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Avoid Newspapers, Read Safal Niveshak’s Stream

“I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one a month, and I feel myself infinitely happier for it. The man who reads nothing at all is better informed than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

Long time readers of Safal Niveshak and attendees to my investing workshops know my dislike for reading newspapers. The dislike is so deep that I’ve not had a newspaper subscription at my home for the past six years now, and neither do I consume news via electronic media (till something really important comes to me). This also holds true of business television which I watch very occasionally and only when I want to get a hearty laugh and there’s nothing else that’s as funny on television at that time.

Now, one big reason I do not read newspapers is because I have a big problem with the fact that they decide for us what we should pay attention to and what we should ignore. It isn’t just the text of a news story that can mislead us; it’s also the choice of which stories get covered at all, and where they’re placed in the paper.

I know a lot of people who really believe that if a story isn’t covered in the first three pages of a paper, it isn’t worth knowing about it. To see how silly an approach this is, just pick up any newspaper (business or general) from, say, five or ten years ago and ask yourself whether the events that ultimately proved to be important in the long run were consistently receiving prominent coverage at that time.

Well, I am not blaming the newspapers here. That’s their job to inform us about the day-to-day events, to entertain us, to reflect the public moods and sentiments of the moment, to print stories that will interest us today, and that we will want to read.

But that’s exactly what creates problems for readers of news, who are often fooled by recency and availability biases that newspapers help create.

Nassim Taleb wrote in The Black Swan

Public information can be useless, particularly to a businessman, since prices can already “include” all such information, and news shared with millions gives you no real advantage. Odds are that one or more of the hundreds of millions of other readers of such information will already have bought the security, thus pushing up the price. I then completely gave up reading newspapers and watching television, which freed up a considerable amount of time (say one hour or more per day, enough time to read more than a hundred additional books per year, which, after a couple of decades, starts mounting).

Then, Taleb wrote in Fooled by Randomness that minimal exposure to the media should be a guiding principle for someone involved in decision making under uncertainty — including all participants in financial markets.

His key argument is that what is reported in the media is noise rather than information, but most people do not realize that the media is paid to get your attention –

The problem with information is not that it is diverting and generally useless, but that it is toxic…If there is anything better than noise in the mass of “urgent” news pounding us, it would be like a needle in a haystack. People do not realize that the media is paid to get your attention. For a journalist, silence rarely surpassed any word.

It takes a huge investment in introspection to learn that the thirty or more hours spent “studying” the news last month neither had any predictive ability during your activities of that month nor did it impact your current knowledge of the world. This problem is similar to the weaknesses in our ability to correct for past errors: like a health club membership taken out to satisfy a New Year’s resolution, people often think that it will surely be the next match of news that will really make a difference to their understanding of things.

You see, newspapers are like soap operas – you can go without seeing them for a few days and months and come right back in without missing a beat.

Just as fantasy typically substitutes for reality, news typically substitutes for insight – in both cases by diverting attention.

Another problem with news is that you don’t have any clue about the credibility and competence of the person who has created the news. The only thing you can be sure about the news is that every attempt has been made to appeal to your emotions and target your lizard brain.

So, What to Read?
Well, reading books – and a lot of them – is something I have covered innumerable times in the past. Plus read what the best thinkers of the current times write that does not get covered in the newspapers.

But who has the time to find such great stuff, you see?

The solution we have come up with is The Safal Niveshak Stream – a free daily collection of some great stuff we (Anshul and I) read everyday.

What we will simply do here is get to you daily (except Sundays) the great stuff we read on varied topics like money, investing, business, economics, thinking, human behaviour, and of course, life. And we will share this stuff from the blogs we are reading, the magazines, and some (relatively sane) newspapers (yes, we will bear the noise on your behalf and filter only the best stuff to you).

Now, since everyone reading this may not be interested, what you have to do to get The Safal Niveshak Stream in your email is to subscribe to it by visiting this page. Subscription is easy, and it’s free.

Click here to find a few sample streams we have already published over the past few days…and this is only going to evolve and become better.

Charlie Munger says –

I constantly see people rise in life who are not the smartest, sometimes not even the most diligent, but they are learning machines. They go to bed every night a little wiser than they were when they got up and boy does that help, particularly when you have a long run ahead of you.

We have taken this advice to heart, and expect The Safal Niveshak Stream to help you become a little wiser every day.

More wisdom (and less noise) to you!

By the way, let us know in the Comments section of this post whether you find this idea good, and any suggestion you may have to improve it as it evolves.

P.S. In case, you wish to help us spread the great stuff that you are reading that we should cover in the Stream, you may email the same to vishal[at]safalniveshak[dot]com or anshul[at]safalniveshak[dot]com.

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About the Author

Vishal Khandelwal is the founder of Safal Niveshak. He works with small investors to help them become smart and independent in their stock market investing decisions. He is a SEBI registered Research Analyst. Connect with Vishal on Twitter.


  1. P Arulselvan says:

    Thank you Vishal. This is certainly very useful and helpful.

  2. Akshyay Kumar Mondal says:

    Today I read your post “Avoid Newspapers, Read Safal Niveshak’s Stream” and all previous post also, and many many thanks to you for such an initiative to you and whole team which become more helpful to us….
    Kudos and keep going sir…
    I think you will initiate more such things in near future which will motivate us and others also.

    At the last.
    Thanks Sir..

  3. Kumar Gaurav says:

    Great initiative,Sir.

  4. Amazing Idea!

    I was looking for some short of curation from sometime.


  5. This will make us more & more perfect everyday for investing as well as our own life.

  6. Great Initiative sir. Thank you. 🙂

    I wanted to attend your Ahmedabad workshop, but I couldn’t afford it. Better luck next time. Looking forward to your next workshop in Ahmedabad.

  7. Dear Vishal
    I wanted to say that I hugely enjoy the mails I get regularly from your site. Those notes are such gems, carrying such wisdom with so much clarity and drawn from such diverse sources, that I cannot thank you enough for enriching my life with your regular blogs!
    I myself write blogs, mostly related to improving thinking towards markets and life, but I wish I could be as prolific and as wideranging as your blogs are! Great work.

    When your mail came thru for subscribing to your stream I was overjoyed. I don’t much read the papers as I do consider it pretty useless and done by people with an agenda or minimal IQ (mostly). So I am leaping at the chance of being fed regularly about readable items by someone who I am certain will ensure quality output. Once again, great work. I look forward to the Stream. Thanks.

  8. It is such a pleasant surprise to have such a feature.

    I also did not read newspaper since past 8 years, and spending my current time on reading books and quality blogs.

    Looking forward to read helpful information on daily basis.

  9. Nelson Christian says:

    Great Initiative Vishal and Anshul, posting after a long time. But was reading all that you guys write. What a fabulous initiative.

  10. A small investor says:

    1. Can you suggest some trade journals to study 2. I want your opinion whether one should study the trade journals or put them in the category of newspaper. Thank you.

  11. Brilliant. It’s a great initiative by you and Mr. Khare. I checked a few articles in archives, and they were great. I, too, had stopped my newspaper subscription two years back given the noise they create.

    Suggestion: If, subsequently, it’s possible to tag (single/multiple) each article/ group of articles into, say, what you just mentioned in the blog entry – money, investing, business, economics, thinking, human behaviour, life etc.
    It would be useful for those who are not quick or disciplined enough to update ‘new piece of wisdom’ in their mental lattice network. For them, re-visiting the source – and retrieval – becomes inevitable.

  12. Vishal
    You are such a fan of Bufeet. Buffet reads a dozen newspapers everyday. We should develop the capacity to sift through paid media or news that is pushed to us and reach the articles which are truly telling us how the world around us is changing. Else, we run the fear of becoming like the Ostrich burying its head in the sand.

  13. Hi Vishal,

    Thank you very much for this!!! Its been sometime since I have read newspapers since most of the content in them are misleading and chatter. But I do think that there are some important stuff I am missing out. I will not miss them after I start reading your stream. Thanks again for your help!!! 🙂

  14. Ritesh Solanke says:

    Thanks Vishal,

    For such nice article, It might be coincident but today morning itself I am thinking on similar track regarding information vs Knowledge. And you touched all this aspects, i have stopped newspaper from last one year, now need to stop watching TV news !


  15. Will you mirror the stream on your blog as well? I already subscribe to your blog, and would like to avoid another subscription.

  16. Very good idea Vishal & Anshul ji,
    Great step. I just paid up & booked by e-book by which you mentioned in your latest post. All these years I have been reading a great quality stuff all for free as I know in this materialistic world if you log on to some forbes / Washington post / financial express articles a few days after its published they don’t give it for fee so it’s a great feat of you that you are sharing such wisdom for free as our Guru Buffet is also doing by his annual letter.

    Infact I am an engineer by profession and as a but natural choice for any engineer to climb up the career ladder I was relishing an idea of doing executive mba but since I came across W Buffet letters and articles of his wisdom through your site and Prof SB sir site I have given away the idea of doing a MBA, instead I am reading all WB letters and post of you all and I am gaining much more wisdom than I could have in any other B-school.
    Secondly for the choice of topic for your SN stream I would like to suggest one to you which is plaguing our society and social circle now a days but as the result or adverse effect is not immediately realized just like smoking or consuming liqor the society is not paying heed to such thing.
    Now coming to the point, I would like you to write on judicious use of the gadgets in our day to day life.
    As all the inventions have both positive and negative side of it, mobile and 3g/4g has also got its negative side too. As chanakya says,”too much of anything is poison”. So too much of app/whatsapp/ fb / round the clock online etc is also bad.

    Now a days we are seing increasing instances of people at social occasion / gathering / family dinner or causal family talk are too busy with gadgets and not into the event or the health family chat. This over a period of time reduce the human connect between family members and cause stroke and other health issues over a period of time. As need warmth of relationship and it makes us strong psychologically and boost our immune system and keep us away from all illness (physical or mental)

    Example – see how quite a high number of citizens of so called modern or western developed countries or cities are suffering with. Eg. Sleeping disorder, eating / digestion disorder , shooting taking place in schools and discos etc.

  17. Hello,

    As it is my first post , many thanks for this website , it is treasure trove and thanks to you I discovered Professor Bakshi.
    I quote Charlie Munger
    “By regularly reading business newspaper and magazines I am exposed to an enormous amount of material at the micro level. I find that what I see going on there pretty much informs me about what’s happening at the macro level.”

    I have not watched television for more than ten years so no idea about it
    but I read newspaper to identify biases 🙂 and hear opinions and then contrast them with counter opinion.
    Few occasions we also get real news somewhere hidden.

    Typical mis reporting in newspaper are Incentive bias,authority bias , contrast mis-weighing, availability bias ,false causality bias,social proof.
    I approached these biases through Aristotle & Noam Chomsky and stunned to see such wide spread use of it and later discovered.

  18. Hi Vishal,

    I registered for your book two days back but haven’t received the copy yet. Could you please suggest. Thanks.


  19. Great Idea Vishal and Anshul

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