Professional individual traders navigate the market better than anyone, but are rarely given any attention or respect.
Three main channels on television cover the stock market -- CNBC, Bloomberg and Fox Business. Active traders typically have one of them playing during the day, but they are mostly just background noise. The stock market that these channels cover is often very different than the one that aggressive individual traders like me are dealing with during the day.
The main audience for these shows is perceived to be mostly longer-term, conservative investors. The hosts and guests tend to be people with a traditional view of Wall Street. They build a diversified portfolio of stocks that are held for the long term and almost all of them will be big-cap S&P 500 names. It is textbook investing as they teach in business school.
This is what investing is for most people, but there is a large group of people who approach the stock market in a very different way. Some of the newer and younger market participants get disparaged as "Robinhood" traders and are sometimes dismissed as overly emotional and undisciplined amateurs that treat the market as a form of sports betting.
What isn't always recognized are the many serious individual traders and investors who have been doing very well for many years, but approach the market very differently from what is often portrayed on television. We don't always hear about this form of trading on financial television. I have never seen anyone on any financial television show that trades the market in the way I have for nearly 25 years.
What financial television needs are some guests who trade like many of their viewers. It would be fascinating to hear from some of the smaller traders and investors that are producing 100%, 200%, or more returns in a year and are trading stocks that are not listed on the Dow Jones or the S&P 500. These folks possess some serious knowledge about how to outperform.
I don't expect this to happen, because financial television is beholden to institutional Wall Street. They need to pander to the big funds and brokers, because they need the content and high-profile guests that they provide. Small traders and investors have no alternative television to watch, anyway, so why bother with them?
I could easily find four or five small individual traders that have outperformed guests who frequent FIN TV -- by magnitudes. Their view of the market would be more valuable than anything that we currently hear.
One of my goals in 2021 is to elevate the profile of professional individual traders. We are the people that navigate the market better than anyone and we are not given any respect or recognition.