Tony Robbins is a fabulously wealthy self-help guru who recently wrote a book containing bad financial advice. Andrew Ross Sorkin is a business reporter for America's most influential newspaper. What happens when you put them together?
What happens is: an uncomfortably boot-licking interview full of only the most pillowy softball questions, because Andrew Ross Sorkin—while by all accounts a nice guy—should probably be in financial PR, rather than in journalism.
As someone reading (or viewing a video of) an interview of Tony Robbins regarding his new book of money advice, you may have been interested to learn that actual knowledgeable financial experts pointed out, when the book came out, that Tony Robbins is generally full of shit, when it comes to money advice. Barry Ritholtz pointed out that Robbins has been giving provably awful money-losing investment advice as far back as 2010, and that the investment portfolio that Robbins recommends in his book falls prey to the "rookie mistake" of containing all the stuff that has been doing very well very recently—the same stuff that, the principle of reversion to the mean tells us, will likely not do that well in that future. Ben Carlson put together an even more detailed critique of Robbins' suggested portfolio, showing not only that it is not very inventive, but that he probably constructed it by cherry-picking things that had performed well in the past. That does not take an investment guru. Any idiot with a calculator can do that.
In other words: Tony Robbins gives demonstrably bad investment advice, yet here he is selling a book full of investment advice. I would have been interested, as a reader of the business section of our nation's most prestigious newspaper, to hear Tony Robbins respond to this critique. Instead, what we get is... this. An interview in which Andrew Ross Sorkin asks Tony Robbins nothing—nothing!—about the detailed factual criticisms of his book, but he does ask him the following question:
"Help me with this. There are people who are believers. I know friends of yours, people who have been to your seminars, who live and die and breathe for Tony Robbins... but there are other people perhaps who haven't experienced it who are skeptical—they say 'Well how could it be, this guy's a magician? I don't get it.' So what is it?"
What is this guy—a magician???
And that's today's financial news.