5 quotes that tell you everything you need to know about forecasting

Billionaire investor Howard Marks has berated forecasters after they largely failed to predict Donald Trump’s election victory and the U.K.’s Brexit vote.

“There are no facts about the future, just opinions,” the Oaktree Capital co-founder wrote in a January memo, which is titled “Expert Opinion.”

Marks also has blasted how media outlets present the crystal-ball gazing.

The Oaktree co-chairman had this zinger: “A lot of people’s lives would be more tranquil and more productive if they accepted that what the media says about an upcoming event — and whether you watch or not — won’t have any impact on the outcome.”

His missive offers the five quotations below on the predictions business. “Together they say virtually everything that has to be said on the subject,” said Marks, who has been called one of the 67 most important investors of all time.

1. “I never think of the future — it comes soon enough.” — Albert Einstein

2. “Forecasts usually tell us more of the forecaster than of the future.” — Warren Buffett

3. “Forecasts create the mirage that the future is knowable.” — financial historian Peter L. Bernstein

4. “We have two classes of forecasters: Those who don’t know — and those who don’t know they don’t know.” — economist John Kenneth Galbraith

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5. “No amount of sophistication is going to allay the fact that all of your knowledge is about the past and all your decisions are about the future.” — former GE
 exec Ian Wilson

Go here to read the full “Expert Opinion” memo.

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This story was first published on Jan. 11, 2017.

View more information: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/5-quotes-that-tell-you-everything-you-need-to-know-about-forecasting-2017-01-11

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