It was August 1997 and there I was, a mere few months in my new role as a Para-Planner (the term for a Financial Planner in training) with the private client arm of one of the world’s largest accounting firms.
As is typical of many twenty-something year olds with a finance degree, I rated my ability as an up-and-coming share market wiz highly. I had already built up a small portfolio of direct shareholdings in what could best be described as ‘speculative’ positions, with plans to add newbie miners, biotechnology startups and the fledgling “World Wide Web” enabled tech sector.
Yes it’s that time again. Time to relive a scene that’s played out with annoying regularity. The one where skittish financial markets combine with an eyeball-chasing media to help the nervous transfer their future wealth to the patient.
Once again the headlines are screaming about financial disaster and impending doom. “Aussie stock market slumps after US-China trade war prompts Wall Street plunge” cried one earlier this week, while “Wall Street slumps as yuan slide intensifies trade fears” shrieked another.
These headlines are designed to grab your attention. That is, after all, the whole purpose of eye-catching headlines; the more dramatic they are the more likely you are to be drawn to them. And the more sales, subscriptions and ad revenue generated. Very possibly at the expense of investors who will be spooked into taking short-term, reactive, action to their long-term financial detriment.