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Tuning Out the Noise: Why Higher Education Employees Should Ignore TV "Experts"

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Greetings, higher education professionals! In the fast-paced world of finance and investments, it's easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of financial news and punditry. But today, we're here to discuss why, when it comes to your retirement plans and investments, it might be wise to tune out the "experts" you see on television.

Meet Greg Shepard, a specialist from S&A Financial Services, dedicated to helping individuals in higher education make the most of their retirement plans. Greg has a message that he feels passionate about sharing: "Tune out the noise." In this blog post, we'll explore why this simple but powerful advice is particularly relevant for those in higher education.

The Corporate Television Trap 

It's not uncommon for individuals to turn to financial news programs for investment advice. After all, these programs often feature well-dressed, articulate "experts" who confidently predict the future of the stock market and offer advice on where to invest. Greg Shepard knows this all too well, as many of his clients reach out to him after listening to these TV pundits.

Greg's message is clear: the financial pundits you see on television aren't as reliable as they may seem. They may have impressive titles and backgrounds, but when it comes to making accurate predictions about the market, their track record leaves much to be desired.

Data Doesn't Lie 

Greg brings up a crucial point: the so-called "experts" often get it wrong. To back this up, he references a study by the CXO Advisory Group, which analyzed 6,500 forecasts from various financial experts and institutions over a seven-year period. The result? Less than half of these predictions were accurate over the seven-year period. In essence, it was a coin flip, and these are the professionals who get paid to do this.

But the story doesn't end there. Vanguard, a well-known investment management company, tracked the performance of retail investors over the same period. Surprisingly, the average retail investor outperformed these highly paid financial experts.

The Myth of Predictability 

The truth is, trying to predict the future of the stock market is a daunting task. The stock market is influenced by countless factors, many of which are unpredictable, and it often behaves irrationally. Pundits on TV may try to rationalize these irrationalities, but it's like trying to explain why the wind blows in a certain direction on a windy day.

Greg's advice is straightforward: don't make investment decisions based on the predictions of TV experts. These pundits often have their own agendas, and their track record of forecasting the market's movements is far from stellar.

The Power of Long-Term Investing 

So, what's the alternative to following TV experts and trying to time the market? Greg suggests a time-tested approach: long-term buy and hold. Instead of constantly reacting to the latest predictions and market movements, focus on your long-term financial goals and stay the course.

For those in higher education, this approach can be particularly effective. If you're regularly contributing to your retirement plan, you're already practicing dollar-cost averaging, which means you're buying investments at various price points over time. When the market experiences a downturn, you're actually buying assets at a discount.


In conclusion, Greg Shepard's message to higher education employees is clear: tune out the noise of TV "experts." Instead, focus on a long-term investment strategy that aligns with your financial goals. The evidence suggests that trying to predict the market's movements based on the advice of pundits is a losing game.

Remember, you don't need to be a financial expert to make wise investment decisions. By staying disciplined, avoiding emotional reactions to market fluctuations, and working with a qualified financial advisor, you can build a solid financial future without being swayed by the ups and downs of television punditry.

Contact Information: If you have questions or need assistance with your retirement plan choices, you can reach out to Greg Shepard at greg@shepardfiancial.com

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*Nothing discussed in this blog post should be construed as investment advice.  Each situation is unique and you need to receive professional advice from independent fee-only financial advisor that's familiar with higher ed retirement plans prior to implementing any strategies discussed or thought of on your own.  

**S&A Financial Services, Inc. is a registered investment advisor. Content presented is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as investment advice or as an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Always consult with your tax advisor or attorney regarding your specific situation.

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