This is not meant to be a rant, but it may end up as one. Yes, I have a disclaimer at my blog. We all need disclaimers. My disclaimer focuses on the idea that even bright people may make severe mistakes, and that the best of us only hand out educated guesses.
I can respect ideas like that. What I don’t respect is language that says that “the following is entertainment.” Entertainment?! Who are you kidding?! Few read investment analyses for entertainment, particularly when you are discussing a few securities that the author thinks could be profitable. Yes, I can see them lining up at the Theaters, waiting to watch the latest “Incredible Investment Idea,” on the big screen.
I can respect people who say, “This is my opinion,” and then when it doesn’t work out, I don’t blame them. Everyone has opinions that are wrong, including all of the best investors.
But to say that investment writing can be for entertainment is ridiculous. First, it is not entertaining. Second, it often implies actions to be taken — few return from entertainment saying they ought to do something.
Look, I have made mistakes in the past. This current post possibly contains mistakes. I will make mistakes in the future, unless I die after this is written.
We have to accept the idea that what most people, even professional sell-side analysts write, is mere opinion. That said, as a best practice, as I did at RealMoney, and from day one at Aleph Blog, I disclose all of my interests when I write a piece.
My main point is this: investment writing is not entertainment. Disclaimers should be improved to reflect that opinions that might be wrong are being offered.