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If you are reading this, chances are Chrissy Teigen isn’t your friend. She got into a minor Twitter kerfuffle for recounting a story about her life. One that many found not all that relatable. Chris Sacca weighed in:
This Tweet should be pinned at the top of every single feed. Hell, they should put it in the official Terms of Service. https://t.co/p1YGoyyybM
— Chris Sacca 🇺🇸 (@sacca) February 3, 2021
Chris Sacca isn’t your friend either. And that’s okay. The issue isn’t that these high profile people aren’t your friends. The issues arises when you think that anyone on Twitter, CNBC, Reddit or [insert platform] is your actual friend.*
Everybody, seriously everybody, on these platforms is talking their book. They are saying things, consciously or unconsciously, that will benefit them in different ways. Their needs may be emotional, financial or some combination thereof. It doesn’t matter. There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with talking your book. It is human nature.
“There is this attraction to the cowboy rebel type,” said Margaret O’Mara, a historian of Silicon Valley. “These kind of rich guys being these rule-breakers is a powerful story. It has great appeal,” she said, even “when if you dig a little deeper, they’re not quite as iconoclastic.”
It’s also human nature to look to someone, anyone, with authority to help guide our actions. The old guard on Wall Street, and elsewhere, is on the outs. New investors are looking to figures like Elon Musk and Chamath Palihapitiya for guidance. As Chris Bryant at Bloomberg notes:
With power comes responsibility. Each of these three has, in their own way, encouraged young investors to plow money into extravagantly valued tech stocks. So what happens if things go belly up? Wood, Musk and Palihapitiya are the new captains of the democratized stock market. Leadership can easily become a burden.
No matter what happens in the stock market over the next day, week, month or year the big Wall Street firms will be fine. Many are profiting amid the chaos. The billionaires flirting with WallStreetBets will be fine: that is the benefit of being a billionaire. Which is why you shouldn’t be taking advice from them. Ben Carlson at A Wealth of Common Sense writes that you shouldn’t take asset allocation or personal finance advice from billionaires. He writes:
First of all, they have more money than you. It almost doesn’t matter what they do with it. They’ll be fine either way. It’s very easy to lose touch with the money problems normal people go through when you become uber-wealthy.
As exciting as this time has been for many novice investors, it has been disconcerting for long term investors. Not knowing who to cheer for in all this can be nerve wracking. However by stepping aside, or never engaging in the first place, you need not concern yourself with who is on your side (or not). Long term investors don’t need to worry that one of their ‘friends’ is planning to leave them with the bag when the party is over.