The Spin Meme

Meme, pronounced ‘meem’, to rhyme with gene, is a term coined by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book “The Selfish Gene” to describe the spread of ideas and behaviours within a culture.

My blog “Technically Speaking”‘ has hardly been a sensational addition to the world of financial comment and analysis. 273 posts written since June 2012 have attracted just 9,517 hits, with the most in one day being 101. Most days it attracts 20-30 viewers. I have 53 regular followers.

I have often wished to have more dialogue with readers.  A scholarly conversation! Instead I have had to content myself with an amazing number of emails, to be precise 12,304 spam emails. I have not much minded the little response to my financial “smart thinks”.

I wrote these posts for my benefit. Having studied Technical Analysis through FINSIA, and later KAPLAN, my object was to test the value of my chart assessments as a predictive tool. I did not wish to provide readers with tips. Rather I sought to expect how the security might trade in the near future. Accuracy not promotion has been my goal.

Last week I had a stunning deviation from the usual quiet response. A “serve” like I had never had before. Can’t say I enjoyed the abusive remarks, or the threat of legal action, but at least I had an animated response, and a chance to explain my point of view. It alarmed my wife, engendering as it did, fears of bankruptcy in our old age.

I think the writer was sincere in his belief that my analysis was unfair, and damaging. Many non-professional analyses (and some professional ones) unrealistically seek to influence market sentiment. Some investors regard opinions to the contrary with hostility. In practice few analyst opinions are capable of swaying markets either in favour or against the company concerned. We are all entitled to our opinion, and sometimes it is wise to listen to dissenting view-points.

The biotech sector is a particularly difficult one for retail investors. A good investment policy is to never invest in something you don’t understand. If you do invest, distinguish between facts and spin, between goals that can realistically be achieved, and those that are unlikely to be ever realized.

As long as corporate image is important there will be promotional hype to entice and perhaps mislead would be investors. Shareholders should be wary however of embracing and demanding more spin thinking it will support the share-price.






Categories: Business, Investment

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