Common Sense

Cavuto: If it sounds too good to be true, it is

Neil's rule of thumb


You know all the times I tell you what you've been missing if you've been missing Fox Business Network?

Remember when I told you how FBN was the first network to warn of hiccups in housing ahead of the real estate crash.

How we were way ahead of this banking crisis before it was a crisis?

How, if you didn't have Fox Business, you missed our detailed coverage on how government was giving you the business?

Remember what I told you over the years to do?

Well, now we've brought this audience commitment to a whole new level.

Not only with the addition of Maria Bartiromo joining a financial Yankees killer lineup that includes the likes of Stuart Varney and Liz Claman and Charlie Gasparino and Melissa Francis and Lou Dobbs and soon Deirdre Bolton, but interacting with you to get the most from that lineup.

So often I hear viewers ask me to explain not only what's the latest deal we're covering on FBN, but what's the deal with the anchors on FBN, what's the deal with me?

It's true. Folks want to know what's the deal with the stories I choose to cover and the guests with whom I choose to cover them.

We're getting enormous buzz on this new segment, appropriately called that's -- "What's the deal, Neil?" -- where you can ask me anything, any time about any issue, any problem, business stuff, even personal stuff to a degree.

Anything you want. And I'll give it my best.

Now this is only something you can find on my Fox Business show.

But since some of you sadly don't yet have Fox Business it pains me to see you missing out on this.

And since I love you all to death.

I'm going to give you, my Fox News friends, a treat--a tease for just one day--what we do on my Fox Business show every day, every night.

Your own mini, "What's the deal, Neil," from me...Neil...

Kevin in Elmira, N.Y.

"What's the deal with barely covering the markets, Neil? It seems it would take a huge move up or down to get you to even acknowledge they exist."

You're exactly right, Kevin. That's the only time I'll cover them. Big moves up or big moves down. And here's why this daily, minute-by-minute obsession with the Dow is beyond stupid and I have held this view wayback to my days at CNBC when I hosted a show called ‘Market Wrap,' but rarely led with the markets unless they warranted it.

That's because, for me, chasing every little tick in the Dow will give you ticks before you know it. Investing is about the long-term, not obsessing over some blip in the moment, or assigning some meaning to a move that might be meaningless.

On this same subject, this from Keith via Yahoo.

"What's the deal with your talking to billionaires. Who cares where they invest their money?"

Well Keith, in the case of Carl Icahn, they got to be billionaires precisely because they're pretty good at investing their money, so it bears watching what they're doing with their money. A heck of a lot more than staring at the Dow will ever do!

Cliff in Yonkers, N.Y.

"Neil, you always say it's not about stocks, it's about taking stock...what the heck does that mean...because I think you're covering for not knowing what the hell's going on."

Well, Cliff, what I mean is this:

Don't get obsessed with stocks that you miss taking stock, not only of other investments, but other priorities in life itself. For example, I can't tell you the number of anchors who equate a good or bad day by whether the Dow is up or down, forgetting stocks are but one investment. There are bonds and gold, silver, tin, real estate, even cotton, why you can even buy pork bellies if you think bacon prices are going up.

But fat chance you hear that. All I am saying is don't be so focused on the relatively arcane movements in an even more arcane average that you lose sight of the bigger picture and don't make this obsession come at the expense of everything else in your life. Copper's good. But I bet your kids are better. That's all I'm saying. Balance. Perspective.

LB in N.J.

"What's the deal with you constantly whining about spending? You must know neither party is serious about addressing the issue."

You're quite right about the latter, which is precisely why I pound the former. This is all our money, LB and we're digging a very deep hole, Democrats and Republicans, because not everybody owns stock, but everyone has a stake in this country, and this country's enormous budget. That's why I whine about it because I'm very worried about it, and us.

Then there's Ralph via AOL.

"Admit it, Neil, you were a nerd growing up."

Yes, Ralph, I was a nerd. And I'm proud of it, still am.

Anna in Knoxville.

"Neil, you just seem very odd to me. I'm not talking about your looks, which are unsettling enough for the unprepared viewer, but the contrarian stance you seem to take on almost every issue. Do you enjoy being an ass?"

Well, Anna, if by "ass," you mean someone who goes against the grain, guilty as charged. To me, fair and balanced isn't about left or right it's about covering what's left out.

Can I let you in on a secret about my business, Anna?

We all get the same daily rundown of events.

What the president's going to announce that day, what economic numbers the government's going to release that day, what hot new products are coming out that day.

By and large we all get the same material. You might even notice flipping around it often leads to the same kind of coverage.

I try to go beyond that and that's where being a nerd helps, I actually read the healthcare law, and early on told you that anyone with a basic understanding of basic math could tell you this thing was going to cost a bundle.

And that insurance companies couldn't possibly give us all this added coverage for nothing.

I work under this rule of thumb if it sounds too good to be true, it is.

And if everyone's going one way, maybe look the other way.

Just like I've discovered that a rushed cure for a crisis often creates a bigger crisis.

I said that about this president and his stimulus and it got me hate calls from Democrats.

I said the same about those bank bailouts with the last president and it got me hate calls from Republicans.

One viewer called me a fair and balanced pain in the ass.

I'll take that. Because at least I'm getting in your head. And hopefully, making you think.

So when people ask, "What's the deal, Neil?" that's my deal, period.

Now you know, Fox News viewers.

I'm doing this every night for Fox Business viewers.

You want in? Flip to FBN at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. and all you gotta ask is, ‘What's the deal, Neil?"