Investor Points of Few – The Revelations Game

By Alan Steel

Strange that…

Today I put the phrase “Albert Edwards latest prediction 2018” into Google, and the first search result that came up was: Nikki – Psychic to the Stars – 416-961-7976 – 2018 Predictions.

Seriously.  

So naturally I called Nikki, thinking maybe she somehow knows Albert, or perhaps they’re connected in these mystical Google searchifications due to some level of collusion on stock market predictions, past or present. 

But I hung up when she had to ask who was calling.

That said, our newly resident psychic might be the better resource here when it comes to seeing into the future.

According to the Skeptic Ink psychic network, of Nikkis 540 predictions in 2016 (there were some duplicates) she claimed 37 hits, meaning a raw success rate of approximately 6.85%.

And while she doesn’t compete well against a coin flip, her predictive nous is far cry more accurate than the aforementioned global strategist at Societe Generale, whose accuracy even when compared to the psychic world makes legendary perma-bear and investment pauper Joe Granville look like Warren Buffett.

The problem here is not so much that Mr Edwards likes to try and see into tomorrow. It’s that his position with that firm means that a lot of folks who don’t know any better might be listening to and heeding that advice.

Back in October 2017, I took great pains to list approximately seventeen examples over the course of the last eight years of Albert’s completely erroneous predictions in an article called, First Do No Harm.  

In each he called for Horsemen and Armageddons to play Revelation games with the stock markets based on mysterious algorithms, spurious correlations and the equivalent of a wet finger in the dry air.

So while I’m not trying to pick on Mr Edwards in particular, or those who’ve tried and failed to see into the future with some measure of balance that attempts to air both sides of what’s possible, I do take issue with anyone who ritually employs a chocolate watch timekeeping metric to apocalyptic events with a sell-by date longer than tinned spam.

His latest is here. More of the same. And you’ll have to pay to read it. No, wait. Here’s a free one.

Instead, why not try and guess which was the world’s best performing stock market in 2017?

I can tell you it wasn’t on the popular choice roster.

Despite warnings it would renege on its debt, come on down “Don’t Cry For Me” Argentina – up 77% in the last year.

And I wonder who saw that coming when it was up 45% in 2016, too?

Same goes for Turkey. Yep, I said Turkey.

What followed the attempted coup in 2016, when it was more popularly considered to be 10 foot bargepole investment option, was a 48% recovery in 2017.

And it’s interesting that despite the incredible pace of major indexes where the Dow Jones accrued 71 new record breaking highs in 2017, pessimism about the future reigns supreme.

Keep in mind that the more prominence predictions receive, the more inaccurate they are likely to be.

And so long as market predictions remain as popular, numerous and receive notoriety through repetition, contrary opinions will increase in importance as thinking aids.

Alan Steel, Chairman, Alan Steel Asset Management

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