What they miss is that their competition has all this information, too—so it doesn’t give anyone an edge. They also don’t understand that, in addition to all this information, the folks they are competing with have millions and millions of dollars to spend gathering information that will never be published anywhere or appear on a screen or in a chart or graph.

That’s where the expert networks come in. That’s where contact networks in general come in. That’s where one-on-one meetings with managements and suppliers come in. That’s where having dozens of smart research analysts on your team comes in.

One glance from a CEO in response to a pointed question can contain more information than 500 pages of SEC filings. One nugget of scuttlebutt about the status of an important contract can make you more money than 500 hours of studying charts and graphs. Most small investors don’t understand that their competition gets this sort of information all day long.

The only way to try to get around this, as Blodget says (if you still want to be involved in the stocks game at all, that is) is to forget about individual stocks or anything short-term and just put money in index funds and let it ride.

Alas, there’s a whole multi-billion-dollar business-media industry trying to convince you otherwise—one in which Blodget participates, naturally. Here are a few Blodget headlines:

CONGRATULATIONS BEN BERNANKE! Stocks Are Now ~35% Overvalued


Time To Sell Apple’s Stock?

Finally, my favorite and yours:

OMG Is Google Stock A Buy! — Citi’s Mahaney
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Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.