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Week Ending Jan 18, 2019: HCM Market Insights: "A Crystal Ball That Actually Works (most of the time)!"

If you have every asked me the question, “What do you think the market will do this year?” you most likely received a smile and the most professional and informative non-answer I could conjure.  It’s not that I don’t want to answer, it’s just that I don’t put much faith in my, or anyone’s else’s ability to predict such things.  There are certainly times when I think the probability of a certain outcome is high, but even that doesn’t mean my timing would be right.  To put a bow on this point, Bloomberg surveys 19 Wall Street strategists at the beginning of each year and asks them this very question.  The result for 2018: zero predicted the market would go down. The average prediction was for a gain of 8%.  Does that make these people inept?  Not at all.  It just shows that predicting the future can be more difficult than we would like to believe.

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