Don’t Look Now

Jonathan Clements

IN OCTOBER, Lucinda and I spent a week in Venice. We rented an apartment with no wi-fi, so every day for 30 minutes we’d settle into a café with Internet access. While my wife dealt with work issues, I’d catch up on the news, check email, see how the markets were performing and look at the Amazon rankings for my various books.

There was nothing extraordinary about this—except that I was doing it just once a day. By contrast, when I’m home in New York, I’m constantly checking the news, markets, email and my book sales.

But there’s a difference between information and insight. Here at home, I may be getting a lot more information. But it also chews up a heap of time and I doubt it’s making me any wiser. In fact, I suspect the constant flow of financial information is bad for investors, prompting them to fret too much over their investments and make too many trades.

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