Happy Pi Day (Cherry Pie Included)!

In case you are feeling short of things to celebrate, there is always Pi Day – March 14 (3/14).
 
As you remember from high school math, Pi (Greek letter “π”) is a mathematical symbol representing the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159.
 
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The Future Isn’t What It Used to Be — The Great Predictive Failures of 2016

360_perdiction_blog_image_v2This article is featured in the winter edition of our 360 Insights Quarterly Client Newsletter.
 
The New York Post headline the day after the 2016 U.S. elections put it best: “Pundits, Polls, Politicians, the Press: EVERYONE WAS WRONG.”
 
From the U.S. elections to Brexit to economic doomsaying, 2016 saw a series of spectacularly erroneous predictions. Again and again, experts were proven wrong and had to scramble to explain why they had missed the mark so badly. Continue reading

Thoughts on Predictions and the 2016 Election

istock_69302849_mediumThis blog is from our November issue of Portfolio Perspectives.
 
As the 2016 election results were coming in on the night of November 8, stock market futures seemed to point to a large stock market decline once the market opened the following morning.

 
Markets tend to dislike unexpected change, and as it became clear on election night that we’d have a shift in the political party of the presidency, market futures attempted to price that change in until ultimately opening up instead of down — despite what many “experts” were predicting.
 
This year we have seen a series of predictive failures, from the doom saying at the beginning of the year (“Sell everything”), to the failure of a peace referendum in Colombia, to Brexit. Continue reading

No One Knows What Will Happen with Brexit… But Long-Term Investors Probably Shouldn’t Worry Too Much

This blog is from the July issue of Portfolio Perspectives.
 
Unlike fans of horror movies, markets hate scary surprises.
 
On June 22, many markets, even betting parlors, were predicting that British voters would opt to stay in the European Union (the odds went as high as 80% for staying). On June 23, gamblers and markets were proven wrong and stocks fell precipitously around the world, plunging more than 5% in the U.S. in just two days.
 
Some of the doomsayers from January, when the S&P 500 Index sank more than 10% and then rebounded to positive territory again by the end of Q1, came out of the woodwork to predict new Brexit-related disasters. Even European Council President Donald Tusk said, “I fear that Brexit could be the beginning of the destruction of not only the EU but also of western political civilization in its entirety.” Continue reading

March Madness and Investing…How Good are Your Predictions?

Blog_March_MadnessThis blog was originally published in March 2015 and has been updated.
 
Each year around this time an estimated 50 million of us around the country carve out a few minutes of our day to complete a bracket trying to predict which one of the 64 NCAA Men’s College Basketball teams will win the tournament this year. Guessing which team will win can be a lot of fun, but it’s awfully hard to do!
 
With top seeded teams losing in droves, as seems to happen every year, it quickly becomes apparent just what a fool’s errand predicting can be. After Thursday’s 16 games (March 17), only 25,704 out of the 13 million brackets on ESPN.com were still intact, amounting to just 0.2% of entries. Continue reading

March Madness and Investing…How Good are Your Predictions?

blog_march_madnessSource: ESPN MediaZone. http://espnmediazone.com/us/press-releases/2015/03/barack-etology-president-obamas-mens-bracket-unveiled-espn-exclusive-wednesday/
 
Each year around this time an estimated 50 million of us around the country carve out a few minutes of our day to complete a bracket trying to predict which one of the 64 NCAA Men’s College Basketball teams will win the tournament this year. Guessing which team will win can be a lot of fun, but it’s awfully hard to do! Continue reading