NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Being right and being wrong are relative terms for investors. You wouldn't know that from the comments on my articles, but it's true.
When I worked in talk radio, we kept this statistic in mind: Less than 1% of our audience actually called into the show. As both a host and listener, this data has allowed me to keep my sanity. If every whacked-out "first-time caller, long-time listener" was somehow representative of the wider audience, I would have checked into Bellevue.
Same goes for comments here. Based on the numbers I have seen, far less than 1% of the readership comments on the typical stock market/business-related article. I know that most of TheStreet's audience are bright, articulate folks. I wish more of them wrote comments.
In any event, I write my articles for that larger audience we rarely hear from. They, as well as the excellent "diamond-in-the-rough" commenters, keep me going.That said, there's a recurring theme in the comments' sections of articles: An obsession with being right or wrong. Because it repeats, I have to think that a meaningful portion of the larger audience shares the obsession. I guess that's a stock market thing, a sports thing and, as such, a guy thing. In relation to the stock market, I refer to being right or wrong as "a fleeting proposition," for several reasons. First, on the most practical level, an Apple (AAPL) bear, at the moment, is "right." If what most of the world thinks will happen actually happens and Apple blows the doors off of its holiday quarter, they'll be, suddenly, "wrong." Today, I am so dead "wrong" on Zynga (ZNGA) that I had people on Twitter offering me free shots. Even though the late Elliott Smith might have been correct when he wrote -- Whiskey works better than beer -- I would prefer several bottles of Molson to help take away my pain. The AAPL and ZNGA examples also help illustrate several key points. Consider finance and investment articles and discussions an exchange of ideas and perspectives, not stock picks or a macho battle over who is "right or wrong." It's pretty imprecise, anyhow, to assign the same stock selection to such a diverse group of people.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV