August 25, 2014

Doug Kass on Barry Bannister and talking heads

Stifel Nicolaus strategist Barry Bannister appeared on CNBC's Fast Money: Halftime Report today.

To begin with, it is great that CNBC had someone like Bannister on -- as talking heads who have been wrong are entitled to present their views. After all, if the business media only had those that were correct in view on their broadcasts, they would have had no available guests from 2008-2010. (during the Great Recession)

Apparently, Bannister has raised his 12-month S&P 500 price target from the lowest on the Street to the highest, an increase of 450 S&P points in his forecast, from 1850 to 2300.

Bannister was, not surprisingly, self-confident in view. Never did I hear the words "I was wrong" or "I don't know."

I don't even know what to say. Well, maybe I do know what to write. As a generalization, stay away from the self-confident talking heads who display little rigor and whose knowledge base is 3 miles long and an inch deep. They are often wrong but never in doubt.

Never rely on talking heads to determine your strategy and individual stock selections, and that includes me and Jim "El Capitan" Cramer. Always do your own homework. Get advice from multiple channels, and always consider always your risk profile and time frames.

Mr. Market humbles the best of us. When I am wrong, I try to say/write that I have been wrong (as I have been on my market call this year). When I don't know, I say it.

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