Navigating The Fog of Investing
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I was asked to be a part of this movie, along with many other well-known, financially savvy individuals. The website InvestingFog.com describes the movie as follows:
In what may be the most improbable 90 minutes ever conceived, "Navigating the Fog of Investing," ventures deep into the underbelly of the investment world and shocks us into reality. In his feature film debut, Joshua Helman, M.D. takes us deep behind enemy lines to expose the conspiring minds of the brokerage community and their tawdry ways. Armed with a hidden camera Helman reveals stockbrokers and investment gurus for what they really are — financial cheerleaders -- without the skirts. And expose them he does. The movie is to the personal finance industry what Michael Moore's Sicko film is to the healthcare industry.
If anyone could pull this off it's Helman; a formal financial insider who got kicked off the team when he dared to share his company's investment play book with his clients. "This movie is kind of crazy; it's like 'honey,' it's Friday night and I just scored two tickets to see a movie about investor rip-offs, want to go?"
At first, I just wanted to kick myself for not figuring this stuff out sooner. Like, did you ever wonder why ads for investment companies are some of the slickest of all? Where are they getting all that money for television, radio and newspaper ads? From saps like you and me, who give them our trust and our hard-earned dough so they'll make us rich! If they know what the markets are going to do, shouldn't they be making so much money for themselves that they don't have to use our money? Duh!
Instead of kicking yourself, stick with the movie and watch slick, know-it-all "experts" in the securities industry get skewered in one shocking revelation after another. In one instance, you learn that Susan Krakower, producer of the Jim Cramer juggernaut Mad Money, used to produce The Jerry Springer Show. Hmmm. Talk about an eye-opener. And they just keep coming. Most troubling however, are the desperate attempts by the brokerage industry to silence this film. Don't invite your broker; he really doesn't want you to see this film.
Throughout, Helman asks you to get real; to get real about separating the truths and myths of Wall Street. He appears periodically, along with a number of seriously heavy hitters, from Nobel laureate Dr. Harry Markowitz to former Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Arthur Levitt, who reinforce Helman's argument that indeed the emperor has no clothes: that in truth there is no such thing as a broker who can predict how the market will perform.
Turns out that what the financial media and the securities industry are best at is selling us. And Helman thinks it's time we all wake up and smell the B.S. Forewarned is forearmed!
Finally, you get to see the "fog laws," a series of decidedly un-sexy, common-sense strategies for smart, safe investing. These are the true jewels of the movie, the straw that stirs the daiquiri. (Warning: as you watch, the fog laws go quickly. You might want to bring a pencil and paper to get it all down.)
If you want to escape reality, watch television or go see an animated feature film. Better yet, just watch a Charles Schwab or Merrill Lynch commercial. But if you want to be smart with your money, join the quiet revolution of people willing to learn the real deal by seeing Navigating the Fog of Investing.
Bottom line? Making money isn't fast. It isn't slick. And neither is this movie. But what it is... is very, very smart, eye opening and frighteningly real.
The characters in this film are delivering a very important message to the world.