No robo-content, no ads and no bullshit

Interview Just Like Gartman

By Tim Knight

One of the most frequent guests in the world of financial media is the “commodity king” Dennis Gartman. In spite of his moniker, he chimes in far more on equities than commodities, and his nearly daily appearances on Fox Business, CNBC, Bloomberg, the trade show circuit, or whoever else will have him, have made him a glowing success story. At least if you measure success by being repeatedly invited back to share market opinions.

As has been pointed out ad nauseam in the comments section of many a blog (particularly ZeroHedge), Mr. Gartman, in spite of his efforts, appears to be wrong far more often than right. Many would say his percentage of being wrong is something approaching 100%, although my own informal analysis puts the figure at a kinder 70% or so.

Oh, and allow me to say this before going further: those of you who feel it clever to comment that people should just do the opposite or whatever Gartman says, or that there should be a triple-inverse Gartman Fund – – you should know the identical comment has been made, oh, thousands of times already, so what may seem clever and saucy to you is, in fact, tired and boring. So save your typing, because the thought you just had isn’t original.

Anyway………..

Having seen many of Dennis’ media interviews, I noticed they followed a fairly consistent template. As a public service, I wanted to provide to you my own impression of how these interviews tend to go, in case you wanted to follow in his well-worn footsteps and try your hand at your own potential media success. Let us explore, then, how to do an interview like DG:

ONE: You will be welcomed by the host or interviewer. Take advantage of this awkward introduction by making a self-effacing remark (examples: in response to ‘It’s good to see you”, state that, ‘It’s good to be seen” or, if you’re feeling particularly contrite, declare that “You guys will let anyone on this show!”) Those unfamiliar with your work will be inclined to like you, or at least be sympathetic.

TWO: Waste little time before declaring what recent prediction has been wrong. This defuses the prospect of a “gotcha” altercation later, and it builds audience empathy. Importantly, you must attenuate this admission with two critical actions: first, make clear how your former position was small and therefore inconsequential, and second, state other predictions you made simultaneously which turned out to be right. Be sure to make these “right” predictions vague and difficult enough to measure so as to avoid verification.

THREE: Get the conversation moving away from recent predictions by trotting out some bromides, market folklore, or other old-timey sounding wisdom. Jesse Livermore’s “Old Turkey” story is a favorite, and some viewers will be new enough not to have seen the other five hundred times you mentioned it.

FOUR: For the sake of drama and great tweets, make a sweeping and absolute statement about a given market (real life past examples: “Crude oil will never trade above $44 in my lifetime”, “Bitcoin is nonsense”, “I will never buy Amazon”). An unintended consequence of this is you will unwittingly provide fodder for bloggers for years to come

FIVE: Interviews are about about new ideas, not old ones, so you need to be prepared to make some fresh predictions. Make sure these suggestions are not based on any serious analysis, mathematics, or charting insights. Instead, conjure up these ideas on the basis of self-made saws like “I only want to own things which, if dropped, shall hurt my foot.” This logic will seem charming enough to some viewers as to be sensible. Extend this idea by getting specific, such as a desire to own companies involved with steel or ships since they are, after all, prone to gravity.

SIX: Finally, express effusive gratitude at being included on the show, with the hope they’ll invite you back again. God knows it’s the cheapest and most effective way to promote, to take one hypothetical example, your overpriced newsletter.

Armed with this template, you have what you need to ape Dennis or, who knows, even fill in for him should he fall ill one day.

Aside from this succession of elements, allow me to offer some general rules of the road to complete the package:

Follow these steps and you, too, stand a good chance of being described with such phrases as “world’s leading hedge fund advisor” and “the market’s most respected trading expert”, even though there’s no logic underlying those conclusions. Onward! To victory!