Originally Posted by OldShooter
So you'd be comfortable getting medical treatment from a doctor who flunked out of medical school, flying with a pilot who had never had any flight traiing, and going into court with a criminal defense lawyer who had never been to law school and had never tried a case?
My attitude is different. In the cacophony of ideas, my first move is to look at credentials.
It seems we disagree on this approach. Credentials simply mean that someone [usually an educational institution, but not always] has approved, or is willing to vouch for, a person's knowledge of a particular subject.
People who realize this can, and sometimes do, spout the party line long enough to get the credentials--and then they do what they want, and use the credentials as a shield.
i.e. They commit a logical fallacy--or run a total con--and then when someone objects, they take the attitude "you can't criticize me because I have a degree in X and you don't, and plus, millions of people have bought my book." But the credentials and the book and the TV appearances and all the supposed 'expertise' merely serve in support of the con.
group of people has a blind spot. Even a group of Nobel-Prize winners can be stunned by some revolutionary new finding. It's happened before, and it'll happen again. Einstein, for example, revolutionized the entire field of physics. By definition, he therefore had insight that previous experts lacked.
In short, credentials can be abused. Or meaningless. Or both.
In my own field, there was such a tidal wave of nonsense by well-intentioned people
that I left the field. Very few people actually knew what the heck they were talking about, and then they acted offended when someone points out a logical flaw, or even a contradictory fact that's well-established! I suppose these people believe their egos are more important than reality.
In general, your strategy of listening to experts is probably a good approach. Credentials are typically going to be a decent guide to finding actual experts in a given area.
But, of course, there's no guarantee that those credentialed experts are honest, or even competent. The only guarantee is that they've jumped through hoops that somebody else set up.
Actually, FINRA is a self-regulatory body: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financ...tory_Authority
The financial industry would rather throw a few hundred million per year into FINRA than face the teeth of an empowered SEC.
I recall reading some years ago that, between SEC and the self-regulatory body, total fines levied against financial companies have de
creased since 2007, when FINRA replaced NASD. Of course, I can't locate that source now.
According to that now un-findable source, FINRA is basically a strategy to keep the SEC at arm's length. And according to that source, it's working.
That doesn't necessarily mean FINRA is bad. But I'm not sure I'd use that as a guide to choosing a good advisor; only as a way to weed out fraudulent ones. If looking for a financial advisor, I'd consider a CFP designation as much more meaningful. Still not a guarantee of competence, but probably the best credential in the financial world.
A counter argument here might be to observe that nobody can predict the future anyway, so it is basically a bunch of chattering monkeys whose qualifications are irrelevant. So then this woman is as good as any other.
Quite right--I don't trust anybody's predictions of the future. That includes my own.
But I can educate myself about what's happened in the past, and what's happening now. That's all I'm trying to accomplish here--I want to acquire information.
Others have also said that they're impressed by her economic analysis, so it seems that I'm not alone in thinking it's worthwhile as one data point among many
Your observations have been most helpful in clarifying my own thinking, OldShooter. One tends to learn more from debate than from getting nothing but nods and agreement. So thanks!