Yesterday’s paper still holds value of another kind. A few lessons in business writing and reading.
Whether it’s yesterday’s business paper or last week’s it still holds some value. This post is written in a humoristic manner but it also emphasizes the importance of understanding journalistic trends, interests and business writing as a concept.
I’ll start right away with what can be done with yesterday’s business paper:
#1 Get a good laugh from quickly irrelevant commentary and analysis
Source: NY Times
There’s only one guarantee in economic and stock market analysis and commentary. The central and generally agreed upon scenario won’t happen. Everything else is quite possible.
Nothing puts things in perspective as reading yesterday’s paper or better yet last week’s or last month’s papers. No one really knows what’s going on. We’re all pretty much shooting in the darkness.
Anyone who reads analysis and commentary recognizes the usual twisting and squirming with forecasts that include more conditional prepositions than any real analysis. I should know. I’ve written some (although I try to convey my general thesis).
They are pretty useful as jokes however.
#2 Note the ones that do know what they’re talking about
There are good analysts and journalists our there. Getting to know them is well worth the effort.
Next to financial reports, investor relations and the market itself we have precious little data regarding the economic and business environment.
It takes time, patience and experience to really know how to read a paper, what should be filtered, what the various interests in each article are and what is really important. The good news is that it’s a learned trait.
#3 Notice how yesterday’s heroes become today’s villains and how yesterday’s trends become today’s bubbles
Much like anything in life business news, commentary and analysis is cyclical. It crowns the kinds of the business world; it creates and usually strengthens trends and hypes and is also the first to tell us “we told you so”.
New business models, new economics, recessions, expectations, oil, housing bubbles and more are mirrored and toyed with in the papers. There are actually patterns to reporting bubbles and trends and I believe the follow the following (hopefully I’ll write a bit more about it in a future post):
- Unnoticeable 100 word articles or press releases.
- Reports of abnormal return on investment.
- Analysis which sets goal prices at 50% higher after 400% increase in the past 3 years.
- Debate, commentary and cover stories of the heroes of the new trend.
- Unnoticeable 100 word articles of veteran investors warning of miss conceptions and over-valuations of new business models and new economies.
- Commentaries that claim the old must adapt to the new or be lost forever.
- Reports of sudden and severe drops in prices.
- Commentaries analyzing why everything that’s happening is only a part of a healthy realization of past capital gains.
- Mass hysteria and stock selling as everything comes crumbling down.
- “We told you so” by every economic commentator everywhere.
- Old veterans buying everything they can get their hold on.
And the cycle continues. Those who ignore history are bound to repeat its mistakes
#4 Browse it again to stimulate your creative blogging bone
I find business papers and personal finance blogs a great source of inspiration. I either agree or disagree with what I read and sometimes I just can’t wait to tell you why.
For me, constant creativity is the hardest part of blogging. Thinking at today’s business news and economic analysis from another point of view usually gets my writing going pretty quickly.
#5 Save it for making money in future time travel to the past
Had we had the opportunity wouldn’t we all take advantage of it? Much like Michael J. Fox did with a 2000’s sports almanac back in the 1950’s in Back to the Future?
That is a bit far fetched, I agree, but haven’t we all wondered what would we do had we known how the market will act? Looking at graphs and charts trying to predict their future behavior from past patterns and constantly failed?
Many business papers publish seasonal and event driven articles with great recommendations, advice and how-to’s. Saving these can be very helpful the next time around. Tax planning recommendations, Christmas and holiday shopping tips and many more helpful articles often hold great potential to be taken advantage of the next time around any particular event becomes relevant.
There must be many other good uses to yesterday’s business papers. I’d appreciate your thoughts and comments on the matter.
You could always go with a more practical view and do any of the following:
6. Line your pet’s bed or cage
7. Wrap fish
8. Recycle it
9. Cut it into a bouquet
10. Line your floor while painting