Kevin O’Leary’s daily money-saving morning habit sounds easy — but it’s not, the Shark Tank host and chairman of O’Shares Investments tells CNBC Make It.
After waking up between 5:00 and 5:30 a.m. and exercising, O’Leary spends an hour reading the news. He researches banks, reads articles and watches programs from around the world to ensure he is up to date on global markets and current events.
He says it’s essential for making decisions at work – and it helps him avoid costly mistakes.
“You have to invest in information,” says O’Leary. “If you make decisions without relevant information, I guarantee you will lose money 100% of the time.”
It might sound easy to spend an hour skimming through articles on your social media feed. O’Leary’s process is stricter. “You stay successful by turning yourself into a good filter,” he says. “You have to be able to distill between what is real and what is not.”
O’Leary avoids articles with “ridiculous and outrageous headlines” during his daily morning news hour, no matter how enticing they sound, he says.
Instead, he opts for early-morning broadcasts from Asia and Europe because their markets open earlier than Wall Street and set the pace for his day ahead.
He also prioritizes all new peer-reviewed academic and scientific research papers relevant to his job, which are usually sent to him by banks his firm works with, he says.
Specifically, O’Leary says he fact-checks every message he reads. He says he regularly watches clips from BBC programs in the mornings and compares them to national broadcaster headlines and dismisses any story that isn’t backed up by multiple sources.
“You generally see five to seven topics a morning about what’s happening around the world,” he says.
Choosing the media to review each morning can be difficult. Experts often recommend unbiased media bias rankings — one of the most popular comes from media solutions company AllSides — as a useful tool.
Fact-checking can also go beyond comparing headlines across multiple outlets. Google has a free fact-checking tool that you can use to search for keywords and verify that claims made on social media or blog posts are correct.
Sites like FactCheck.org and PolitiFact offer similar services, with experts verifying or debunking public claims in viral headlines, on social media, and during political debates.
Once O’Leary’s daily morning news hour is over, he works to avoid the media “noise” for the rest of the day, he says – and refrains from checking the news again until at least 4 p.m
“I find that people who do this in the morning and take 60 minutes a day to gather their information from various sources and do it regularly are more efficient,” says O’Leary. “In the middle of the day, you’re wasting your time when you’re supposed to be doing your chores for the day.”
If you let the news and social media “waste your time, you become a very inefficient person,” he adds.
Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to ABC’s Shark Tank.
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