Albert Einstein once said:

“Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are incapable of forming such opinions."

This phenomena is quite evident on Seeking Alpha, which is a crowd sourced website. Most readers gravitate to an analyst simply because that analyst supports the readers own personal perspective Therefore, this process turns into a popularity contest with regard to the analysts you “support” rather than actually seeking out intellectually honest perspectives about the stock market.

Analysts are also infected by the same confirmation bias disorder.

Andrew Lang (1844-1912) once quipped: "He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts... for support rather than illumination."

And, this is exactly how analysts further their own confirmation bias. They have made their determination about the market, and then seek out statistics and facts to support that perspective.

This is how herding in our financial market works. The analyst has made his/her determination about the market, the investor has made his/her determination about the market, and then they find each other on a site such as Seeking Alpha, and then support each other in the comments section, which then perpetuates their combined confirmation bias. Ultimately, do you think this to be healthy for your investment account?

In 1996, Robert Olson published a study in the Financial Analysts Journal in which he studied the effects of herding upon “expert” fundamental analysts’ predictions of corporate earnings. After studying 4000 corporate earnings estimates, he arrived at the following conclusion:

“Experts’ earnings predictions exhibit positive bias and disappointing accuracy. These shortcomings are usually attributed to some combination of incomplete knowledge, incompetence, and/or misrepresentation.”

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