The brain may be filled with gray matter, but it hates gray areas. And there are few other places we find gray areas (uncertainty) than in the economies and markets of the world. One word of caution: our innate desire for certainty leaves us prone to fall for the illusion of certainty. Market and economic forecasts often provide an illusion of certainty.
As much as we wish it weren’t the case, the markets are unpredictable – evidenced by the fact that no one can consistently predict them with accuracy. Of course, a certain forecast will be right from time to time, just like a broken clock. But market and economic forecasts are not reliable prognosticators, no matter how much we wish they were.
Unlike market and economic forecasts, my forecast is reliable and robust because it is based on enduring investment truths and investor behavior.
My Forecast For 2024
In full disclosure, the following forecast is nearly identical to my forecast from last year and years prior to that.
- The economy/market will do something that surprises us (and the experts)
- The financial media will enrich themselves by emotionalizing headlines and short-term market moves to entice you to click and tune in. It’s nothing more than click bait
- Investors who watch the news and stock market often will experience more stress than those that don’t
- Investors that move to cash, waiting for a “better time,” will suffer significant uncertainty and anxiety about when and how to get back in
- Your investment decisions and reactions to market events will have a significant impact on your personal investment return
- You will be tempted to change your investment strategy based on market performance, expert forecasts, and/or your personal beliefs about the future
Conviction, patience, and discipline are virtues every investor should develop. They aren’t easy, yet they are essential for your success. As your advisor, one of my most important roles is helping you ignore the noise and focus on what really matters to your financial success.
I wish you a prosperous, fulfilling, and happy 2024. Thank you for allowing me to be your trusted partner along the journey.