Google Chromecast and a momentary lapse of reason

My Chromecast came in the mail on Saturday, it really is an amazing device. If you don't have one or haven't heard of it, it's worth a look. I didn't even know that the product existed until last week when a student in a Junior Achievement class that I was teaching made reference to it; not wanting to fall behind the times, I ordered one right away. When I finished setting it up on my TV I was very impressed. The first thought I had was that with this technology cable companies are doomed and I need to go buy Google stock and short sell Time Warner.

When it comes to investing I should be a little bit smarter than that, all things considered. I communicate the concept of market efficiency and the randomness of returns to people on a daily basis, but even with that mindset it is human nature to imagine opportunities to make money in the stock market. Of course, as soon as I had that thought I gave my head a shake and reminded myself that if a 12 year old boy had told me about the Chromecast I didn't have an information edge. Anything that I hear about a stock is already included in the price by the time I hear it, and even if it isn't there are an infinite number of other factors that are moving the price around at random as new information develops.

My own momentary lapse in reason served as a reminder that it is exceedingly difficult to ignore the constant barrage of stock tips and success stories that the media, and people in general, expose us to on a daily basis. People like to brag about their winning stock pick and the media likes to sell their content. Success in investing is much more about ignoring the noise than paying close attention to it.