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TFG Commentary on CNBC’s Fast Money

February 3, 2010


Jeremy K.

  • Overall, interesting concept
  • Show spent first 10 minutes talking about CSCO’s earnings just as any financial news channel would speak about them… not the focus of show which is tradable, actionable ideas in the short term
  • Guys jump around too much.  They pontificate, but rarely say, “I am going to do this” or “while everyone is watching this (e.g. CSCO), I will instead do this which has derivative effects.”
  • Denis Garman segment was excellent – highly respected and he offered trading ideas; his recommendation of Suncor popped stock 50 cents.
  • The talk with Eric Dinallo, insurance commissioner for NY, was a complete waste.  What trading ideas come from discussing AIG bonus contracts?
  • Show all over the place… perhaps one too many guys?  Guys need to give specific trades with details similar to what Gartman did in his segment.
  • Trades seem too obvious
  • One analyst said “there are ancillary trades off of Toyota”  Ok, what are them?
  • Question use of the “best stock picker” as he is a long term fundamental PM which is contrary to show’s intent.
  • Show seemed to lose momentum after 30 minutes.  Perhaps shorten to 30 minutes?
  • More specific stock calls… Picks of CPB and SU and a short of LULU moved those stocks, so people are listening.  Just need more picks and less chatter.
  • Final trade segment – today’s trades for tomorrow – was good.  Need more of that.


Judah F.

  • I don’t like that it seems like I’m being yelled at and that everyone speaks so quickly (despite it being called Fast Money)
  • 3 guys said the same point – CSCO is first large cap tech to be up after good numbers
  • Najarian briefly mentions growth opportunities from wireless carriers upgrading their networks, that’s a good derivative play, but again mentioned too quickly
  • Explain the goal of the show in the beginning – what is the time horizon on trade ideas
  • Tech reporter again reiterates that “CSCO may be able to sustain” an up-move after good numbers
  • New Street Cred windows are good, gives the traders some credence
  • Terranova’s Katy Perry line “one minute you’re hot one minute you’re cold” is cliché – certain sectors are always hotter or colder than others
  • Saying it’s a stock-picker’s market is also predictable
  • Talking about letter X, but show crude oil chart – that is confusing
  • Talk on options is interesting, but
  • Kaminsky not going long tech, but doesn’t think you can make money shorting them – sounds oxymoronic
  • Gartman’s commentary so much more coherent and well thought out, he speaks clearly and slowly enough that I can process what he is saying, but not too slow
  • Maybe flash a definition of contango
  • Trade ideas are too short term for retail investor(Dean)
  • Not enough pencil-to-paper fundamentals – it makes the ideas seem half-baked
  • Dinallo segment didn’t really fit into the trading theme of the show – I’d prefer the show took it’s time and focused on better thought out trade ideas
  • Weird random comments about Katy Perry song “kissed a girl” earlier in the show and banter back and forth with the Forex.com commentator
  • Segment with McAdams Wright analyst just better thought out and more comprehensible
  • Personally I would like one half hour of fundamental ideas and one half hour of short-term trading ideas


Bottom Line:

Fast Money has never been a favorite CNBC show of mine.  Perhaps it’s because more fundamental, long-term investment ideas are more interesting to me, or maybe it’s because I saw one of the old Fast Money traders just wondering around a hedge fund hotel 2 years ago just waiting until it was time to head to the Nasdaq to record the show.  After watching the show in a room of 10 people tonight I see that most everyone had the same reactions.  When Dennis Gartman came on and when the McAdams analyst came on everyone’s (traders’ and analysts’) ears perked up; which makes me think that, despite the new Street Cred windows, the commentary from the traders on the show falls somewhat on deaf ears.  To me, they just speak too quickly and repeat each other’s macro ideas that we thought of before we watched the show (e.g. good earnings from CSCO is bullish for tech).  The general format on CNBC is that anchors continually repeat variations on the day’s news in order to fill time between interesting interviews with smart people.  Fast money is too much about repeating stale news. 



Zachary G.

Wedneday’s edition of Fast Money on CNBC provided a broad picture of important events in the market in a unique and informative manner.  The show began with an overview of Cisco’s conference call with commentary from CNBC’s field reporter Jim Goldman.  Goldman analyzed the information on several levels, allowing the viewer to gain greater insight into the company’s current operations.  For example, he compared the projected earnings figures to those in the past to give the viewer a point of comparison.  Furthermore, he dissected the CEO’s language and remarked that he had not seen such bullish vernacular in the ten years he has followed the company’s earnings calls.  This type of information was given greater color by the panelists on the show who occasionally chimed in with additional and at times opposing viewpoints. 

The format of the show allows for information to be expanded upon, building a complete picture of a particular news item.  When the conversation turned to the commodities market, each panelist was able to reinforce the comments of the previous panelist and expand the boundaries of the discussion.  The commodities conversation turned from opinions on U.S. Steel and FCX to a discussion of crude oil futures.  An amateur trader who is trying to build a broader picture of a particular market or industry benefits from the format of this discussion.  

Despite these benefits, the rapid flow of information on the show makes many comments difficult to digest.  Rarely did the panelists step back to clarify their points or discuss a particular point in greater detail.  At times it seemed as though some of the speakers were trying to make points just to hear themselves speak or to sound smart.  While the amateur trader benefits from the glut of information available, he or she can become also become easily overwhelmed.

Bullet Points:

  • Whenever an guest was on the show, the panelists were able to seamlessly integrate that individual into the overall group
  • The show was well produced and directed; camera angles were well thought out and quick cuts kept the viewer interested, graphics and animations were appropriate, and the overall flow of the program was very smooth
  • There were 20 minutes before the first commercial; this gave the viewer greater value for one’s time
  • Melissa Lee did a nice job of keeping the conversation centered and transitioning between topics
  • All panelists were very knowledgeable in a wide range of topics.
  • I enjoyed the prop desk segment and the manner in which the show integrated technical analysis into their discussion
  • Panelists were all very professional and did not step over one another when speaking


Josh S.

I think the content and information that is being disseminated is above average. However, the way it is being presented needs a lot of work. Below are a few issues I would like to comment on.

  1. Too much face time:
  2. I get bored of just staring at people talking, I might as well listen to the radio on my way home from work.
  3. I am staring at a screen literally all day, I am young and I expect to be entertained as well as informed, I am getting informed all day with zero entertainment, make me feel like I am not working anymore. You need to find a way to draw me into the show.
  4. I don’t think people would want to watch sportscenter if they never had any clips of games or live action, I need to see some action of something, anything, not just 5 people sitting at a desk, I see 20 people sitting at a desk right next to me, I don’t need to watch it on TV also.
  5. They are fairly dry, I am new to the hedge fund world but I know there needs to be humor on the desk during the day or people go crazy, this is no different, I need humor.
  6. Get another pretty girl on the screen, and maybe lose the shirts and ties. Again I stress the fact that my eyes need to be relieved from watching a computer screen all day.
  7. Model the show after SportsCenter, put a column on the side of screen letting me know what topics are on the docket.
  8. Let me know some gossip on traders and firms. Who lost big, who made a ton of money. Make this show more than just about news, TV should be entertainment.
  9. I know this is stupid but I really dislike Jon Najarian’s pony tail. I actually feel myself respecting his opinion less because of the way he presents himself.

In summary, keep the content the same but change the format. I like their opinions but I just don’t want to listen to them because the show just is so dry and boring. I want to listen to everything they say without feeling like I am still in the office working.


Jeff T.

  • The show is a little drawn out and they could keep it to within a half an hour.
  • If they want to make it an hour they should take more time going over trades and give the audience applicable advice.
  • The first segment of the show should be based on fast money: (What happened in the market today, what happened after the bell, and what we should expect for tomorrow.)
  • The second segment should be a guest speaker/fund manager who gives his views of what is going on.
  • The third segment should be the longest segment and it is where traders should talk about their trades.  They should use charts and illustrations to show where they entered a position what their profit potential is and where they will be stopped out.
  • They should discuss the time frames of the trade.
  • They should also talk about intraday moves and what they are using to trade around a position.
  • They could also use this time to discuss technical’s/indicators they us to make the trade.
  •  When they give a final day they should give definitive levels for entry/exits.

Overall, the show is enjoyable, but, the entire show is just four traders shooting from the hip about information you can read about on any website or the Journal.  The traders need to use more charts to illustrate how they’re trading a position and give the viewer technical trades he can’t read about in the Journal.


Alex P.

-The show needs to play to a wider audience.  I understand that the show is attempting to appeal to industry people but if they are also trying to catch a portion of the at home investor audience (and I am sure they are) they need to walk a careful line. To do this properly they cannot throw around terms like Contango (said by Dennis Gartman in last night’s show) without explaining briefly what this term means.  To an at home investor, the teaching of this information would be a huge draw as it would make them into more of an insider.  This can be done during the show or the show could make special episodes to discuss these types of terminology.  But to throw around a term like that for anyone but a seasoned professional will make one’s eyes glaze over in confusion. 

-Although the name of the show is Fast Money it seems like the first portion, which is a very lively and helpful discussion could be a bit slower, a bit less jumpy and a bit more drawn out to highlight the key points.  Once again, I would say that this discussion needs to take into account the home viewer, the housewife in the Midwest who is not cognizant of many of these ideas and terms that the show takes for granted.  I am not suggesting the show lose its edge by totaling dumbing down the material but more teaching must be going hand-in-hand with the spitfire use of the terminology and concepts discuss.  By doing this FM will provide a valuable learning tool in conjunction with their opinions on individual stocks and sectors.