I have been discussing why I prefer analysts who think in terms of probabilities rather than making bold forecasts; my view is that predictions are marketing, and are useless for investors. This is the basis behind my advice that you should ignore the MSM festival of punditry.
But not everyone is so crude in their contemplation about the future: As an example of probabilistic thinking, consider the annual year in preview from Joseph Davis, Ph.D. and the Strategy Group at Vanguard. They create a baseline case which they assign a 60% probability of occurrence. Then they do a downside risk assessment, a 30% probability. The remaining upside risk is assessed at only a 10% probability.
It’s a smarter approach than what we usually see. I don’t agree with everything in their assessment, but I do like the way they wargame this out. (It doesn’t hurt that I know Joe Davis and think of him as a very thoughtful, objective economist). Rather than me give you a bullet by bullet point dissection, I am just going to send you to their outlook for 2022, and you can judge for yourself.
Vanguard economic and market outlook for 2022: Striking a better balance
Joseph Davis, Ph.D. & Investment Strategy Group at Vanguard
Vanguard research, December 2021
It’s the Most Forecasty Time of the Year (December 6, 2021)
Stop Listening to Pundits (December 8, 2021)
Forecasting is Marketing (January 24, 2015)