Fox’s Charles Payne has been fined $25,000 by the SEC and has a record of pitching worthless penny stocks. Yet this week, Payne appeared on Fox News to promote stocks to those who feel they don’t know enough to invest in the stock market.
On the Your World show, host Stuart Varney opened the discussion with Payne by citing a survey that found less than half of Americans invest in the stock market. “And the reason is a lot of us don’t think we know enough to invest,” Varney explained.
“This is your thing, isn’t it Charles?” Varney began with Payne. “Invest in the companies you know and like.”
“Oh, my God, Stuart,” Payne said. “For years, I mean for a couple of decades now, I’m pleading with people, begging people, telling them, 'You know, you know, you know!'”
Payne analyzed the problem as twofold: “People have been intimidated, which is probably why the industry did that right? They intimidate you so you don’t think you know, so you send them your money if you ever decide to do it, and secondly, people just simply don’t connect the dots.”
Varney also prompted Payne to discuss specific stocks. “You’ve got three stocks, haven’t you, that everybody knows about and that you like.”
So of course Payne named and discussed them, one of which he was alerted to by his mother. “These kind of things that average people know, could have paid for their kids to go to college, and that last part would have been irrelevant.”
Varney closed by saying, “We love you, and we love your mom a lot.”
But here’s what “we report, you decide” Fox News didn’t mention:
That Payne has a talent for identifying growth may be a surprise to someone who followed some of Payne’s previous stock advice. After joining Fox in 2007, Payne was compensated to push the prospects of three stocks, as Media Matters documented in July 2013. Payne used his Fox credentials in promotional materials to assure skeptical investors that his advice was trustworthy. The stock of those companies are now virtually worthless. …
…The practice of compensated stock endorsements is currently prohibited by Fox rules, and resulted in the contract termination of contributor Tobin Smith. ...
Payne and his company, Wall Street Strategies, have a problematic history related to the proper disclosure of stock recommendations. In 1999, the SEC announced that while not “admitting or denying” wrongdoings (for failing to disclose that he received payment from a company to promote its stock), Payne “agreed to pay a civil penalty of $25,000.”
It’s bad enough that Payne is a host on Fox Business but at the very least he should not be allowed to tout stocks.
Watch it below, from the April 9 Your World.