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John Authers

Market Prophets, You Have a Long Six Weeks Ahead

The pandemic has shown just how much predictions made 12 months in advance are hostages to fortune.

Predictions are hard, especially about the future.

Predictions are hard, especially about the future.

Photographer: William STEVENS/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

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This is the time of year when investors (and people who write about investing, like me) have to pretend to see the future. We can sometimes appear to be in control of our fate, but as 2020 reminded us, we aren’t. Anybody who correctly predicted the current level of stock and bond markets 12 months ago did so by accident and blind luck; the pandemic, possibly not known even in China in mid-November last year, changed everything.