I am working on a story about the times pundits, who are more personalities than experts, actually get it right. An example might be Jim Cramer, who has been famously wrong about stocks such as Bear Stearns but does make a great pick every once in a while. This is a lively read and should get excellent play. We are asking for your answers to any or all of the questions below via email by noon Eastern on May 26. Or feel free to make your own observations. The questions are as follows: 1) What are some examples of unreliable (or more celeb-type) pundits making some good picks on stocks or investments (Cramer here is fair game for an example)? 2) In general, can a pundit thrive on a sort of “selection bias”? That is, if they make enough picks, and one works out, they can trumpet that one as a sign of their genius. 3) To what extent do pundits do a disservice to investors? 4) Other than Cramer, who are some examples of pundits out there who seem to attract quite a following? How can we explain this? 5) What is the difference between a pundit with a following and a famous investor (such as Warren Buffett) with a following? 6) In the end, is there ever a time when it is worth listening to these high-visibility stock pickers? Or is that just too risky? Put “pundit picks” in the subject line, all caps, so I do not miss your email. This story will run the Tuesday immediately following Memorial Day.
When the Big-Shot Pundits Are Right