Beware of Expert Forecasts

A recent CFA Institute article argues that “not even the most credible forecasters can time the market profitably with any consistency,” noting that celebrated economists and market pundits are fallible when it comes to predicting what the market will do.

“No academic—not [Robert] Shiller, not Nouriel Roubini—no mainstream talking head Jim Cramer type, or Wall Street strategist can do it,” writes CFA Mark Armbruster, president of Armbruster Capital Management. He cites indicators like the CAPE ratio (created by Shiller) as having some value in gauging the market but asserts that there is no foolproof formula for market timing. “In fact,” it says, “one study found that “expert” forecasters were accurate 47% of the time. That means we’re better off flipping a coin.”

Armbruster concludes that the best course for investors is to avoid getting caught up in “sensational headlines about a market that’s variously overvalued, undervalued, ready to plunge off the cliff, or blast off to new heights, remember to tune out the noise and stay invested for the long run.”