How Good Are The Guests on BNN?

BNN, the Business News Network, is Canada’s flagship investment channel. There is a seemingly non-stop supply of guests appearing on the show sounding incredibly smart and well-researched, providing free commentary and recommendations on stocks to the channel’s faithful callers.

They Sure Look Smart

It would be hard to find people more well versed in many of the stocks they comment on, but you have to ask yourself a few questions as to if and how you should act on the information that is being doled out. A cynic would suggest that if they are giving away free information, it’s either not that valuable or they are hoping people will act on their comments which in turn benefit the speaker (example: a fund manager buys a position the day before and then proclaims it to be the next big thing, viewers buy it over time and the manager sells it after riding the price up).

Are Looks Deceiving?

Well, the good news is that there is a site out there that keeps track of pretty much EVERYTHING that is said by visiting guests. It includes the guest’s name, the stock’s price at the time of the recommendation, the date and any comments (in point form). You can search by stock (to see all the various guests’ opinions and recommendations on that one stock over time), or you can search by guest (to see all of their recommendations they have made over the years on various stocks). – I’ve set the link to point to the list of guests whose last names start with A to E. Feel free to check out this great site and feel free to let us know if you can find anyone who is consistently right.

Preet Banerjee
Preet Banerjee an independent consultant to the financial services industry and a personal finance commentator. You can learn more about Preet at his personal website and you can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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Showing 10 comments
  • Michael James

    That’s an interesting site. It’s crying out for some software to automatically analyze each guest’s recommendations.

  • Silicon Prairie

    Interesting site, although it’s hard to see the date when recommendations were made.

    I watched this type of things a few times for entertainment when we got the channel for free, but it gets boring pretty quickly when you know how useless it is.

    The only thing these experts might be good for is judging current market sentiment. Maybe an index of how optimistic “experts” on tv are at the time would be a good indicator for contrarian investors… as long as they’re actually trying to provide good recommendations.

  • Preet

    @ Michael James – I was thinking the same thing! :)

    @ Silicon Prairie – the date appears fine on my screen, but I’m using a widescreen (it’s all the way on the right). Perhaps it doesn’t all appear on one line for you? In any case… you could probably use magazine covers as a good contrarian indicator – there are all sorts of examples of how when the markets make the front cover of the bigger magazines it seems to be a co-incident indicator of a good time to buy… :)

  • Silicon Prairie

    Well, we can always hope for another “death of equities”. But with the changes in the media since the last time that happened BNN and CNBC might be more of a real-time indicator.

  • Preet

    @ Silicon Prairie – As I was traveling over December I saw numerous magazines with various depictions of an ailing stock market on the cover – we must be at a bottom by now. lol :)

  • Bill Bruner

    I view the Experts as people who are looking for some publicity with no ulterior motives. (Maybe a little ego?)
    In any case their comments on individual stocks are very helpful to me and give a good insight on some facts that I might have never considered.
    As with all information, it helps to use it with a grain of salt and use it along with other resources to get the best (not necessarily accurate) picture for your needs.
    Personally, I have done fairly well (last year excluded) using the Experts comments.

  • Preet

    @ Bill – I have also learned some interesting things from the guests, and I echo your comments about taking information with a grain of salt.

    Some guests publish their long term returns of their funds on their respective sites and many do not have flattering returns (before or after the meltdown).

  • Bill Bruner

    RE: “They Sure Look Smart”
    I have very rarely found that any comment by one of the Experts on BNN has had any effect on a stock. However, if I like a stock and the comments made, I wait a few days. It usually pulls back to my Buying range.

  • uplayslow

    This site is still going strong. ¬†Whenever I’ve used it to check out an idea, I’ve either made money or at least didn’t make a bad¬†decision.

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