During the first decade of my professional life, this was my mantra as a sportswriter. In a nutshell, it meant that one should always question statistics, because truthfully, numbers can be manipulated and distorted in many ways to try and prove a point.
Having spent many years in the financial world, I can tell you the same holds true in this industry as well.
When it comes to investment advice, there is so much noise out there and so many numbers that can be distorted, it’s difficult to maintain focus and consistency.
I read articles daily that make me shake my head. I’m sure if you follow the financial markets, you’ve had similar experiences. Because of this, I wanted to take just a moment to show you with the following self-declared theory how easy it can be to manipulate data to prove a ridiculous point.
Kim Kardashian Holds the Key to S&P 500 Movement
Research has shown that major moves within the S&P 500 are directly tied to the actions of pop-culture icon Kim Kardashian (or “KK” as close friends like myself call her), as proven by the following lies statistics.
- October 21, 1980: Kim Kardashian is born.
Not yet knowing what to expect from KK, the S&P 500 stayed fairly still, falling just 0.77 points, a drop of 0.58 percent.
- October 14, 2007: “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” first airs.
The S&P 500 was at first excited about the new series, and responded by rising 13.54 points the next day, an increase of 0.87 percent.
- September 30, 2008: Kim is kicked off “Dancing with the Stars.”
The S&P 500 celebrated her disappearance by jumping a whopping 52.58 points, giving investors a gain of 4.7 percent.
- July 1, 2010: The New York City Madame Tussauds reveals a wax sculpture of KK.
Perplexed, the S&P 500 fell 3.73 points, or 0.36 percent.
- August 20, 2011: The much-anticipated nuptials between KK and marginally talented NBA player Kris Humphries occurs.
Realizing that this was the worst idea since the inception of the Kardashian TV series, on August 19 before heading into the celebratory weekend, the S&P 500 dropped by 16.94 points or 1.49 percent.
- October 31, 2011: The lengthy Humphries marriage comes to an end.
Because America had realized that watching Kris Humphries on TV was far better than watching any of the Kardashians, the S&P 500 responded with disappointment by dropping 31.66 points, a total of 2.46 percent on the day.
- August 22, 2012: Kim tweets a picture of her and Kanye West together as a couple.
Feeling rather indifferent about this new “it couple”, the S&P 500 was also neutral, rising just 0.40 points.
So, there you have it. Not only do you need to worry about what everyone else is screaming at you regarding the fiscal cliff, the European crisis, the upcoming elections, the potential drop of the US credit rating, etc., but now you also need to “keep up with Humphries Kardashian.”
Or, you can turn down the noise and rely on your knowledge that patience and commitment do pay off in the long run. But, that doesn’t increase ratings, sell subscriptions, or sound like much fun at all!The S&P 500 Index is an unmanaged composite of 500-large capitalization companies. This index is widely used by professional investors as a performance benchmark for large-cap stocks. You cannot invest directly in an index. 1420-CLS-9/19/2012