Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Everyone Is Bad At This

The story you hear almost every day goes something like this:

Economists' forecasts for growth and/or inflation are never right. Especially the Fed's.

Fund managers underperform their benchmarks. This is especially true of hedge funds.

Wall Street analysts forecasts are always wrong. A conviction buy list should be shorted.

Retail investors are 'dumb money.'

Journalists write cover stories about trends just as they are ending.

We can summarize by saying that everyone is bad at this. No one is good at figuring out whether stocks or indices or economies are going higher or lower.

Therefore, a suggestion: let's focus attention on ourselves and what we can do better. We can't change what others are doing but we can improve what we do.

It's easy to point out the failures in others. The challenge is acknowledging your own shortfalls and taking the hard, but worthwhile, path to becoming better.

The upside is easy to see. Since everyone else is so bad at this, a small improvement in ourselves should pay huge dividends.