Investors often look for a playbook, a way to help guide them through times of uncertainty. History is often used to write that playbook. However, markets are just like any sport – rules change, equipment improves, and what worked best in the past may not always apply to the current situation. Playbooks need to be constantly revised but despite changes, any research created to guide investors is really based on two fundamental questions: what will happen, and more importantly, how will the market respond?
There is no shortage of forecasts and inane opinions in the financial media. Just sound smart, maybe say something controversial, and you can get plenty of coverage. Individuals can also be incentivized to make a name for themselves, build their personal brand, and bring more revenue to their firm. Fear drives eyeballs and eyeballs bring in the advertising dollars. Unfortunately, it can be easy to conflate the opinions that get the most coverage with those that are the most precise. Forecasting is difficult, and as history shows, often not accurate, especially when it comes to the stock market.
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