Wall Street Forecasters Are At It Again for 2021

Wall Street Forecasters Are At It Again for 2021

Despite decades of academic research showing that “nobody can reliably and accurately forecast what the stock market will do,” a recent article in the New York Times reports that Wall Street is at it again, “issuing boatloads  of forecasts that purport to reveal precisely where the market will be at the end of 2021.”

Citing data compiled by Bespoke Investment Group, the article notes that since 2000, “the median Wall Street analyst forecast that the S&P 500 would rise 9.5 percent a year, on average. In reality, the annual increase averaged 6 percent a year.” The difference, the article argues, underscores “how terrible the invariably bullish forecasts were.”’

Bespoke’s co-founder Paul Hickey weighed in: “The fact that the average spread between analysts’ forecasts and the actual performance of the market in that year is over 12 percentage points, I think, Is pretty damning, in and of itself.”

Although the article notes that market valuations have reached “vertiginous heights,” it adds, “I’ve given up on timing the market or picking individual sectors or stocks. There will be some bad times with ugly losses ahead, but over the long run, I expect it will be all right.”

“Despite the kinds of tragedies and setbacks we’ve seen this year,” the article concludes, “the world economy will keep growing and public companies will make profits that will flow into investors’ hands.”