2020: Gold’s Best Year in a Decade; Ethereum Beat Bitcoin; Inflation Higher Than Reported

One of the keys to being a successful investor is making sure you’re getting the right facts. Otherwise, you run the risk of making investment decisions based on poor or faulty information.

The problem is, the media has a major trust issue. Many Americans put very little faith in the accuracy of the “news” they get from newspapers, TV, radio and social media. A Gallup poll in September found that 33% of Americans—a full third—don’t trust the media at all.

This would be distressing in any year, but it’s particularly so during a pandemic and presidential election.

I was curious to see if this distrust was turning up in people’s web searches. My suspicions were confirmed. Google inquiries for “media bias” have historically spiked around elections, but this year, people seemed to be more concerned with being misled than ever before.

Americans were highly concerned with media bias during the pandemic and 2020 election
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I’m bringing all this up in response to an eye-opening piece this week by Andy Laperriere, head of U.S. policy research at Cornerstone Macro. Andy’s been doing policy analysis for more than 20 years, and he says the level of bias in news sources—those that lean left as well as right—is as high today as it’s ever been in the U.S.

The result is that “there is no common set of basic facts that most people operate from,” Andy says.
So what can we do as investors? Andy stresses that we need to be “intentional about consuming a balanced diet of news coverage.”

That may include going to sources you wouldn’t normally go to.

He rarely watches cable news, calling it “political junk food.” Instead, he prefers the Wall Street Journal. He also likes the editorial pages of the National Review and the Dispatch.

Maybe you agree with Andy, maybe you don’t. Either way, I think it’s constructive to do a regular audit, so to speak, of your preferred news sources. Make it a New Year’s resolution.

I’d be curious to know which news sources you depend on! Send your comments to [email protected].