The 24‐Hour News Cycle moves from Impeachment to COVID‐19 to the Primaries – What’s next?
Provided by Stuart Cooper, CRPC®, Gerran Batterberry & Michael Pozzi
In recent weeks, we’ve seen several major stories in the news. On the political front, in addition
to the arrival of the presidential election through the 2020 caucuses and primaries, we have
just experienced the third presidential impeachment in American history. In international news,
the latest coronavirus outbreak has hit China, now referred to as COVID‐19, leading to closed
borders and heightened screening at hospitals worldwide.1
It’s not so much the facts of what’s going on that are unusual – none of these matters are
unprecedented – but the way that they are reported in the media can be alarming. Even
How might this affect me? When major events make headlines, it’s easy to put yourself in the
picture. Knowing, as well, how such events might affect the financial markets, it’s also easy to
wonder how your investments and retirement strategy might fare.
The truth? Political ups and downs, virus outbreaks, and other circumstances might lead to
some short‐term volatility on Wall Street. But it’s important to remember two things: 1) Your
portfolio is positioned to reflect your risk tolerance, time horizon, and goals. 2) The way we
experience news has changed over the years, and not all of it for the better.
Never‐ending news. On June 1, 1980, businessman and broadcaster Ted Turner debuted Cable
News Network (CNN), the world’s first 24‐hour television news channel. In the four decades
since, other similar channels have emerged. Collectively, they changed how the world
experiences news. Notably, it was the dawn of the 24‐hour news cycle.2
Before 1980, news was very different. Major newspapers might have published several editions
during a day, but most areas only had a morning or evening edition. Radio might offer news
break updates at the top of the hour, with news programs in the morning, afternoon, and
evening. Television followed a similar pattern.
The never‐ending news cycle means that news organizations have an interest in continuing to
report on the same news story even though little or nothing has changed. Twenty‐four hours is
a lot of time to fill, and they need ratings in order to be of value to advertisers. While this
doesn’t necessarily mean that the news has become inaccurate or sensationalistic, it might be
It’s also becoming ubiquitous. With our smartphones, we’re often receiving news updates
immediately throughout the day.
Keep informed, but don’t be rattled. Your investment and retirement strategy, which you have
designed and put into place with your trusted financial professional, has considered big news
events, both major and minor. Your professional knows the difference between something that
may be a minor force in your financial life and something that might require you to make some
changes. A good strategy gives you room for market changes that might see reactions that last
a few days – even a few years. Staying the course is often the smartest move, partially because
you aren’t reacting immediately to a dip, and you might benefit from a potential recovery.
So, keep yourself informed, but if you get too worried, have a conversation with your financial
professional. They can help you understand what the news means for your financial life and
offer you the context you need to remain confident in your strategy.
This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This
information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note ‐ investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee
of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is
advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and
may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell
any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any
1 ‐ sciencemag.org/news/2020/02/bit‐chaotic‐christening‐new‐coronavirus‐and‐its‐disease‐name‐create‐confusion [2/12/20]
2 ‐ history.com/this‐day‐in‐history/cnn‐launches