Are All Financial Blogs Trustworthy

A blog is certainly a wonderful innovation for freedom of speech. Short for “web log” a blog
is usually a web site or part of a web site, and it generally contains regular entries of opinion,
events in the author’s life, and observations. In addition to text, blogs often contain graphics
or video. A person who keeps a blog is referred to as a “blogger,” and the universe of blogs is
referred to as the “blogosphere.”
There are bloggers who have now become rather famous, at least within the blogosphere, for
their commentary or even for news that is broken before it hits the mainstream media. Because
it costs next to nothing to maintain, a blog is a method of reaching millions of people simply by
typing up an entry and striking the “enter” key, and a blog can be quite influential. Politicians
monitor them for the tide of opinion on various issues as do corporations on their products. A
blog can definitely have quite an impact.
But should you believe everything you read in blogs? The answer lies in the fact that the upside
of a blog being a free method of communication is also its downside when it comes to facts—
for unlike many mainstream media channels, there is no fact-checking required. A blogger can
literally write anything he or she desires — and usually does. There is a vast margin of difference
between commentary or opinion, and facts. And unfortunately, much of the time blogs weigh
more heavily on the former.
While blogs should certainly not be censored, blog readers should keep in mind that what they
are reading is opinion, partial facts, or not even necessarily facts at all. In fact, one may question
the accuracy of the content an anonymous bloggers posts, especially in the case of investments.
While there will always be viewpoints pro and con, and many of them make great if emotionally
charged arguments, bloggers who hide their identity likely are doing so for good reason, whether
ill informed or hiding behind a cloak to conceal an existing conflict. The reader should keep
firmly in mind that the blogger is conveying a subjective opinion, not necessarily the whole
truth.
For all of the hard facts regarding an investment type or a specific stock, asset, bond or other
instrument, an investor should always consult the prospectus on that investment. The law
requires a prospectus to be fully revealing in all facts and matters relating to that investment—
whereas there is no such requirement for a blog. Yes, a blog may be easier reading than a
prospectus, but with the help of a broker or someone informed, you will at least have disclosure
of relevant facts rather than slanted opinion.
At the end of the day, when making decisions regarding your money, ask yourself this question:
Should you decide on an investment based on opinions—or the actual facts? It’s your money to
gain or lose. You be the judge.
By Martin Walcoe, SVP, David Lerner Associates 

Material is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be used in connection with the evaluation of any investments offered by David Lerner Associates, Inc. (DLA). This material does not constitute an offer or recommendation to buy or sell securities and should not be considering in connection with the purchase or sale of securities.

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