In the sports world, commentators, beat-writers, reporters, and athletes use lots of meaningless phrases so they can hide their true thoughts or just fill the air:
“We’re taking it one game at a time”
“He’s a gym rat”
“He’s really got a high ceiling”
“At the end of the day”
The cliche jargon isn’t just relegated to the sports world. Finance people love to talk stupid, too. Here are some of my favorite finance phrases along with some (light) commentary:
“We’re cautiously optimistic”
This is an oxymoron and a total C-Y-A move.
“There’s a 40% chance it will happen”
So you won’t get blamed for being wrong, but want to grab all the credit if by chance it does occur.
“There are some jitters in the market”
Didn’t know the jitterbug was back in vogue, but if you meant stocks are going up and down, yes, that tends to happen.
“It’s a stock picker’s market”
I’m still waiting for the results to prove this statement. So far, it’s been the opposite.
“I’m a long-term investor”
Just as long as the market is going up.
“There’s a lot of macro volatility right now”
Right now and forevermore, you mean?
“The market likes it”
You have no clue why stocks are going up.
“We try not to be emotional”
You’re human. You have emotions. So who or what program will keep you on track when, not if, you go crazy?
“Earnings missed estimates”
As Morgan Housel says, “No, estimates missed earnings! Finance is the only industry where people blame their poor forecasting skills on reality.”
“Stocks fall due to a wave of sellers”
Literally, every single trade has a seller and a buyer. Every. Single. One.
“Stocks suffer their biggest drop since [insert last month]”
Please give me an update when some actual time has passed.
“We’re trying to maximize risk-adjusted returns”
Unlike everyone else, who is piling their money up in $5’s and $10’s in an open field and setting it all on fire.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty right now in the markets”
As if there was or ever will be certainty?