Royce Shook

1 year ago · 1 min. reading time · ~100 ·

Royce blog
Bottom line read the story not just the headline

Bottom line read the story not just the headline

The headline is what most of us read and it looks bad, “Teacher’s pension fund reports gain, but misses benchmark.” If you only read the headlines you might be worried about the long-term stability of the pension plan.

The story is not that bad, but you have to look for the good news about the fund. At one point the author says “All told, Teachers says it underperformed its 10.7-per-cent benchmark by more than two full percentage points. The fund’s four-year return of 7.8 percent is slightly less than its 7.9-per-cent benchmark.

“We have beaten the benchmark eight of the last 10 years, so I think that overall that’s a solid performance from us,” Mr. Taylor said.”

The report also says, “That asset allocation helped Teachers outpace other large Canadian pensions that had put their money elsewhere. The Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System – which entered the year with 5.5 percent of its portfolio in bonds, posted a 2.7-per-cent loss in 2020 because it didn’t have a counterweight to real estate and private investment losses.”

The report does overall present a positive take on how well the pension has done, but from the headline, you would think that the fund was not doing well at all. The bottom line is that the fund missed its own benchmark by .01 of a percent. The investment board of the Teachers' Pension Plan of Ontario is still doing a very good job of making sure that they are protecting the plan and investing wisely. The bottom line, read the story, not just the headline.



Preston 🐝 Vander Ven

1 year ago #3

This buzz reminds me of a test I took in junior high. The purpose of the test was to see if we would read and follow directions. The assignment directions were placed after it's title, began saying “FIRST READ ENTIRE ASSIGNMENT BEFORE STARTING”

Than it had over 100 random tasks written on it to complete like: write your name on back of paper, sharpen your pencil, walk around the room twice, bark like a dog, jump up and down three times and so forth.

We had 45 minutes to compete this. The class began to get crazy with the tasks written down. The very last task said “now that you finished reading the assignment, write you name on the top write on the paper, turn the paper over, and stay silent.”

I admit I began to fall for it until I noticed two people next to me turn their paper over. I was caught up in the chaos because the title was, “can you finish this in less than an hour?"

Yes, everyone doing the tasks were still reading, we just were not following directions because we were focused on what the title said. So, part of me just read the headline. I wanted to finish in less than an hour.

Neil Smith

1 year ago #2

This is made all the worse when headlines and even the summaries of academic papers seem to make the exact opposite point of the full report. 

 Good point made! Headlines don't always reveal the intent of the article and can easily mislead the reader. 

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