Whether or not you agree with him, Ben Gallander of the Contra The Heardinvestment advisory seems to have one of the better articulations of why stockbroker and analyst recommendations should be taken with a grain of salt. He says:
If one chooses to look for safe stocks with expected returns around 10 to 20 per cent as many brokers and analysts recommend, the results will generally be quite feeble.
Remember that while some stock brokers and financial advisers are excellent, many act primarily as sales people and tend to offer what is hot, often close to, or after, the stale date.
They often do this not only because their firms are pushing specific products but because if they are wrong, at least they can take comfort that they are incorrect in a group. Independent thinking and choosing unpopular positions will lead to better returns.
No one cares as much about your money as you do and it is worthwhile reading widely to have the capacity to make your own investments decisions, or at least ask educated questions. Investing is not rocket science .