Last weekend, I read Carl Richards’ new book The Behavior Gap: Simple Ways to Stop Doing Dumb Things with Money. (Full disclosure: The publisher sent me a free copy.)
In case you aren’t familiar: Carl is a CFP who has become rather well known for his clever sharpie drawings explaining personal finance topics — you can see his full gallery here — and for his recent controversial New York Times article, “How a Financial Pro Lost His House.”
But the reason I’m mentioning the book has nothing to do with the sketches or with that article. Rather, I want to share a passage I enjoyed. In the chapter “Too Much Information,” Carl writes:
“Monitoring market moves, watching stock market shows on CNBC, and poring over financial forecasts takes a lot of time. Worse, it makes people anxious — and anxious people often screw up. [...] Try going on a media fast. When thoughts about the markets arise, let them go. Go for a bike ride.
I know this may seem like a scary idea. And for the record, I don’t support sticking your head in the sand. I just think you need to balance your money anxieties with perspective.”
The suggestion to block out market news is the primary idea I was trying to communicate when I started this blog — hence the name and the logo.
Of course, in the three years since this blog was started, it’s branched out to cover a broader range of topics. But I still think the idea is a good one. I think most investors would benefit from scaling back their intake of financial news.
What do you think? Would you be willing to try it? How about a complete financial media fast between now and the beginning of next year?
(This blog will still be here when you get back.)