How did the NFL Experts do with their Division predictions?

January 2, 2014  |  Sports

Let’s look at how the 57 NFL Pundits we are tracking fared with their preseason predictions for the division winners. First, here were their collective predictions:

NFC(E)NFC(N)NFC(S)NFC(W)
24: NYG48: GB46: ATL29: SEA
16: WAS06: CHI09: NO28: SF
16: DAL02: MIN02: TB00: STL
01: PHI01: DET00: CAR00: ARI

AFC(E)AFC(N)AFC(S)AFC(W)
57: NE39: CIN49: HOU56: DEN
00: BUF15: BAL08: IND01: KC
00: MIA03: PIT00: TEN00: OAK
00: NYJ00: CLE00: JAC00: SD

The pundits collectively whiffed on the NFL South, with only one pundit (Adam Schein) picking the Eagles in the NFC East and only eight picking the Colts in the AFC South.

Now here are the results on an individual basis, sorted by Yield (the average return had you bet $1 on each of the picks at Moneyline Odds).

PunditAFC EastAFC NorthAFC SouthAFC WestNFC EastNFC NorthNFC SouthNFC WestHit RateYield
Overall57/5739/578/5756/571/5748/570/5729/574/8$0.97
Ben GoesslingNECININDDENWASGBATLSF5/8$1.35
Bill WilliamsonNECININDDENNYGGBATLSF5/8$1.35
Peter KingNECININDDENNYGGBATLSF5/8$1.35
Albert BreerNECININDDENNYGGBATLSF5/8$1.35
Kimberly JonesNECININDDENNYGGBATLSF5/8$1.35
Colin CowherdNEPITINDDENDALGBNOSEA5/8$1.26
Adam ScheinNEBALHOUDENPHIGBATLSF4/8$1.22
John ClaytonNECINHOUDENWASGBATLSEA5/8$1.19
David FlemingNECINHOUDENWASGBATLSEA5/8$1.19
KC JoynerNECINHOUDENDALGBATLSEA5/8$1.19
Adam SchefterNECINHOUDENDALGBATLSEA5/8$1.19
Rich CiminiNECINHOUDENDALGBATLSEA5/8$1.19
Terry BlountNECINHOUDENWASGBNOSEA5/8$1.19
John KeimNECINHOUDENWASGBNOSEA5/8$1.19
Phil SheridanNECINHOUDENWASGBATLSEA5/8$1.19
Nick WagonerNECINHOUDENNYGGBATLSEA5/8$1.19
Don BanksNECINHOUDENDALGBATLSEA5/8$1.19
Ben EagleNECINHOUDENDALGBATLSEA5/8$1.19
Doug FarrarNECINHOUDENWASGBNOSEA5/8$1.19
Tom MantzouranisNECINHOUDENDALGBATLSEA5/8$1.19
Jim TrotterNECINHOUDENWASGBTBSEA5/8$1.19
Elliot HarrisonNECINHOUDENWASGBATLSEA5/8$1.19
Gil BrandtNECININDDENDALDETATLSF4/8$1.14
Austin MurphyNECINHOUDENDALCHIATLSEA4/8$0.98
Bucky BrooksNECINHOUDENDALCHIATLSEA4/8$0.98
Mike SilverNECINHOUDENDALCHIATLSEA4/8$0.98
Bill SimmonsNECINHOUDENNYGCHIATLSEA4/8$0.98
Mike ReissNEBALINDDENNYGGBNOSF4/8$0.97
Jeffri ChadihaNECINHOUDENWASGBATLSF4/8$0.90
Rick ReillyNECINHOUDENNYGGBATLSF4/8$0.90
Scott BrownNECINHOUDENWASGBNOSF4/8$0.90
Tania GanguliNECINHOUDENNYGGBATLSF4/8$0.90
Mike RodakNECINHOUDENNYGGBNOSF4/8$0.90
Mike WellsNECINHOUDENNYGGBATLSF4/8$0.90
Dan GrazianoNECINHOUDENDALGBATLSF4/8$0.90
Michael C. WrightNECINHOUDENDALGBATLSF4/8$0.90
Pat YasinskasNECINHOUDENNYGGBATLSF4/8$0.90
Jeff DarlingtonNECINHOUDENWASGBATLSF4/8$0.90
Judy BattistaNECINHOUDENNYGGBATLSF4/8$0.90
Ashley FoxNEBALHOUDENWASGBATLSEA4/8$0.82
Mike SandoNEBALHOUDENNYGGBATLSEA4/8$0.82
Matt WilliamsonNEBALHOUDENWASGBNOSEA4/8$0.82
Jamison HensleyNEBALHOUDENNYGGBATLSEA4/8$0.82
James WalkerNEBALHOUDENNYGGBATLSEA4/8$0.82
Rob DemovskyNEBALHOUDENNYGGBATLSEA4/8$0.82
Chris BurkeNEBALHOUDENNYGGBATLSEA4/8$0.82
Daniel JeremiahNEBALHOUDENDALGBATLSEA4/8$0.82
Adam TeicherNECINHOUDENDALCHIATLSF3/8$0.69
David NewtonNECINHOUDENNYGMINNOSF3/8$0.69
Ian RapoportNECINHOUDENDALCHIATLSF3/8$0.69
Bill BarnwellNEPITHOUKCNYGGBTBSEA3/8$0.66
Kevin SeifertNEBALHOUDENNYGGBATLSF3/8$0.52
Seth WickershamNEBALHOUDENNYGGBATLSF3/8$0.52
Michael DiRoccoNEBALHOUDENWASGBATLSF3/8$0.52
Paul KuharskyNEBALHOUDENNYGGBATLSF3/8$0.52
Jeff LegwoldNEBALHOUDENNYGGBATLSF3/8$0.52
Todd ArcherNEPITHOUDENWASMINATLSF2/8$0.31

No pundit got more than 5 of the 8 divisions correct. Those with the best yields generally picked the Colts, as Vegas pegged their odds to win the AFC South at just 28% (Texans were the overwhelming favorite). The Eagles were given an 18% probability by Vegas, which makes it surprising that only Schein made that pick, while the Panthers were 15%.

To see what these pundits collectively picked for the conference winners and player awards, see our preseason recap post.

There is still time to make your own picks for this week’s Wild Card games and see if you can move up our User Leaderboard. Head over to our Sports Section to do so.

 

Vote: Worst Financial Prediction of 2013

December 22, 2013  |  Finance

We have been recapping 2013 financial predictions over the past few weeks, and the message is clear: the finance pundits had a tough go of it this year. The prevailing sentiment heading into 2013 was caution, if not outright pessimism, which of course has not played out in the equity markets.

It wasn’t easy, but after sifting through all the prognostications, we have come up with four candidates for the Worst Financial Prediction of 2013. We’ll let you make the call on which is the worst through our voting widget below.

 

(1) Byron Wien: Gold will reach $1900/oz and S&P 500 will fall below 1300

As we discussed in a blog post earlier this month, Byron Wien of Blackstone had another woeful performance with his surprise predictions this year, going 1-for-10, bringing his total to 8-for-35 since we started tracking him in 2010.

Wien’s long gold/short S&P call could hardly have been more wrong, as the S&P is now trading above 1800 (up ~30%) while gold is hovering around $1200 (down ~30%).

 

(2) Gene Munster: Apple will release a television

Taken in isolation, this prediction from Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster was a perfectly reasonable one. Several other pundits we tracked predicted the same, and 48% of our users agreed that an Apple television was in the cards this year.

The reason that Munster’s prediction makes our Worst list is because he has made this prediction before…. again and again. In fact, starting in mid-2009 Munster has predicted an Apple television every six months or so and of course has been wrong each time. Lest you think we are exaggerating, here are the links to prove it: August 2009, March 2010, September 2010, June 2011, December 2011, May 2012, November 2012, March 2013, November 2013.

If Munster doesn’t win worst prediction this year, he may well be a candidate again next year as he has now pushed back his Apple television timeline to the first half of 2014. Regardless, he wins our first entry into the Broken Clock Hall of Fame.

 

(3) Harry Dent: Dow Jones Index will fall below 5000

Ever since his book The Great Crash Ahead was published in 2011, financial newsletter writer Harry Dent has been hitting the television circuits to sell his message of doom & gloom. His prediction that the S&P 500 would fall 30-50% in 2012 proved wildly wrong.

His prediction for 2013, that the Dow Jones would tumble below 5000, was equally bold and equally wrong. The Dow is at 16000 today. Could Dent simply be early? If so, we will be there to give him credit – we are still tracking his “Dow falls to 3000 by 2022” prediction on our site.

 

(4) Wall Street Analysts: S&P Price Targets

Here were the S&P forecasts of six bulge bracket firms at the start of each of the past three years.

Bank201120122013
Average (Banks)137813381543
UBS135013251425
Barclays142013301525
Credit Suisse125013401550
Goldman Sachs145012501575
JP Morgan140014301580
Bank of America Merrill Lynch140013501600
Actual125814261818*

201120122013
Average Projected Rise9.9%6.4%8.2%
Actual Rise0.3%13.4%27.5%

The mean S&P estimate has been considerably off-target each year: by +960 basis points in 2011, -700 basis points in 2012, and a whopping -1930 basis points so far this year. Moreover, the clustering effect has been very pronounced, with five of the six analyst predictions each year falling within a 100 point range (1350-1450 in 2011, 1250-1350 in 2012, and 1500-1600 in 2013) – ranges which failed to capture the actual result in every instanceWe discussed potential reasons for the errant clustering in a previous post. Regardless, given this performance, should we pay any attention to all the 2014 targets that are coming out lately?

 

Okay, those are the candidates – now it’s your turn to vote! We will reveal the “winner” on January 9.

 

Head over to our Finance section to make your own predictions for 2014 and see if you can crack our User Leaderboard. PunditTracker’s user voting platform aims to surface more “Nate Silvers” by allowing people like yourself to build your own public prediction track record. After all, with the financial ‘experts’ falling flat on their faces in 2013, shouldn’t they be replaced?

We will be adding plenty of new predictions as they come in over the next few weeks, so make sure to check back frequently. You can also see the profile pages for all the pundits discussed above, including a full breakdown of their predictions since we started tracking them.

 

NFL Pundit Rankings: Week 15 Update

December 18, 2013  |  Sports

We last checked in on how the NFL experts were doing with their game picks back in Week 11. Let’s see the updated rankings through Week 15, sorted by $1 Yield, which is the average payout had you bet $1 on each of the pundit’s picks at Moneyline odds.

Yield12131415SeasonSeason Hit Rate
Average$0.88$1.06$1.12$0.86$0.9963%
Ron Jaworski, ESPN$0.77$1.20$0.94$1.06$1.0767%
Dave Richard, CBS$1.20$1.20$1.28$1.29$1.0666%
Mike Ditka, ESPN$1.56$0.86$1.15$1.00$1.0563%
K.C. Joyner, ESPN$0.72$1.17$1.58$0.75$1.0466%
Keyshawn Johnson, ESPN$0.92$0.66$1.23$0.89$1.0462%
Seth Wickersham, ESPN$0.96$1.57$1.22$0.89$1.0364%
Vegas Favorites$0.86$1.27$1.26$0.95$1.0268%
Jamey Eisenberg, CBS$0.93$1.04$1.20$0.86$1.0165%
Ryan Wilson, CBS$1.00$1.17$1.10$0.75$1.0163%
Tom Jackson, ESPN$0.51$1.07$0.98$0.63$1.0062%
John Breech, CBS$0.90$1.07$1.06$0.86$0.9964%
Chris Mortensen, ESPN$1.03$1.00$1.11$0.96$0.9962%
Adam Schefter, ESPN$0.89$1.39$1.22$1.09$0.9863%
Cris Carter, ESPN$0.89$1.18$1.31$0.74$0.9764%
Merril Hoge, ESPN$0.92$0.87$1.19$0.74$0.9762%
Will Brinson, CBS$0.98$1.03$0.89$0.86$0.9761%
Pete Prisco, CBS$1.03$1.24$1.11$0.74$0.9762%
Frank Schwab, Yahoo$0.76$0.91$1.45$0.52$0.9662%
Mark Schlereth, ESPN$0.89$1.03$0.98$0.86$0.9661%
Mike Golic, ESPN$0.62$0.73$1.04$0.75$0.9561%
Josh Katzowitz, CBS$0.34$1.05$0.98$0.85$0.9360%
Jason La Canfora, CBS$0.75$0.75$0.73$1.03$0.9357%
Eric Allen, ESPN$0.89$1.20$0.94$0.86$0.9160%

Ron Jaworski maintains his slight lead in the rankings while Eric Allen remains in last place. There have been several notable changes, however, including, Dave Richard leaping from the middle of the pack to #2 after posting the best record in three of the past four weeks (9-4, 12-4, 12-4, 12-4).

Mike Ditka (#3) continues to lead the group as far as pegging big upsets, as evidenced in Week 12 when he picked both Tampa Bay to beat Detroit (only pundit to do so) and Jacksonville to defeat Houston (one of two).

Les Carpenter has been removed from the rankings as his picks are no longer being logged by Yahoo. Carpenter had been in the second-to-last place this year and had an overall PunditTracker grade of C+ (picks tracked since 2011).

The group whiffed entirely on the Chargers/Broncos and Eagles/Vikings games last week. In aggregate, the experts have added no value this season, posting a collective yield of $0.99.

There is still time to make your own Week 16 picks and find yourself alongside the experts in our rankings. Head over to our NFL Section to do so.

 

Bob Doll’s Grade in 2013

December 16, 2013  |  Finance

We have been tracking the annual predictions of Bob Doll (formerly of Blackrock, now at Nuveen) since 2010. Heading into this year, he was 12-for-25 (48% hit rate) for the predictions we tracked, equating to a $0.82 Yield and F grade. Recall that Yield is the ROI had you bet $1 on the prediction based on those consensus odds; this is our core scoring metric and is used to arrive at our letter grade.

201020112012Cumulative
Hit Rate5/9 (56%)4/8 (50%)3/8 (38%)12/25 (48%)
Yield$0.86$0.83$0.77$0.82
GradeFFFF

As we await Bob Doll’s outlook for 2014, let’s recap how his predictions for 2013 are turning out.

PredictionOutcomeConsensusYield
Total3/7, 2 TBD$0.80
Europe exits recession by the end of 2013TRUE42%$2.38
US yield curve steepens in 2013TRUE62%$1.61
US stocks see an all-time high during 2013 (S&P 500 above 1565)TRUE61%$1.64
Emerging market equities outperform developed market equitiesFALSE62%$0.00
US multinationals outperform domestically focused companiesFALSE75%$0.00
US passes $2-3 trillion ten-year budget dealFALSE33%$0.00
Large-caps stocks outperform small-caps AND cyclical companies outperform defensive companiesFALSE52%$0.00
Dividends increase at a double-digit rate as pay-out ratios riseTBD
US nominal GDP growth will be less than 5% in 2013TBD

Consensus refers to how likely PunditTracker’s user base deemed the prediction to occur at the time it was made.

Final Tally

2013 Results: 3/7 (43% Hit Rate), 2 TBD, $0.80 Yield, F Grade

Cumulative Results: 15/32 (47% Hit Rate), $0.82 Yield, F Grade

 

Chris Ciaccia’s 2013 Grade & New Tech Predictions for 2014

December 16, 2013  |  Finance

We tracked seven of Chris Ciaccia’s (TheStreet.com) technology predictions in 2013. Here is how he fared.

PredictionOutcome
Intel will become a major foundry in 2013FALSE
Twitter will file to go public in 2013TRUE
Zynga will get acquired in 2013FALSE
Apple will release a television set in 2013FALSE
Microsoft will release a next-gen Xbox console in 2013TRUE
Nokia will lose market share in 2013TRUE
Steve Ballmer will leave Microsoft in 2013TRUE

Ciaccia’s best prediction was Steve Ballmer’s Microsoft exit. His Twitter IPO prediction (51% consensus, based on our user votes) was another standout. Ciaccia whiffed on the Zynga acquisition and Apple TV set; while Intel tiptoed into the foundry market, we graded his prediction (“major foundry”) as incorrect.

Final Tally: 4 Correct, 3 Incorrect (57% Hit Rate), $1.07 Yield, B+ Grade

Recall that Yield is our core scoring metric and calibrates predictions for how bold they are, giving pundits more credit for out-of-consensus predictions. It measures the average ROI had bet $1 on each of his predictions, based on consensus odds at the time.

Now here are Ciaccia’s predictions for 2014.

Apple will launch a watch in 214
Jawbone or Fitbit get acquired in 214
Snapchat valuation bubble will burst in 214
Square will go public in 214
Dropbox IPO will flop
Box IPO will flop
HP will enter the 3D printing market in 214
Apple will increase its share repurchase program in 214
John Chambers will step down as Cisco's CEO in 214
Intel will become more relevant in mobile in 214
Yahoo will acquired Business Insider in 214

For a limited time, you can make your own predictions on many of these. Head over to Chris Ciaccia’s PunditTracker profile page to do so.

Should we pay any attention to the 2014 S&P 500 forecasts?

December 15, 2013  |  Finance

As the Wall Street analysts steadily chime in with their 2014 S&P 500 predictions, let’s revisit how they did with their prognostications over the past three years.

Annual S&P 500 Forecasts

Bank201120122013
Average (Banks)137813381543
UBS135013251425
Barclays142013301525
Credit Suisse125013401550
Goldman Sachs145012501575
JP Morgan140014301580
Bank of America Merrill Lynch140013501600
Actual125814261818*

201120122013
Average Projected Rise9.9%6.4%8.2%
Actual Rise0.3%13.4%27.5%

The mean S&P estimate has been considerably off-target each year: by +960 basis points in 2011, -700 basis points in 2012, and a whopping -1630 basis points so far this year. Moreover, the clustering effect has been very pronounced, with five of the six analyst predictions each year falling within a 100 point range (1350-1450 in 2011, 1250-1350 in 2012, and 1500-1600 in 2013) – ranges which failed to capture the actual result in every instance.

So what is behind the errant clustering? The biases of anchoring and recency are likely culprits, with analysts anchoring to a baseline and extrapolating from recent trends. We believe career risk is also at play: as investor Joel Greenblatt put it, “It’s much safer to be wrong in a crowd than to risk being the only one to misread a situation that everyone else had pegged correctly.”

But how do we reconcile the incentive for pundits to not stray from the consensus – and thus minimize career risk – with the bombastic pundits that we all love to rail on? Why aren’t they concerned about career risk? Well, here’s the catch:

In punditry, if you are going to be wrong, it pays to be spectacularly wrong.

We explain using the following matrix:

Reaction to outcomes by prediction type

Prediction TypeOutcome: CorrectOutcome: Incorrect
ConsensusExpectedForgivable
ContrarianSubdued PraisePink Slip
Wildly ContrarianHeroCelebrity

The first prediction type (“Consensus”) is greeted with minimal credit when correct and minimal blame when incorrect. As we discussed with the S&P 500 forecasters, pundits focused on career preservation adhere to this ‘safety in numbers’ approach. The last prediction type (“Wildly Contrarian”) is typically made by pundits who crave media attention. Regardless of outcome, they are able to parlay their provocative predictions and media prowess into cash by writing books, hitting the speaking circuit, and developing a cult-like following. This is how One-Hit Wonders and Broken Clocks are born.

That leaves the middle prediction type, which we refer to as the ‘Bermuda Triangle’ of punditry. These pundits are contrarian enough to create career risk for themselves but not contrarian enough to garner mainstream attention. Correct predictions are greeted with modest praise — say, a pat on the back from a few colleagues — while incorrect predictions draw intense scrutiny. Low reward, high risk.

Our hunch is that the best pundits are stuck in this Bermuda Triangle, quietly amassing first-rate track records but lacking a platform to reach a wider audience. Instead, our professional ranks and airwaves are cluttered with pundits who make Consensus and Wildly Contrarian predictions. Nate Silver is a rare exception, having made the leap from quant to superstar. We would argue that Silver was aided by the criticism leveled at him by conservatives, which created a false perception that his election predictions were wildly contrarian when they were in fact only moderately so.

PunditTracker aims to disrupt the prediction industry by offering a common platform for everyone – including yourself  – to make predictions. By leveling the playing field and holding everyone equally accountable, we strive to introduce a much-needed dose of meritocracy into the system.

 

Which Experts Predicted a Florida St-Auburn Title Game?

December 11, 2013  |  Sports

A few months back, we outlined the prediction ineptitude of baseball pundits, who went 0-for-63 on predicting either the Red Sox or Cardinals to make the World Series. In fact, not one pundit picked the Red Sox to win even their division.

Well, the MLB pundits now have some company, as none of the 30 college pundits we tracked (from ESPN, CBS, and NFL.com) picked either Florida State or Auburn to make the BCS Title game. Instead, here is what they predicted going into the season.

BCS Championship Matchup# PunditsComments
Alabama-Ohio St11
Alabama-Oregon7
Alabama-Stanford6
Alabama-Oklahoma St1Todd McShay
LSU-Stanford1Desmond Howard
Oregon-Clemson1Danny Kannell
Texas A&M-Ohio St1Spencer Tillman
Alabama-Clemson1Gary Danielson
Louisville-Ohio St1Tim Brando

We also tracked 35 pundits who make predictions on conference winners for each of the six “BCS Conferences.” First, here were the collective picks.

AmericanACCBig 12Big TenPac 12SEC
Louisville (35)Clemson (24)Texas (13)Ohio St (33)Oregon (19)Alabama (32)
Florida St (8)Oklahoma St (10)Michigan (2)Stanford (15)Georgia (1)
Miami (3)Baylor (5)UCLA (1)LSU (1)
Oklahoma (4)Texas A&M (1)
TCU (3)

Only eight of the pundits picked Florida St to win the ACC, while the pundits whiffed entirely on the American, Big Ten, and SEC. Now here are the individual results, sorted by Yield. Recall that Yield measures the average payout had you bet $1 on each of the pundit’s predictions based on moneyline odds. The idea is to give pundits more credit for out-of-consensus picks.

PunditAmericanACCBig 12Big TenPac 12SECHit RateYield
Total Tally0/358/355/350/3515/350/3511%$0.66
Bruce FeldmanLOUCLEMBAYOSUSTANBAMA33%$3.01
Jerry HinnenLOUFSUBAYOSUOREGBAMA33%$2.66
Brian GrieseLOUCLEMBAYOSUOREGBAMA13%$1.56
Travis HaneyLOUCLEMBAYOSUOREGBAMA13%$1.56
Dan GreenspanLOUCLEMBAYOSUOREGBAMA13%$1.56
Lee CorsoLOUFSUTEXOSUSTANBAMA25%$1.13
Rece DavisLOUFSUTEXOSUSTANBAMA25%$1.13
Mike HugueninLOUFSUOKSTOSUSTANBAMA25%$1.13
Tony BarnhartLOUCLEMOKSTOSUSTANBAMA17%$0.93
Dennis DoddLOUCLEMOKSTOSUSTANTAMU17%$0.93
Jerry PalmLOUCLEMTEXOSUSTANBAMA17%$0.93
Tom FornelliLOUCLEMOKLAOSUSTANBAMA17%$0.93
Kirk HerbstreitLOUCLEMOKSTOSUSTANBAMA13%$0.69
Desmond HowardLOUMIAOKSTMICHSTANLSU13%$0.69
Tom LuginbillLOUCLEMTEXOSUSTANBAMA13%$0.69
Trevor MatichLOUCLEMOKSTOSUSTANBAMA13%$0.69
Jesse PalmerLOUCLEMTEXOSUSTANBAMA13%$0.69
Joe SchadLOUMIATEXOSUSTANBAMA13%$0.69
Charles DavisLOUCLEMOKLAOSUSTANBAMA13%$0.69
Jeremy FowlerLOUFSUTEXOSUOREGBAMA17%$0.57
Mark SchlabachLOUFSUTEXOSUOREGBAMA13%$0.43
Daniel JeremiahLOUFSUOKSTOSUOREGBAMA13%$0.43
Chase GoodbreadLOUFSUTEXOSUOREGBAMA13%$0.43
Todd BlackledgeLOUMIATCUOSUOREGBAMA0%$0.00
Paul FinebaumLOUCLEMTEXOSUOREGBAMA0%$0.00
Joey GallowayLOUCLEMOKSTOSUOREGBAMA0%$0.00
Brock HuardLOUCLEMTCUOSUOREGBAMA0%$0.00
Danny KanellLOUCLEMTEXMICHOREGUGA0%$0.00
Ivan MaiselLOUCLEMTEXOSUOREGBAMA0%$0.00
Todd McShayLOUCLEMOKSTOSUOREGBAMA0%$0.00
Chris SpielmanLOUCLEMOKLAOSUOREGBAMA0%$0.00
Andre WareLOUCLEMTCUOSUUCLABAMA0%$0.00
Gil BrandtLOUCLEMTEXOSUOREGBAMA0%$0.00
Bucky BrooksLOUCLEMOKLAOSUOREGBAMA0%$0.00
Chip PattersonLOUCLEMOKSTOSUOREGBAMA0%$0.00

To see our grades for Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit and others — and to make your own predictions on the BCS Bowl games and build up your own public track record — visit our NCAA Football master page.

 

Reviewing Doug Kass’s Surprises for 2013

December 11, 2013  |  Finance

We started tracking Doug Kass’s annual surprises in 2012, a year in which he went 6-for-15 with a Yield of $0.80.  Since Kass tends to make bold, out-of-consensus predictions, we believe PunditTracker’s scoring system is ideal for grading him. Our “Yield” metric explicitly incorporates the boldness of predictions by measuring the average payout had you bet $1 on each of them, based on consensus odds at the time. We fully expect Kass to have a low hit rate/batting average, but if he gets even a few predictions right, his Yield could be well over $1.00, earning him a good grade.

While there are still several weeks to go in the year, we figured it was an appropriate time to quickly review how Kass’s 2013 surprises are shaping up:

U.S. real GDP growth expands by 1.5% or less in 2013FALSE
Michael Bloomberg becomes the leader of a new third party in 2013FALSE
The yield on the 10-year U.S. note stays between 1.5% and 2.0% in 2013FALSE
Merger activity declines in 2013TBD
Outflows from domestic equity funds and inflows into bond funds continue in 2013FALSE
Procter & Gamble splits into three separate companies in 2013FALSE
S&P 500 puts in its yearly high in the first two weeks of JanuaryFALSE
A tax on securities transactions is instituted in exchange for an increase in Medicare eligibility in 2013FALSE
Obama greenlights the Keystone Pipeline project in 2013FALSE
There will be a drought, a flash crash, a coronal mass ejection, and a cyber attack in 2013FALSE
Apple's stock price drops below $500 in 1Q13 but rises to over $600 by year-endTBD
Portfolio: Long Altisource Asset Management and Ford in 2013TRUE
A comprehensive New York Times expose reveals that all Chinese economic data has been fabricatedFALSE
Signs of life are found on Mars in 2013FALSE

Kass’ general theme was a downbeat take relative to consensus expectations, which at least as far as the stock markets have been concerned, ended up burning him in 2013. While stock picks such as Altisource worked out, most of his predictions are shaping up to be incorrect.

Final Tally

2013 results: 1 Right, 11 Wrong (8% Hit Rate), 2 TBD, $0.17 Yield, F Grade

Cumulative Results: 6 Right, 21 Wrong (22% Hit Rate), $0.44 Yield, F Grade

To see all of Kass’s predictions or to make your own predictions on various financial topics — including 2014 year-end prices for Gold and the S&P 500 — visit our Finance master page.

 

 

How Accurate were Karl Rove’s ‘Fearless’ Predictions for 2013?

December 9, 2013  |  Politics

We have tracked Karl Rove’s predictions since June 2011. Going into 2013, Rove was 9-for-17 with his predictions (53% hit rate) with a paltry Yield of $0.76, resulting in an F grade. Recall that Yield is our way of calibrating predictions for ‘boldness’ — after all, predicting each day that the sun will rise tomorrow would result in a 100% hit rate but say little about a pundit’s ability. The Yield measures the average return on investment had you bet $1 of each of the pundit’s predictions, based on consensus odds at the time.

In a Wall Street Journal article on January 3 (link here), Rove published his ‘Fearless Forecast” for 2013, which included 11 predictions that we have been tracking. Based on where we stand today, here are the results:

PredictionBoldnessOutcome
Obama's approval rating will end the year below 53%MediumTRUE
Unemployment will stay at around 8%MediumFALSE
There will be more Democratic than Republican retirements in the House of RepresentativesMediumFALSE
The implementation of ObamaCare will be ragged and ugly and prove a political advantage to RepublicansMediumTRUE
There will be no grand bargain on the budgetMediumTRUE
The debt ceiling will be raised after Obama concedes to spending cutsMediumFALSE
Chris Christie will win New Jersey re-election handilyVery LowTRUE
Virginia gubernatorial race will be close (McAullife/Cuccinelli)MediumTRUE
Syria's Bashar Assad will be forced out of powerLowFALSE
Hugo Chavez will pass away in 2013LowTRUE
Fidel Castro will pass away in 2013MediumFALSE

Rove’s hit the nail on the head with his predictions on Obama’s approval rating and ObamaCare implementation, while he was way off on U.S. unemployment and House of Representative retirements. Overall, he turned in a solid performance, which lifted his overall Yield although his grade remains in F territory.

Final Tally

2013 Results: 6 Right, 5 Wrong (55% hit rate), $1.05 Yield, B Grade

Cumulative Results: 15 Right, 13 Wrong (54% hit rate), $0.88 Yield, F Grade

To see all of Karl Rove’s predictions or to make your own predictions on various political issues — including which will party will win the House and Senate in 2014 — visit our Politics master page.

 

Did Byron (Wien) do Better in 2013?

December 9, 2013  |  Finance

UPDATES:  Wien’s 2014 predictions are now live on the site — head over to our Finance section to see them and to make your own predictions for 2014. Also, Wien’s ‘long S&P/short gold’ prediction is up for “Worst Financial Prediction of 2013″ – click here to cast your vote.

 

We started tracking Byron Wien’s annual predictions in 2010, grading those that meet our threshold for concreteness (not vague and/or subjective). His results have been woeful: Wien was 7-for-25 with his predictions over the past three years, resulting in a $0.73 Yield and an F grade.

201020112012Cumulative
Hit Rate0/9 (0%)4/8 (50%)3/8 (38%)7/25 (28%)
Yield$0.00$1.42$0.85$0.73
GradeFA+FF

Recall that Yield is our way of calibrating predictions for ‘boldness’ — after all, predicting each day that the sun will rise tomorrow would result in a 100% hit rate but say little about a pundit’s ability. The Yield measures the average return on investment had you bet $1 of each of the pundit’s predictions, based on consensus odds at the time.

So did Byron revert to the mean with a strong performance in 2013? We have been tracking ten of his predictions this year — here are the results as we stand today:

PredictionOutcomeComments
Iran announces it has enough enriched uranium to produce a nuclear missile in 2013FALSE
Financial stocks post negative return in 2013FALSEXLF up 30%+
West Texas Intermediate falls to $70/Barrel during 2013FALSE$94, bottom was ~$86
Japanese Yen declines to 100 per USD, Nikkei 225 trades above 12KTRUE
European equities decline 10% in 2013FALSEStoxx Europe 600 up 11%+
Corn rises to $8.00/bushel, wheat to $9.00/bushel, AND cattle to $1.50/pound during 2013FALSECorn down to ~$4, wheat $7
Gold reaches $1900/ounce during 2013FALSEGold hovering around $1200
2013 earnings for the S&P 500 below $100FALSEConsensus est $109-110
Shanghai Composite "A" shares rise more than 20% in 2013FALSENegative return curently
S&P 500 trades below $1300 during 2013FALSENow $1800

Yikes! Wien nailed his Japan call but whiffed badly on the rest, going 1-for-10 with a ghastly $0.15 Yield. Is his newly bullish take on the market a contrarian sign? We look forward to grading his 2014 predictions.

Final Tally

2013 Results: 1 Right, 9 Wrong (10% Hit Rate), $0.15 Yield, F Grade

Cumulative Results: 8 Right, 27 Wrong (23% Hit Rate), $0.56 Yield, F Grade

To see all of Wien’s predictions or to make your own predictions on various financial topics — including 2014 year-end prices for Gold and the S&P 500 — visit our Finance master page.

 

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