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Clash of the Financial Pundits: How the Media Influences Your Investment Decisions for Better or Worse Hardcover – May 20, 2014

ISBN-13: 978-0071817929 ISBN-10: 0071817921 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (May 20, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071817921
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071817929
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Investors interested in gaining insights into the world of investment advice will appreciate this frank look at market forecasting.” (Booklist)

Clash of the Financial Pundits is a must read for anyone who enjoys financial media. My compliments for Brown and Macke on a book that needed to be written.” (Forbes)

About the Author

JOSHUA M. BROWN is the CEO and co-founder of Ritholtz Wealth Management, a national registered investment advisory firm. He is the author of Backstage Wall Street, the creator of The Reformed Broker blog, and an on-air contributor to CNBC.

JEFF MACKE is the host of Breakout on Yahoo Finance. Prior to that he was an original cast member of CNBC's Fast Money, founder of Macke Asset Management, and a hedge fund manager.


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Customer Reviews

Most people will benefit from this book.
David Merkel
Why the experts have different opinions using the same facts, a fascinating book.
Larry
They are great geniuses like Warren Buffett.
Robert Morris

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By David Merkel on May 5, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Josh Brown’s last book, Backstage Wall Street, was four books in one. This book, Clash of the Financial Pundits, is three books in one. The authors cover three things:

* Punditry in history
* How to understand modern pundits
* Interviewing modern pundits

I will take them in that order:

Punditry in history

The book covers the following eras in punditry:

* The Crash that Started the Great Depression
* The South Sea Bubble
* Joe Granville
* Harry Dent, Charles Kadlec, Dow 36,000
* Martin Zweig
* Jim Cramer was right during the 2008 crash

Roger Babson warned people about how high the stock market was, while Irving Fisher talked about stocks hitting a “permanently high plateau.” The South Sea Bubble had many in the 1700s media stoking the flames of speculation. Joe Granville was hot stuff in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, but was dead wrong the rest of the time.

Harry Dent, Charles Kadlec, and the crew that put together Dow 36,000 created their own sensational predictions which proved to be controversial and very wrong. Martin Zweig was right about the 1987 crash, while Jim Cramer controversially was right during much of the 2008 crash.

How to understand modern pundits

Then comes the basic advice to help us weather the storm of advice that floods the media. The main topics are:

* How to use financial media intelligently?
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan M. Prober on May 13, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Clash of the Financial Pundits by Josh Brown and Jeff Macke is the must read of 2014.

First, there’s the amazing author combo of Brown and Macke.

Brown shares his classic wit and wisdom in exploring the history of financial media the way that only the Twitter and CNBC superstar can.

Yahoo! Finance’s Macke interviews a star-studded cast from which all readers can benefit. His questions are as intriguing as his subject’s answers. It is easy for the reader to tell he knows his stuff.

From Jim Rogers and Ben Stein reflecting on financial media over the years to Karen Finerman and Henry Blodget discussing the current state of affairs and a wide variety of other topics, there is an amazing array of characters interviewed.

Macke’s candor regarding his own trials and tribulations in the financial media, both in the brief script-flip with all-around genius James Altucher as well as the “Car People” chapter, bleeds an authenticity that readers can feel.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the book is the discussion and interview conducted by both authors with Jim Cramer.

The backstory behind Cramer’s trip to The Daily Show to face a hostile crowd following the financial crisis is priceless.

It is a great reminder that there are always two sides to every story.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I am confident you will too.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kris Venne on May 12, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
How many decisions do you make based on the results of a quick google search?

Whether one restaurant is better than another? Whether to see a movie? Which phone to buy?

I know I have relied on random internet noise for which place to eat countless times, it's likely you have done it a few times yourself (especially considering you are reading reviews about a book on amazon).

But what about when it comes time to decide on something with serious impact on your life, like how to invest your savings? Where do you look? There are plenty of people competing for your attention - and that is nothing new. Josh Brown and Jeff Macke have put together a great read on some of these characters that have appeared throughout history (long before anyone ever even heard of the internet).

Here is the bottom line - If you ever caught yourself taking advice from a public financial figure on a major decision in your life - read this book. You will very likely be amazed at what these guys have put together.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Patrick O'Shaughnessy on May 10, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Punditry is all about concise sound bites, so before diving into a full review, my one sentence review of Josh Brown and Jeff Macke’s new book Clash of the Financial Pundits is “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” This is a book that sneaks great investing advice and wisdom into your brain by sugar-coating it with great stories, good writing, and several fascinating interviews.

Jeff Macke asks the question early on:

"But with it being the case that people can’t beat the market over time, wouldn’t that make punditry a little bit of a racket? What do you think of financial media? You’ve got this constant reporting, this buy on the short term; what are they going to earn this quarter? Is it just a mugs game from top to bottom?"

Punditry plays to our primal instincts. We love punditry because it’s entertaining but also because we foolishly think that financial experts will give us some edge with what they say on TV. What we need is long term, steady advice, but what we get are “hot tips.” As Jim Rogers says

"I try to spread this message all the time, Jeff. It doesn’t work. Everybody wants a hot tip. Everybody wants to be rich this afternoon. You can sit there all day long and say, “The emperor has no clothes.” Nobody wants to hear it. They all want a hot tip."

I loved the discussion of pundit intelligence and of the negative forecasters. Smarter people do not necessarily make smarter predictions, even though it seems like they should. And, for some reason, being negative makes a pundit sound smarter even though markets have delivered mostly positive results over the long term. Henry Blodget points out, “For some reason, being negative always sounds smarter.
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