At the very least, aim not to get your stock tips and information from the likes of Jim Cramer, MSNBC, Fox Business, or your local news channel. None of these outlets strive for excellence. None of them aim for much more than a glitzy story to draw in the viewers. If you have some method of using the information as a contrarian indicator, then by all means, go right ahead. Many, on the contrary, will find the sources muddying their thought and clouding their profit potential.

Albeit much more helpful, use caution when reading The Economist, Bloomberg, WSJ, and even the technical analysis journals at your local bookstore. You will find many of these sources of use, at times, especially if you work at ferreting out the useful and shifting through the misleading or unpredictable; but, many of these outlets will be at least a day behind and sometimes more than a month. The monthly magazines can be particularly disappointing. Use them for their technical ideas, their intellectual side, but not for current market information.

What I am trying to say, I suppose, under my warnings against the media is to find another way to analyze information. You will often find the media utilizing data to serve their interests, whether that is to say what you want to hear, sell advertising to mutual fund companies, or any number of other things.

When Cramer screams at you to buy because the fundamentals are strong, take a step back, look at a chart, look at several sources for a likely fundamental scenario, and make your own decision on the data. It may be hard at first, but in the long run, you will thank yourself for putting in the effort.