meme stock” tip or missing a fantastic market rally because an influencer was too busy counseling fear. Instead, rely more on your own common sense. Do your own research. Educate yourself. Speak or work with professionals that show a personal interest in you. Use planning instead of social media as a guide to achieving financial success.
And whenever you invest, remember stay away from the meme stocks!
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