Kevin O’Leary: Do this for 1 hour every morning, or ‘you will lose money 100% of the time’

Wealth

Kevin O’Leary’s daily money-saving morning habit sounds simple — but isn’t, 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 working out, O’Leary spends one hour reading the news. He sources research from banks, reads articles and watches broadcasts from around the world to ensure he’s up to date on global markets and current events.

Doing so, he says, is essential to making decisions at work — and it helps him avoid costly mistakes.  

“You have to invest in information,” O’Leary says. “If you make decisions without relevant information, I guarantee you, you will lose money 100% of the time.”

Spending an hour skimming through articles on your social media feed may sound easy. O’Leary’s process is more rigorous. “The way you remain successful is by turning yourself into a good filter,” he says. “You have to be able to distill between what’s real and what isn’t.”

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 indicate the pace of his day ahead.

He also prioritizes any new pieces of peer-reviewed academic and scientific research relevant to his work, usually sent to him by banks that his firm works with, he says.

Notably, O’Leary says he fact-checks every piece of news he reads. He says he regularly watches clips from BBC broadcasts in the morning and compares them to domestic headlines from national outlets, and discards any story that isn’t backed up by multiple sources.

“You start to see generally five to seven themes per morning of what is occurring globally,” he says.

Choosing which media outlets to check each morning can be tricky. Experts often recommend nonpartisan rankings of media bias — 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, where you can search keywords and verify if claims on social media or in blog posts are accurate.

Websites like FactCheck.org and PolitiFact offer similar services, with experts who verify or debunk public claims made in viral headlines, on social media and during political debates.

Once O’Leary’s daily morning news hour is over, he works to avoid media “noise” for the rest of the day, he says — keeping himself from checking the news again until at least 4 p.m.

“I find that people that do this in the morning and take 60 minutes a day to gather their information from various sources and do that on a consistent, routine basis are more efficient,” O’Leary says. “In the middle of the day, you’re wasting your time when you really should be doing your tasks for the day.”

If you let the news and social media “bleed your time, you’re going to 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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