Sell All Stocks!!!

Pay attention!

Pay attention!

I Urge You to pay close attention to this post

I have an important point to make with this article. It has very much to do with human nature and why you clicked on this post. It is our propensity to run to the negative, my headline being just that (unless, of course, you are a bear and short the market). But, before proceeding, let me say emphatically:

STOP! Do Not Sell!

STOP! Do Not Sell!

DO NOT SELL all stocks, or any stocks.

The point I’m trying to make is that all of us tend to flock to the negative news. The media figured this out decades ago. And it’s why there is a paucity of good news anywhere at anytime. “If it bleeds it leads.”  I was thinking about using a more metaphorical title for this post, like: Dive! Dive! Rig for Depth Charges! But, Sell All Stocks felt like it might resonate with a broader audience.  

As it pertains to this issue of gaining audience with negativity, I ofttimes use examples from those of my articles that have been picked up by, and are monitored by, stock research and market opinion aggregator, Seeking Alpha. I founded in January of 2013 and SA started publishing my work 2 years ago. So far they have re-published 46 of my posts. I have shared the data herein with others. The common reaction to what I’m about to share with you is universal … amazement. Ergo, what I’m about to say, given my preliminary comments, should not be surprising.

The articles I publish with overtly negative titles draw far more readers than those with neutral to modestly negative elements.

And, they do so by very substantial margins. Here are a few example of my recent articles published in Seeking Alpha–three with extremely negative titles and three with neutral to moderately negative titles. Each is followed by page views and date of publication.


“Apocalypse Now” (9084 page views) 9/24/16

“I went to cash today” (9076 page views) 1/31/16

“I went to cash today” Part II  (7697 page views) 8/24/16


Conventional Wisdom Undone (156 page views) 7/12/15

“Is the market calling the Fed’s bluff?” — Simon Hobbs  (387 page views) 5/24/16

“… there’s no joy in Mudville …” (1356 page views) 7/31/16

I might point out regardless of the negativity (or lack thereof) displayed in the titles above, the themes and content of all the posts were constructive and positive on the market. The negative titles represented something to shoot against, something to debunk.

 As you can see our perceived most-negative title, “Apocalypse Now” received 58 times more views than the neutral “Conventional Wisdom Undone.” This is despite the fact that both articles covered similar issues and ended in the same positive conclusion … the world is not coming to end and the U.S. market still appears to be a good place for investors to have their money. 
So, What about you? Do you run to consume negative headlines? If so, has that been helpful to your investment process? Has negative media kept you underinvested or out of the market altogether? Bottom Line: don’t sell anything, but do think critically about the tone and much of the content in the media you consume.
The information presented in represents my own opinions and does not contain recommendations for any particular investment or securities.  I may, from time to time, mention certain securities for illustrative purpose, names where I personally hold positions.  These are not meant to be construed as recommendations to BUY or SELL.  All investments and strategies should be undertaken only after careful consideration of suitability based on the risks, tolerance for risk and personal financial situation. 

3 Responses

  1. Dan Herr
    Dan Herr September 25, 2016 at 7:27 pm | | Reply

    Excellent point, Bill – with statistics to prove it! – Dan

  2. Howard Trilling
    Howard Trilling September 25, 2016 at 8:23 pm | | Reply

    Well stated . We all need to be on guard for the negativity that sells in business and politics

  3. Phyllis Stevens
    Phyllis Stevens September 26, 2016 at 1:15 am | | Reply

    Thanks for a well-written – and enjoyable – reminder of the power of language, and how it shapes behavior.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: