10 Things People in Finance Should Never Say
These trite and vapid statements deserve a decent but hasty burial.
Bloomberg, June 10, 2019
What phrase makes you cringe?
What commonly used statement (espeically in finance) really really bugs you?
I’ll share a few of mine:
What’s that adjusted for inflation?
The stock market hates uncertainty
Its Uber for _____ (insert bad business model here)
— Barry Ritholtz (@ritholtz) June 2, 2019
At a recent event in New York City, I chatted with a money manager whose presentation had impressed me. At least, I was impressed until he uttered one of those hackneyed phrases that just make me flinch. This is an occupational hazard in the world of economic and market commentary. Any of us can lapse into lazy shorthand. But it is something best avoided: Use of trite or clichéd formulations neither reflects well on us, nor does it show respect for the reader or listener.
I shared my dislike of wince-worthy platitudes with financial-Twitter, and received more than 500 examples of your most-hated phrases. Indeed, cringe-inducing financial nonsense that sounds smart, but falls apart upon closer inspection, seems to be everywhere.
As a public service to consumers of financial news, I am hereby undertaking a campaign to urge my fellow pundits to shun the worst of these. Below are some of the most egregious offenders, in no particular order:
No. 1. “This is the next Amazon (or Apple or Google or . . . ) “: The laziest of all ways to titillate stock investors is to dangle the potential of a giant winner in front of them. Just imagine how much money you will make if XYZ is the next Amazon, although odds of it going broke are infinitely greater. Despite the rise in popularity of indexing, this stratagem still seems to work.
No. 2. “But what’s that worth adjusted for inflation?” . . .