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Financial Media: I

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With the growth of web and blogging, there are more and more financial resouces we can turn to: we are not limited to the good old newspaper for stock prices, volume anymore. Don’t laugh at me, ten years ago I did precisely that in Shanghai. But the conveniece of data access does not come at no cost. One thing I noticed from my own behavior change is “overflow of mis-information”. Let me explain.

I remember a well known overseas Chinese web site started out with attention getting (not tasteful) news title and porn, things one would not like his/her kids to see. The motivations: attention, advertisment dollar and profit. In this “post newspaper and Yahoo”, “google and youtube are the kings” era, people are living a fast pace society, attention of pentential customers are more and more scare. The news editors/reporters are fighting for this, financial news is no exception.

Moral Responsibilty of news producer
As you may know, Chinese domestic stock market crashed lately. Shanghai composite index went from last Oct. highs of 6,000 to today’s 3,300. I think the media, the so called “experts” (from Jim Rogers to Yang Bai Wan) are also responsible for the bubble and bust in Chinese market, along with the regulatory, the mutual funds, and the naive Shan Hu (individual investors), etc.

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Buffett and PetroChina

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These days “Buffett sold PetroChina stocks” are all over the news, especially in the Chinese news media. After all, Warren has the best track record among stock investors in our time. But, what should we, average investor, read from this news? Or (on the other hand) can we simple ignore this news?

First let me correct the news headline. I think we should say “Buffett reduced his stake in PetroChina H shares”, from about 11% to 5.5% of floating PetroChina H shares. Second we should not discount Buffett’s move here. Unlike Greenspan and many others, he is the guy does real investing, and beat the market (S&P 500) consistently. Of course I’m not saying we should go to another polar: follow him blindly.

PetroChina  gas station pic

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