If investors had known a year ago that the U.S. inflation rate would shoot up to a 39-year high of 6.8% they would’ve been expected to get rid of all fixed income from their portfolio and reassess their growth stocks, posits an opinion piece by Robin Wigglesworth in the Financial Times. But instead, the 10-year Treasury yield has only risen half a percentage point from the beginning of the year, to a sodden 1.4%, with large portions of the bond market under increased pressure, and analysts are looking backwards to assess if they should’ve seen it coming.
Wigglesworth assesses that while his prediction that growth stocks would outpace value stocks was a close run thing, with the MSCI USA Growth index up 25% for the year over the 21% gain for the MSCI USA Value index, his forecast inflation would keep calm was “hilariously wrong.” Meanwhile, his call that emerging markets tend to disappoint when hopes are high was a lucky fluke due to regulatory crackdowns rattling the Chinese market.
Wigglesworth also suggested that the doom and gloom around the U.S. dollar was overblown—correctly, given that the DXY dollar index is up 7% this year. But he also foresaw that a Democratic sweep in the Georgia Senate races would result in immediate market volatility, and that inflation wouldn’t become an issue—wrong on both counts, he admits in the article.
Investing successfully is extremely difficult, Wigglesworth writes in conclusion, even if analysts are gifted with foresight, and holding to a passive approach is likely a better strategy than active investing for 2022.