For Real Insight, Ignore Barron’s

Barron’s cover story this week is a comparison of Obama’s and McCain’s visions for the US economy. The caption on Barron’s website says “Required reading before you vote.” Quite frankly, Barron’s is full of crap.

I’ve said in the past and will keep reiterating: ideology (and the idiots it spawns) has no place in an informed worldview. For real insight, read Roger Conrad’s breakdown of the two candidates’ positions on investment matters. Here’s an excerpt from the conclusion:

“What we do know is at least on these three issues–dividend taxation, CO2 regulation and energy independence–both McCain and Obama are staking out positions that are generally favorable to utility investors. And that’s good news indeed.”

For those inclined toward investment newsletters, you could probably do a lot worse than subscribing to Roger Conrad’s various offerings. I’ve not seen any of his stuff so I can’t say with certainty but based on his free Utility & Income + Maple Leaf Memo e-letters as well as listening to his numerous appearances on Jim Puplava’s and Chuck Jaffe’s radio shows, I find him to be quite sensible.

Interestingly enough, for all of the handwringing over at the Dow Jones division about the possibility of a Democratic administration, a previous Barron’s cover story last summer (July 2007) broke down the various positions of select candidates on both sides. Buried at the very end of the story was a graph that showed stock markets vastly outperforming during Democratic administrations over Republican administrations. Even more interesting, the chart only took it back to FDR and conveniently left out Hoover’s market meltdown. And perhaps most telling, you won’t find this chart on the archived online version of the story.

One day, I’ll have to write up a book by Jacque Ellul called Propoganda, in which he convincingly asserts that the people most susceptible to propoganda are the ones who read the most newspapers, highly educated, etc. because these people think they are well-read and well-informed by reading highly regarded sources. After all, if you read multiple newspapers everyday and followed the newscasts, you might have reason to think you know what’s happening in the world. Throw in the insecurity inherent in financial markets and people will clutch at any source that purports to know more than they do.

For full disclosure, I have absolutely no connection, stake, etc. to Roger Conrad and haven’t ever met/emailed/talked to the guy so it’s a completely objective opinion.

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One Response to “For Real Insight, Ignore Barron’s”

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