For those of you who do not use what is parroting – it is repeating some cliche statements without understanding what it means. It also includes those statements which some of them may have no clue what it means.

Let us take some statements which I hear…and some which are on the media:

1. Sir I have a lot of respect for you: I hear this quite often. It does not mean anything at all. It is just some upbringing dialogue. When they see people with gray hair, they say this. It does not mean they will listen to what you say, or believe in your ideology, or act on your advice….but they will continue to say this :). I am more amused when I hear this…and keep what it means. This also happens when they see you with the powers that be in the organisations that they work. They think it is ‘worthwhile’ being in touch with you – on FB, LinkedIn, etc…just in case.

2. Sir I will keep in touch with you there is so much to learn from you: I must have trained / taught / worked with upwards of 100,000 people – about 1500 may have actually told me this – not more than 150 would be in touch on email, fb, twitter, phone etc.

3. Sir can you recommend some good books for my reading: of course there can be various ways one can react to this – finish reading all your text books first, sure my dear send me a mail and I will send you a link, – both are fine, the mail does not come anyway. The second set of people read some recommended book..and say ‘Oh the book was awesome’ but there is no learning. Parroting at its worst! There is one girl who read Graham’s book and had no questions to ask. Not really a novel, girl, not sure what you read and what you understood.

4. Subra, you are an important part of our organization and your continued patronage is important to us: The sales guy will tell you this. Then the back office, service team, operations, treats you like a common thief. Once in a while their sales guys will ask how much business are you doing with the competitor…and you say 3X…then the parroting continues without ANY ACTION. Sucks!

Are there any exceptions? yes there are. One guy who handles investments for a company and one kid girl with one year’s experience are just 2 out of 100,000 who have been different 🙂 statistically this is noise….

Now let us look at some parroting that you hear on the media:

1. Equities are good for the long term: – ask the person what is long term and you will get periods ranging from 1 year to 3 years. In equities I consider long term and short term depending on the current status of the market – from a p/e value rather than an absolute value.

2. In the long run equities are ALWAYS positive: Complete bumbug. If you have bought bad equity, holding it for long does not solve the problem, it aggravates it.

3. You must do asset allocation.

4. As you are retired you should invest in debt products only.

5. As you cannot take risk, you should put all your money in debt instruments only: clearly the parrot does not understand risk.

some of these are dangerous parrotting, be careful 🙂

 

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  1. Subra sir,

    In the long run equities are ALWAYS positive: Complete bumbug. If you have bought bad equity, holding it for long does not solve the problem, it aggravates it.

    Totally agree with you. I have held few penny stocks with the hope of them becoming multi-baggers but they have never really taken off and will ever will……

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention Parroting is a disease… -- Topsy.com
  3. Mr. Subramoney,
    Explain media-parroting#3. Last time you said something similar was at http://www.subramoney.com/2010/11/investment-lies-that-you-have-been-told/
    Look at comments section. Me and one Sanjay pleaded with folded hands for your point of view. There was a pedantic ‘please make an attempt’ which I did. Post that I re-requested for your point-of-view. It never came. You have again dropped a similar pearl of wisdom (without any explanation) in form of media-parroting#3. Explain yourself or face the risk of getting delisted from great Sambaran’s google-reader-list. Sorry, I take my previous sentence back. I will grovel again. Please please explain media-parroting#3.

  4. Asset allocation has too many models for the media to handle. It is a function of too many factors. Such things are either done by the people themselves or with the help of a decent professional. Personally my asset allocation models are very different from text books and magazines that is what i meant.

  5. Hi,

    I am confused with 1st & 2nd statement in the “parroting from the media” section. i invested only in mutula funds: HDFC top 200, DSP BR top 100, kotak 50, reliance growth. Does those statements hold true for me if i invest them for long term ( more than 5 years)?

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