The other day I was talking with a taxi driver.
“I’ve sent my cab to the repair shop, and the manager of the shop recommended HengTen Networks Group (00136.HK). But I don’t have the guts to buy those small-cap stocks,” the driver said.
“If you don’t buy HangTen, you can buy Tencent (00700.HK),” I suggested.
“Tencent is too expensive,” he replied. “I bought Lenovo Group (00992.HK) instead because the share price has come down a lot and a number of commentators were recommending it. But …”
I think the taxi driver was a bit too careless in his investment decisions, and not getting reliable advice.
That said, the quality of local TV financial programs, followed by my driver friend and other small investors, leave much to be desired.
Recently, numerous media outlets have shifted their focus to financial shows. Such programs typically attract quite a large audience and are relatively cheap to produce.
However, most of these programs aim for high ratings, rather than offering useful financial knowledge and insight.
Frequent television appearances do not necessarily make those commentators real experts.
Good financial programs should instill the right investment mentality, explain money management methods such as asset allocation and analyze the values of different companies.
The quality of local financial programs is generally low and as such, they are unable to keep the long-term interest of their audiences, who barely learn anything from them.
In the end, media entities producing such shows are unlikely to build the image of a reliable and professional financial media outlet.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Sept. 19
Translation by Julie Zhu
[Chinese version 中文版]
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