At the very first financial industry event I ever attended, I was introduced to one of the greatest resources a financial planner, or indeed anyone interested in the markets, could ever hope to find: the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Guide to the Markets. The guide is chock-a-block with wonderful charts and information, but it was Page 4 that I learned about that day and still reference all the time. It’s an S&P 500 Index chart. Here’s what I was looking at back in the autumn of 2014:
The extremely well-credentialed presenter for the occasion said,
If you give a kid a crayon and ask him which way the line is going to go next, I think we all know what’s going to happen.
The extremely well-credentialed presenter for the occasion said, “If you give a kid a crayon and ask him which way the line is going to go next, I think we all know what’s going to happen.” (The question was rhetorical, and I trust it still requires no explanation.) I was naïve enough to think it possible that a kid with a crayon knew something I didn’t. I was absolutely certain the PhD economist presenting knew more than I did. But it turns out, THERE ARE NO FACTS ABOUT THE FUTURE. The kid, the economist, and I all knew exactly the same thing about what happens next: Bupkis.