Does it ever seem to you that news headlines possess a split personality? That everything is always rosy or doom and gloom with no middle ground? This perception scares many people out of investing leading them to conclude that such unpredictability is a risk they can do without. Is this a recent phenomenon?
While it may be obvious that sensational headlines are designed to get an audience’s attention, media influence over public opinion is a long-held tradition. The fact that the “pen is mightier than the sword” has never been more evident. Consider a few headlines from years past:
Can Capitalism Survive? – 1975
Is There Light at the End of the Tunnel? – 1992
Awash in Troubles – 1984
Do any of these headlines sound familiar, even recent? If the years weren’t printed next to them, would you conclude that two of them are over 25 years old? Often, such dire predictions leave something out. In many cases, even as the news is inundated with pessimistic headlines, positive long-term trends are in development.
Just this Sunday, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke appeared on CBS’ 60 Minutes. Included among his comments were positive statements such as, “I have every confidence that this economy will recover, and recover in a strong and sustained way.” “The American people are among the most productive in the world.” “We have the best technologies.” “We have great universities.” “We have entrepreneurs.” “I just have every confidence that as we get through this crisis, that our economy will begin to grow again, and it will remain the most powerful and dynamic economy in the world.”
To my point, just an hour after the Fed Chairman’s interview, CNN lead with this headline: Bernanke on ’60 Minutes’: Grim Outlook. Granted, not everything Bernanke said was positive, but why did CNN choose to highlight the negative? Because sensational headlines sell. Remembering this fact can help you and your client’s avoid making rash, emotional decisions. We can than focus on the task at hand, you will be able to help your client’s navigate the current real estate market, there-by making better Long Term Decisions (Real Estate is a long term investment) and it may even help you and your customers sleep better at night.