Notice how TV news bulletins put finance next to the weather report? In each, talking heads point at charts and intone about intraday events that are quickly forgotten. Meanwhile, the long-term wealth building story gets overlooked.
Many investors feel that they are not properly informed about the financial world unless they have checked daily, or even hourly, on how the Dow, FTSE, or Nikkei have moved in the intervening period.
In most cases, it’s a pretty harmless activity. It at least provides a bland conversation starter in fleeting social encounters, just as keeping up to date with tomorrow’s weather forecasts can fill an awkward silence.
But our very human focus on the day-to-day can often encourage us to make bad decisions that affect our long-term interests.