Elliott Wave Theory v. Stock Market Predictions by Economic Sense
Elliott Wave charts are the stock market’s horoscope. Some advocates of Elliott Wave Theory even believe the stock market only collapses due to EW alignments. Even the least faithful Elliott acolytes believe the market is eternally fated to match up over time with the probabilities the charts have revealed.
So, the Elliott-enlightened cast their bets in the market based solely on the strongest probabilities the EW charts predict. The theory, in the view of many, is omniscient when it comes to making stock market predictions.
When an Elliott analyst is wrong about how high the market will go or when it will move, the rest of the EW faithful say the error only happened because that particular self-acclaimed expert’s reading of the future was not enlightened enough to what the charts were trying to reveal.
The fault, Dear Brutus, lies only in the fortune teller’s ability to read the signals of the charts with enough detail and nuance (and, I will add, with enough caveats to cover every time the chart reader is wrong, but we’ll get to that).
Economics, on the other hand, is common sense; yet I have one EW expert claiming I’m entirely off-base to think economics has any effect on where the market will go. Even though Elliott Wave Theory purportedly catches deep market sentiment (or “investor psychology”), it doesn’t occur to the zealots of the faith that even barely perceptible changes in the actual economy can and do affect human sentiment or human psychology on a daily basis.
Therefore, it just could be that these underlying forces that human beings actually do respond to daily are the bedrock, and understanding those forces can do as much as Elliott Wave Theory’s horoscopic reading of mass investor psychological rhythms.
(None of which is to say, as readers here know, that the market cannot remain out of synch with and in denial of economic reality for a long time … especially when the market (and sentiment) is as highly manipulated by the Federal Reserve with near infinite financial resources as this market has been for ten years. So, I’m not saying Elliott Wave Theory doesn’t have any value in pointing where the mood of the masses may take the market or how long it will be until sentiment shifts. What I am arguing against is the nonsense that says understanding the economy cannot tell you just as accurately what is coming. I’ll demonstrate that it has. I’ll also demonstrate how often the EWT priesthood merely covers their errors with countless caveats.)
Elliott Wave Theory is a method of technical analysis that looks for recurrent long-term price patterns related to persistent changes in investor sentiment and psychology…. The theory identifies several different types of waves, including motive waves, impulse waves, and corrective waves. It is subjective, and not all traders interpret the theory the same way, or agree that it is a successful trading strategy. The whole idea of wave analysis itself does not equate to a regular blueprint formation, where you simply follow the instructions, unlike most other price formations. Wave analysis offers insights into trend dynamics and helps you understand price movements in a much deeper way.Investopedia
By definition, sentiment is how people feel. It’s absurd to believe that changes in economic reality, which so greatly impacts people’s daily lives on Main Street, have no impact on how people feel. Sometimes (as this year), such changes have huge psychological impact. (Ask any counselor or psychologist how COVID-19 is affecting their clients.) It’s absurd at a level of cognitive dissonance, then, to think changes in economic reality do not influence the stock market while maintaining that sentiment and psychology do.
Elliott Wave Theory believers seem to think some magical rise and fall in universal human sentiment exists like a biorhythm, apart from reality, as though sentiment follows an unalterable pattern of cosmic waves that are never wrong in their predictability. At worst, they won’t even allow that seeing economic reality clearly can help one understand the pressures that are building on investor sentiment, which may reach a tipping point.
I’ll illustrate below how certain economic events have almost always brought investor sentiment to that tipping point. If you can see the probability of those events aligning, you can see ahead of the charts.
Of course, no one can know for certain how any probabilities will actually play out … whether by chart magic or economic foresight. That kind of accuracy all the time would require divine revelation, which I have never claimed to have (and I never readily trust anyone who does claim it as the results from such claims have largely been terrible in my observation).
Along the way, the argument will afford me opportunity to make several new economic and stock-market predictions of my own, so we can see in month’s ahead if Elliott Wave Theory does better.
Elliot Wave Theory v. solid economic sensibility
I do think Elliott Wave Theoryt has its place in projecting trends in investor sentiment. I think those moods often follow patterns. However, they do so in part because everyone else is reading the same charts under the same beliefs. Therefore, the charts are often self-fulfilling prophecies.
Nevertheless, that makes it good to know something about the charts that large number of investors are looking at and making their decisions by. The charts, themselves, can reinforce trends. A large number of investors making their decisions in one direction based on popular Elliott Wave Theory, as well as similar-though-less-intricate chart theories, does help move the overall stock market in one direction. That much is certain.
However, economic trends also show where sentiment is likely to change, and I’ll prove that, though never to the satisfaction of the Elliott Wave priesthood, who think their school of thought is the only one that works.
(That reminds me of a joke about a certain religious cult that I won’t name. St. Peter is leading a group of recently deceased people past a room where all the members of that cult are sitting. He whispers, “Shhh!” as his tour group of heavenly initiates passes the door. When one initiate asks, “Why?” St. Peter responds, “Because they believe they are the only ones here.”)
My complaint is against the Elliott zealots (let us call this group the Zealliotts) who think economic bedrock has nothing to do with stock moves. They believe only in what I call chart magic, and don’t realize that patterns in investor sentiment that are picked up in the EW charts have a reason for existing outside of the charts. They are often actually caused by economic cycles and interruptions that may be subliminal at first but slowly become increasingly evident.
One of my more extreme Zealliott critics, Avi Gilbert, believes with typical religious fervor that investor sentiment exists entirely apart from economic reality all the time. Therefore, in his view, any understanding of economics is completely irrelevant for seeing where the market is likely to go. He also believes the Federal Reserve has almost nothing to do with how the market rises and falls.
Recently, I received the following criticism from Avi about my statements that the market, when it has run far above economic (business) reality, always eventually catches down to the economy when the economy crashes: (I’m going to easily prove him wrong, but he still won’t see it because takes a lot of economic denial to maintain Avi’s obsessive belief in the near perfection of Elliott Wave Theory. The object lesson is for others.)
Here’s Avi’s response on Seeking Alpha to my article “No ‘V’ in Reco_ery“:
Continue following the economics, and you will continue losing money. Good luck . you really need it. Maybe one day, you will finally understand why the economy always lags the market . . see here if you REALLy want to learn. https://seekingalpha.com/article/4020394-sentiment-speaks-sentiment-trumps-fundamentals-and-newsAvi Gilbert
No, Avi, see HERE in this article and throughout this website where economic understanding has been pretty good in showing months in advance exactly when the market would get into trouble — sometimes a year or more in advance, based in part on schedules the Fed gave out in advance.
Your statement contradicts easily proven historical facts; but don’t let facts intrude on your Elliot Wave belief system. (Perhaps those of us who are doing quite fine should whisper as we pass your door so as not to damage your beliefs that your little part of heaven is all there is.)
It’s easy to demonstrate that the stock market almost always catches down to the economy during a recession. The median drop for the stock market during recessions has been 24%; the average, 32%. Those are big drops, indicating how much the market moves to align with economic reality during a recession.
Your claim, Avi, is that the economy always lags those market changes and is merely responding to the stock market, while Elliott Wave Theory anticipates the market; but I’ll prove otherwise with respect to the economy. As you can see in the graph below, bear markets struggle longer than the economy struggles with each recession, which is another way of saying the economy’s full recovery from recession precedes the stock market’s full recovery. It does not lag it.
In fact, I would say the economy’s rise is the reason for the bear market’s recovery. Even when stock indices start to rise before the economy moves fully out of recession, it is because the market is anticipating the economy’s transition out based on “green shoots” that have started to appear in the general economy, reducing the negativity in GDP growth and giving hope to those who want to be hopeful that it will soon turn positive.
That means it is still all about the economy, as hope based on early signs of economic improvement is the reason for the market’s rise. When the economy starts to show glimmers of improvement, sentiment in the market (hope) starts to lift. (And eventually Elliott Wave Theory catches the new drift in sentiment so that you get a chance at being right, too.)
The same is true before the market falls.
As you can see, correlation between major economic downturns (the red bars of recession) and the stock market is extremely tight. Stock-market drops almost always coincide with recessions. In fact, usually the drop is big enough to classify as a bear market (gray bars), which is what I call a crash — “crash” having no official market definition, but that’s mine. If the fall is big enough to reverse a bull market into a bear market, it’s big enough to be called a “crash” as far as my use of the term.
You’ll be observant enough, I’m sure, to note that the stock market started to fall before almost all of the red bars marking recessions. To be sure, that makes it appear the market was forward looking and anticipated the economy would go into recession or that the economy only went down because the market crashed.
To claim that proves the economy lags the market is, however, superficial. Even if the market’s fall is due to anticipating the economy, that is still all about the economy; but there is more going on here economically than just when the recession starts.
Recessions are only the worst part of an economic downturn. GDP growth was already slowing badly before those recessions. So were many other major economic indicators turning downward. That can’t be seen on the graph above because recessions, as marked, don’t start until GDP growth goes negative, but the economy can be running out of steam (becoming less and less positive) long before GDP dives fully negative.
That is easy to prove. The steady and perilous drop in the GDP growth rate often starts a year or more before a recession begins. Stock investors see that slowdown in growth happening and see the granular reasons for it in business details. If the economic trend looks likely to become worse, stocks often start to decline before a recession is officially declared just because businesses are becoming less profitable than they were or the economic/business outlook is becoming bleak.
Here is an example of how easy it is for investors to spot what is happening in GDP (economic) growth (if they are looking) well ahead of a recession and to price accordingly to the economy before we enter that worst part of the slump called “the recession”:
As you can plainly see, it would have been easy for investors to become aware the economy was failing anywhere along the first arrow — going back as far as two years before the recession (gray zone) was actually declared to have begun. The further along, the more obvious.
It’s easy to see in the lead-up to the Great Recession, much as everyone thought it hit by surprise, that the economy was decaying for two full years before the recession officially started. Growth was still positive but in a longterm slowdown.
That arrow is economics, not Elliott Wave Theory, pointing the way toward what is coming, which was going to have a massive impact on investor and trader sentiment. (With a broad enough economic understanding, you could also know that arrow was not likely to revert before we went into recession.) The economy started to slow down in 2006, but the stock market didn’t figure it out with enough certainty to start to fall until late 2007. Then it was slow decline for a year before it finally fell off a cliff.
I figured it out in late 2007, too, right when the recession officially began but long before it was officially announced and before most people in the market had any idea that the market’s gradual decline was anything more than a minor soft patch.
I didn’t see it as a soft patch, and that turned out to be the market’s last high for more than half a decade. Even though most economists did not figure out we had entered a recession until a year and a half after it began and then backdated it to late 2007, late 2007 was when I first began warning people of a massive imminent housing collapse, which I said would bring down the banking industry and national economies in a global collapse.
I got to that by seeing obvious major housing trends, not Elliott Wave Theory. That was during the peak of my career in property management. I extrapolated where those housing trends and our deeply flawed financial system were going to collide. I took a common-sense approach most modern economists pay little attention to with all their fancy theories, devoid of basic economics, which I did understand from a ground-based view of the real economy, not cloistered behind academic and government walls.
That story is to illustrate that investors don’t have to wait until the economy is actually fully in recession (below the black line) to decide it’s time to start catching down to the economy. They are not going to move all their investments at once, nor are all investors going to move at once. So, the market may keep rising as the exit begins.
There are many valid indicators along the way. Each investor will pick his or her own point along that gradual economic glide path to decide to shift investments, with many waiting as long as they feel others will wait to adjust, while some get out before things get too bad because they are less risk tolerant.
Because there are so many kinds of economic indicators and because even overall GDP growth usually starts to retreat long before a recession, the economic slowdown almost always precedes the market’s downturn. It does not lag the market, as you claim. There is, however, not going to be prefect alignment between when the market in aggregate starts to price down to the economy and when a recession officially begins. What is true, though, is that the economy and market synch up during such times.
Even at the point where the economy is officially declared to be “in recession,” you can see in the last graph that a suddenly steeper drop in all the economic data likely gave investors a thrill of a warning before the recession (the shorter steeper arrow going into recession) than what they had been getting. The question really becomes how long can enough investors ignore the economy to keep the market rising as the economy falls?
The graph, of course, is quarterly, so it’s hard to say when the sharp falloff could have been felt (sentiment) by investors in the seat of their pants, but it certainly didn’t just happen on the day GDP was calculated and recorded for the first quarter of 2008. Unless they were asleep, investors would have seen many signs of steepening economic decline well before that.
Your analysis is simply too superficial to catch that because you don’t want to see it. It doesn’t fit your narrative. I’ve used only one economic measure here, which is backward looking. There are many that are forward indicators but this is the easiest to demonstrate from retrospectively when we can prove how things correlated because it is the largest overall economic measure. It proves the economy was consistently slowing down (with lower highs in the growth rate and lower lows) long before the market fell, and the signs from the housing market (a major sector of the economy) were intense before the stock market fell.
So, the economy did not lag the stock market, by any means, as you claim. In actual fact, it greatly preceded the market. That the stock market kept rising through most of 2007 while the economy had already been falling since the start of 2006 is another example of the stock market continuing to price up as economic growth was backing off until the stock market had to quickly price down to the economy, which it did as it always does when it gets way out of synch with economic reality.
Your notion that the economy lags the market comes from being totally oblivious to what the economy was already doing before the 2008 crash! The same is just as true now in 2020 where, for almost one year, growth was declining before the market fell in late February and March. Once again, the market plunged to catch down to economic reality the second a recession became evident to all; but I pointed out the drone-like retreat in the rate of economic growth throughout last year (including to you) as well as the certainty of recession being declared in early 2020.
The present time will prove a rare exception if the stock market does not fall again, just as it did in March, because that crash didn’t fully bring the market back to reality. Therefore, I’ve been saying since the subsequent rally began that the market has further to go down. I could have stopped with my successful prediction from last year, which was already a solid fact by March at 35% down, and not ventured another stock market crash prediction, but I’m not taking the easy or safe road.
That realignment failed because the economy got a sudden boost by reopening (a kind of instant economic turn-on never before experienced) and because of the biggest government fiscal stimulus ever seen on top of the greatest Fed stimulus ever seen.
Nevertheless, I maintain the crash will reassert itself now that the reopening is failing to deliver on the hopes reopening raised, just when I said it would fail. As a result, sentiment, again, will turn less hopeful, unless and until government steps in with even more stimulus to push realignment past the election. That’s my only caveat.
While the graphs above don’t show the kind of granular detail needed to verify this, I think I can go so far as to claim that every time the stock market prices itself far above economic reality, it catches back down to reality during a recession. I believe the only times the market hasn’t dropped during a recession have been when it was not priced that far out of line with the economy or the recession was a quick and shallow dip.
The economic lowering of the GDP growth rate is a measure of how corporations and other businesses are doing in aggregate. Investors can learn from economic action long before the economy is fully in recession and before GDP is printed because investors see all of those business measures piling up in lower and lower business statistics. Even when the market’s fall precedes a recession, the market’s decline is still all about the economy. It’s about investors anticipating recession because they see all the statistics that are starting to pile up against the overall economy.
(In recent years, of course, it has been even more about Fed moves. Because you don’t believe in that either, Avi, we’ll get to that.)
Often, however, the start of the recession and start of a bear market coincide as can be seen in the first graph. These are times when the market failed to look ahead accurately to see what was about to hit it. Because recessions are measured quarterly and the stock market is measured daily, it’s not likely their start and stop points on a graph will coincide perfectly, even if sudden economic troubles cause the stock market to plunge.
As we’ll see below when I lay out your own application of Elliott Wave Theory, Avi, knowledge of the economy can sometimes do a better job of showing you the lay of the land ahead for the market than EWT. Applying Elliott Wave Theory, your misses were far more frequent than my own, and my own direct hits far more bold and accurate than yours.
I’ll review that for you since you have often claimed otherwise, for this article only captures the essence of our overall argument. In fact, I’m writing this in an article, rather than trying to do this in comments, because there is a lot to prove to back that claim up with graphs and links. I’m also doing it because I think it can be illustrative for many.
How was my 2020 foresight?
I had a long debate with Avi and others on Seeking Alpha over my statements last year and early this year that the market would crash due to a recession in early 2020. I couldn’t even convince some of them the market was crashing even after its first few big days over the cliff. Just a hiccup, they said, buy and hold. Avi’s belief in Elliott Wave Theory, at least, made him more fluid than those, so he did all right but he made plenty of errors in his calls, too.
Some of the Seeking Alpha contributors told me back in 2019 I was 1) nuts to believe the economy was already headed into a recession then (to which I say look at the unbroken two-year trend line in the graph below, which is just like the graph above for the last recession) and 2) equally nuts to predict a recession would become officially declared in early 2020 (see the steep down arrow in the graph below) and 3) totally nuts, given all the Fed’s quantitative easing that had already begun in the fall of 2019, to think that said recession would crash the stock market. (Use your own memory to figure out what happened there. It can’t be that short.)
The graph shows relentless diminishment in the GDP growth rate throughout the period of the Trump Tax Cuts, followed by a trip over the cliff into full recession in the first quarter of 2020. The inability of massive corporate tax cuts to stimulate the economy was a major sign something was wrong.
How bad can a particular way of thinking be, if it followed those signs and others and predicted how the slowdown would continue, why it would continue and when it would finally turn into a fully declared recession that would take down the stock market?
Yet, even after all of that came together in late February and March, 2020, Avi still thinks I’m nuts about a recession bringing down the stock market, never mind that the stock market started crashing as soon as the economy’s relentless move toward recession went over a cliff due to COVID-19. Such is denial.
There is no economic lag in which the economy followed the stock market in that graph either, as Avi claims it always does. Just as in the previous graph, GDP growth telegraphed a trend of economic retreat well ahead of the market’s fall. Once again, investors had two years to sense it coming. We all know, in fact, the market rose mosts of that time, especially during the six months immediately preceding the officially declared recession. This time it clearly had no foresight at all about where the economy was heading. As a result, when the failing economy finally plunged over a cliff, the market went over with it in one of the biggest, knife-edged tumbles in history.
Avi also saw that coming in his Elliott Wave Theory charts, but that doesn’t change the fact that it was just as easy to see coming by understanding how the economy was buckling and knowing an exogenous shock, when it came, would kill it. As I say, I don’t doubt that EWT can graph the growing changes in human sentiment before the market actually changes; but it is also not hard to see why sentiment changed when you look at the preceding two years of declining economic growth, in spite of massive tax cuts.
(Note, the graph only shows quarterly moves, but you can see the economic slowdown setting firmly in at the start of 2018, and then a black-swan event in 2020 sent the economy and stock market over a cliff after the setup was fully in place for a fall. See my first proclamation that a recession had clearly begun based on real GDP and not just manufacturing and services data: “GDP Screams U.S. Recession Has Begun, but ‘Real GDP’ Is Far More Terrifying” and the official determination: “Recession Started Right on Time — Before Most Were Even Aware, So Beware!“)
Nevertheless, with near religious belief in Elliott Wave Theory, Avi continues to claim I was wrong to see any correlation between the obvious economic collapse we were approaching and the stock market’s simultaneous crash when that collapse hit.
That is even in spite of the fact that all expressed concerns by stock investors and mere traders during late February and all of March, as the market fell, were about the economy: Would COVID send businesses into bankruptcy? Would COVID erase profits? How bad would earnings reports be because of the COVID shutdown? Would the pandemic cause banking troubles? Would it cause wide-spread unemployment? Would it change consumer sentiment and cause consumers to buy less? On and on throughout the market’s crash. Clearly investors were hugely concerned about the economic impacts of COVID-19.
While it is sometimes true, as Janet Yellen quoted, that “Correlation is not causation,” when it is nearly 100% synchronous over and over for ten years (as I show in a graph below), then I think causation becomes quite evident. When you can also predict the one point at which the causal relationship will breakdown (and state why it will breakdown), and then it does break down badly at that point, that strongly confirms the implied relationship.
I had predicted the recession would hit so hard that the Fed would not be able to offset that much of a load, and I showed how the Fed had been seeing diminishing returns for its QE for years — requiring larger doses for smaller results in the stock market. On that basis, I predicted the relationship between Fed largesse and a relentlessly growing stock market would hit troubled waters when this recession hit.
Hopefully, the following dialogue with Avi is constructive about how the economy does ultimately rule the stock market and how, at least, some Elliot-Wave chart readers constantly hedge their bets with vague caveats to leave abundant room to change course anytime it becomes obvious things are not quite going where they thought things were likely to go. (I’ve invited Avi to come here and defend his own claims with facts, not mere additional assertions.)
Hopefully, it also reveals how far economic sense can get you even with respect to understanding what will happen in stocks. It’s not a perfect guide, like anything, but it certainly can help you see when the major moves are coming.
Applying Elliott Wave Theory, Avi Gilbert has been right about his own timing in the market a fair amount of the time (even a lot of the time if you allow for all his caveats and revisions). So, he’s not wrong about the benefits of Elliott Wave Theory; but he’s entirely wrong about the economy having no impact on the market (a belief made easy to hold over the past decade because the Fed ran the market off of its money pumps, pushing it into ignoring economic reality to a greater extent than the market ever has).
Alternately, you could as easily say Avi has been wrong a lot and covered his path by laying countless caveats in advance that gave him wiggle room every time things did not go where he said he believed they would go, and there were many times things did not take the “probable” path. (I’ll point out how plentiful those caveats always are in Avi’s writings so you can see how it is that many Zealliotts manage to claim they are always right, as Avi’s numerous built-in escape hatches are typical of other adherents to the Elliott Wave Theory faith.)
Where I think he is most wrong is not in subscribing to some value in the theory, but in believing it’s the only method of value at all. He’s been wrong in his constant statements in his articles (and in comments to me) that no one can see what is coming for the market by looking at the economy.
(Avi’s belief that the economy has nothing to do with the stock market is a somewhat forgivable misconception, given that the Fed has, until this year, managed to instantly turn around every market correction with a mere word, in spite of what the economy was doing, because the market has become intimately wedded to the Fed since the Great Recession began … and I do mean instantly (as in same-day or next-trading-day response) in 90% of the cases in the last ten years. How he can miss that instant correlation with Fed moves is beyond me, as it is is usually a same-day response to Fed announcements. Sometimes, however, the market waits and responds to the actual change in Fed actions.)
The King of Caveats
To compare the usefulness of understanding economic fundamentals to Elliott Wave Theory, I responded to Avi’s initial comment above as follows:
What I see in your predictions, Avi Gilburt, are so many caveats every time that you always have a way out. For example, on March 15 you said,
And, since Elliott’s structures are 5-wave structures, it still leaves me expecting a 5th wave in the coming years which should take us at least to 4000, with potential to move as high as 6000. Unfortunately, I will not have a more accurate target until we see the 1st and 2nd waves of that move complete, so we can set up our Fibonacci Pinball projections.Avi Gilbert
In other words, “I can only target the range within 50% accuracy of 4,000 right now so that, if it goes way above 4,000 (like even to 6,000), I can claim I saw it coming. Should what I am saying start to look wrong however, I’ll move the end target later based on how the 1st and 2nd waves actually prove out, as compared to how I have just said they most likely will go.”
If you build in enough caveats from the start, you can easily be right 100% of the time. In hindsight, Avi, you only mention all the calls you got right…. You were always right in your mind … because you always corrected course based on those caveats when things did not nearly follow the timeline or degree you said you thought was “likely.”
Thus, writing about the 2020 March drop, you said on March 15,
From our perspective, this was the 4th wave decline I had actually expected to see last year. But, it certainly took its sweet time to show up.
In other words, you got the entire year in which it would happen wrong by sticking solely with Elliott Wave Theory. Being off on the year can certainly screw up people’s trades. I’m sure you wouldn’t accord me that much leniency.
And then you provide your caveat for the next future setup:
Yet, that does not change the fact that it is likely a 4th wave.
In other words, “What I predicted for last year has arrived at last! Well, likely. If this still turns out not to be that 4th wave, I’ll say, ‘I only said it was likely that what I had predicted for last year is finally happening. We’re only dealing in probabilities here.'”
How convenient, I don’t usually provide myself with caveats and certainly never with as many as you use. Thus, you come back to this:
And, since Elliott’s structures are 5-wave structures, it still leaves me expecting a 5th wave in the coming years which should take us at least to 4000, with potential to move as high as 6000.
So, we’re back to the huge 4,000 – 6,000 range, but you give yourself a huge window of “in the coming years,” unable to even state what year we’ll finally hit that mark. Just “In the years ahead, we’ll see something between 4,000 and, oh, say, maybe 50% more than that.”
That’s like saying, “Some year, it’s going to rain … a whole bunch!” I think it is an obvious probability that somewhere in the years ahead, the market will go higher, and when it does it should eventually hit 4,000-6,000. Sometime in the years ahead!
I could make that years-down-the-road prediction on any given Sunday and prove right every time. It’s only when I can say exactly when it is going to happen that it becomes anything more than self-evident truth.
My prediction: I’ll try to be a little more accurate than you and state right here that the 4,000 peak won’t happen in 2020, and it won’t happen in 2021. This year and next will be deeply riddled with continued economic strife, a troubled stock market and intense social conflict in the US. No caveats.
Trader sentiment is not going to hold up in these years through the long slog of economic catastrophes we have already set for ourselves in the immediate years ahead. That’s the funny thing about human sentiment, it is governed as much by the devastation of economic collapse as by whims and wishes for what the market will do. So, eventually market fantasies and wishes realign with the economy. Sentiment can ignore the economy until it can’t.
And then you gave more caveats:
Unfortunately, I will not have a more accurate target until we see the 1st and 2nd waves of that move complete, so we can set up our Fibonacci Pinball projections. Until then, enjoy the “correction,” as we likely have lower levels to still be seen based upon quite a number of charts.
“Likely lower levels.”
The problem with that comment is that you wrote it while the market was still falling on March 15. It was a caveat to your claim that the market was about to experience a rally. I think it was extremely evident the market would keep falling lower after your comment, and it did. It was also evident on March 15 when you wrote about the market turning that it likely was about to because it had actually taken a MASSIVE LEAP up of about 1,200 points on the Dow on March 14!
It was not surprising that nine days after you wrote that, the market decided a total 35% plunge in the Dow was enough for the time being and it was time to try to rally. Good thing you put in your caveat, though, because the next day after you wrote it, the market fell by about 2,000 points. In your most recent article, reflecting back on that, you write,
Now, do you remember how fearful you were when you read my article on March 15th, just a few days before we struck the bottom?“Sentiment Speaks: This Market Is Going To Crash – Up”
Um, well, if you call nine days later “just a few days” and call an additional plunge of almost 4,000 points on the Dow “likely lower levels,” then fine. I’ll just note that those additional days of cliff diving were more than another 13-point drop, which is a major “correction” in and of itself. As it turned out, you were far off from calling the bottom.
So, when I was trying to get you to focus on the approaching buying opportunity, I must have sounded like a raving lunatic with no grounding in reality. Right?
Well, you might have warned people to keep holding off for an additional 13-point plunge (and I’m measuring that in terms of the 30k level on the Dow from which the original fall began. Measured from where the Dow was on the day you wrote this, the market plunged a whopping 20% more! I’m pretty sure no one would agree you called the bottom, given that the market fell a full bear-market plunge below where you were when you made the call that the bottom was nearly in.
It turns out you were a raving lunatic; yet, you try to make it sound like you were spot on. You make it sound like this call was some badge of astounding success when you just missed a plunge that, in itself, most people would call a bear-market crash over the course of another nine days. That is practically a speed record for crashes all by itself. So, yeah, you were right to say the market would “likely” go down some more. In fact, it went down a lot more!
Then you write,
I was expecting us to rally to the 2650-2725SPX region from that support, the manner in which we moved up to the 2700 region caused me to revise my expectation, and I adjusted my next target for the rally to the 2900SPX region.
So, you were way off on the 2650 call, and then were wrong again on the 2700 region (just as I was in writing at one point the market would stop at 61% retracement level, but that’s what I get for briefly paying attention to Elliott Wave Theory when the market stalled at 61%). You, then, adjusted to an extremely optimistic view of a 2900 top before the next fall, and proved way off still.
2900 may have looked likely since the market plateaued around 2900 for awhile, but then the rally decided to keep right on going without a downbeat. After my statement that fierce bear-rallies usually do top out around 61%, I finally stopped saying the market would top out at any particular level and started writing that maybe the insanity would keep storming up to where bankrupt corporations were trading as trillion-dollar chips in the casino:
We could soon have the scenario where mere shell corporations trade as trillion-dollar chips in the Wall-Street casinos. Ask yourself one common-sense question: if it doesn’t matter for stock-trading purposes whether or not corporations have any actual business income under the coronavirus shutdown, does it even matter if they actually exist? So long as their name exits, why not keep betting them up?“Fiercest Economic Collapse in History is Best Month for Stock Market“
You might ask yourself the same obvious question, Avi. If economics has no effect on stocks, as you claim, why does it matter if a corporation makes any profit at all or even goes bankrupt, since that is all business economics? So long as the corporation still exits on the trading boards, it should keep doing what Elliott Wave Theory says it will do. At a logical level, your argument is obviously riddled with holes.
I also wrote back then,
I think there is some possibility the Fed can keep pumping this up as the economy keeps crashing deeper until we wind up in the scenario I’ve described where bankrupt shell corporations are trading as trillion-dollar chips in the casino, I don’t think that is the MOST likely outcome, but it is the peculiarly likely outcome IF the Fed does succeed in propping up the stock market because the economy is going down further regardless.Comment on “CASHLESS SOCIETY 2020: How Banks Mint Money and What’s Restraining Digital Currency” (May 17)
In other words, the market could ignore the economy for a long time because the Fed was pumping it up like never before (with the federal government’s massive assistance that kicked in when it became clear the Fed could no longer get it up on its own).
(I’ll come to proving the market is highly responsive to the Fed, though that seems to be obvious to everyone but you, when we get to the point in your article where you mock those who believe that.)
A week or two after I wrote the above comment, we saw Hertz go bankrupt and saw its stocks immediately quintuple in price because irrationality had, indeed, become so extreme that bankrupt corporations actually did soar exponentially in value. Kind of made a quick case in point.
Your most recent article goes on to say,
Moreover, I explained to our members that as long as the 2700SPX region held as support, my next higher-probability target was 3234SPX“Sentiment Speaks: This Market Is Going To Crash – Up“
Sorry, it busted through that optimistic target, too! Sentiment ran FAR stronger than anything you envisioned. Good thing you provide yourself with ample caveats because you were awfully slow to catch on to how euphoric the market had become. So was I, but at least I got there in May. You were still missing your best guesses in June about where the market would stop:
Now, at this point in time in June, I was uncertain as to whether that was all of the rally we would get before we would see a pullback below 2900SPX. But as the market developed its consolidation in June, I outlined to our members that the market has left the door open to head back up to the 3400SPX region before we saw a meaningful pullback.
Another caveat: “left the door open to head back up to.” Even so, it has blown past that possible high, too, closing today at 3485 and breaking 3500 intraday! You just keep on missing! (And, still, you keep boasting about how right you think you were.)
It might have seemed when you were writing your article a few days ago that we were close enough to 3400 to make it a good idea to remind people that you had “left the door open” to the market heading to the 3400 region before making a meaningful pullback. Now, however, we know it blew right on by that level, too, and who knows if it is going to pull back yet?
I have been saying in my own writings for a couple of months that the window for the market to pull back would begin in late August. On that, we come back into alignment, as we both say at this point a pullback will happen sometime in the next couple of months; but I stopped setting target peaks months ago as it is clear the market will keep storming past until something knocks it hard in the head.
I think there are plenty of hard knocks on the immediate horizon, and I’ve noted August through October is the time of the year when the market is weakest historically, so the next crash is likely to happen in that weak spot, not just because its a weak spot but because of numerous kinds of bad economic news I said would start piling up from mid-July on.
Your present article says as much by referencing a quote from your mid-July article in which you also said:
However, my perspective is based upon my analysis of market sentiment, which has had me correctly bullish since the end of March. And, that analysis is suggesting that we are going to be seeing a bout of market weakness over the coming months which will likely take us below the level we are at today. While the market may still test the all-time market highs, I think there is downside risk over the coming 3-4 months, and I expect we will see levels lower than where we reside today.”
Well, not that “correctly bullish!” First, we didn’t just retest the all-time highs, we blew right on past them!
Way past them!
You had, with numerous qualifications as noted above, rightly seen the market might drop some more back in March when it actually fell another 20% from the point it was at when you said that! Nevertheless, you may have been correctly bullish in saying a rally was going to commence eventually, but not that correct since you forgot to point out the massive 20% deadfall your readers would have to get past first! (I don’t think most traders would consider missing a 20% pit lined with pungy sticks when predicting a market turnaround is a prescient call. Maybe that’s good by your standards, but most would consider it a huge miss.)
After the end of March, you were correct in being bullish, but not correctly bullish in terms of any of your targeted highs. The market soared far beyond every one of them. Because of the Fed’s and federal government’s immediate multi-trillion-dollar joint money-pumping efforts, I gave up on limiting the market’s insane sentimentality while you kept underestimating it and revising your likely tops.
You errantly targeted all those particular points as highs because you don’t believe trillions of Fed and federal dollars will goose the stock market at all. The market strictly goes by Elliott Wave Theory, according to you, though Elliott Wave Theory was wrong about how far it was likely to go again and again over the past months, as you successfully demonstrated. Assuming you actually know Elliot Wave Theory, it’s probabilities missed again and again.
Economic understanding beat Elliott Wave Theory
I stopped setting range heights and just stayed with saying that I thought the market would finally turn (sometime between late August and October). In early June, I predicted late-July (when you finally wrote your update) would be the point at which people would start to realize the economy was not recovering. Here’s what I wrote:
We’ll be deep into July before we start to see where the rapid recovery stalls out, and then it may take a little longer before investors start to see it because they don’t want to….
At some point this summer, it will be clear that jobs are topping out well below where they were at the start of the year. The economic recovery will look less V-shaped and more square-root (which starts out just like a “V’). Narratives will be concocted to explain that away as a brief lull, but reality will keep pushing in, just as I’ve said will happen….
Unemployment will remain high enough to still be considered typical of a recession because marginal businesses did not reopen (including particularly retail stores that were barely holding on). Government stimulus programs will start to wind down unless congress extends them, which will be less likely….
People who did not return to full employment will start to default on their mortgages when forbearance ends in July. Defaulting businesses will start to pile up, etc….
However, between now and then, reopening is almost guaranteed to shoot economic statistics up quickly….
There should be a lot of major good news during the month of reopening, and the market has shown it will ignore all bad news anyway. Records will be broken in the good news ahead, which will symbiotically support the Fed’s stimulus efforts and the government stimulus efforts that are set to continue, at least, until mid-July.
So, the market may swell to its previous highs and even beyond, but look out when the “V” in the economy stops rising because the “V” is a phantom….
How long it will take the market to accept that the economic “V,” which would be shown in the total GDP graph if it happened (not the market “V”) was a mirage, I don’t know because the market is, after all, stupid. However, the economy’s long depression — a sustained dip below the level total GDP hit in the first graph at the start of year — will give the market many months after July in which it will have to maintain the fantasy without the benefit of the fantasy narrative that the initial reopening will deliver.
Will that eventually pound the point through the thick heads of investors? I think it will because reality has always won over market delusions in the past and because the Fed is now having to pump money at phenomenal rates just to avoid another repo crisis, let alone a stock-market collapse. However, investors will be able to fool themselves for awhile into thinking the “V” in the market proves a “V” in the economy, even though market and economy have totally decoupled.“I Believe in the Stupidity of the Stock Market“
I’d say every detail there proved spot on! I made those predictions on June 8 based on the economy and general observations about market sentiment, not on Elliott Wave Theory and elaborate charts. Therefore, it came as no surprise to me that you started to see this in mid-July.
By July 10, I started to firm the timing up for the market’s next crash to be more precise:
Here is the bad news that is now relentlessly drumming louder and louder until it will become a deafening roar the market cannot ignore. (And the Fed is backing down right as the news arrives, though its arrival will push the Fed back to running the money pumps, which may, if that happens, buy the market a little more time … like until September; but right now, I’d say August is looking good for the start of a crash.“Drumbeats of the Epocalypse: The Economic Death March Has Come to Town!”
In various articles and comments, I said the economic recovery would start to clearly fail after mid-July and then market sentiment would start to erode to where the market would be in risk of taking another big plunge anywhere from late August through October (a tighter range you give based on Elliott Wave Theory).
In a comment on the same article, I wrote the following prediction:
The irrational part for the market is the thought that the market will keep rising or even will hold. It won’t. It will crash again, just as it has done (probably in August, but almost certainly by October).
So, here we are. As it turns out, the economy is a strong driver of how and when market sentiment starts to turn, which is all Elliott Wave Theory tries to ascertain anyway. As a Zealliott, you follow a theory that demonstrably has not been as accurate in timing or in range of market peaks and troughs as my own predictions have been based on how and when changes in the economy would likely impact human sentiment enough to change the market and by how much the economy would change the market. (We have yet to see, of course, on my last statement about the next crash coming between August and October.)
Even in your latest article you gave us still more caveats, Avi:
And guess what? Now that we have struck a new all-time high, my perspective [about imminent market weakness] has not changed. While there is still some room left to the upside (if the market so chooses in the coming weeks), I am still of the belief we will see levels below 3200SPX in the coming two months.
Neither has my perspective changed much, but I’ll note your big caveat of “still some room left to the upside if the market so chooses.” You might as well say, “The market is going to do anything it likes in the coming weeks” because if it does go up, instead of down as you predict, you’ll note your caveat and claim you were right.
Prediction: I’ll be more accurate and say, “Yeah there may be a tiny bit of upside left, but it will be little and choppy now that economic reality is crashing through.”
Not a lot better, but you’ve left yourself endless head room. I mean we already saw that your “fall a little more” can mean as much as another 20% plunge, and you’ll still say you were accurate.
(My next article will be on how the market is showing all kinds of signs that it is likely to turn very soon.)
Prediction: I’ll be way more accurate in saying that the market is going to go well below 3200 on the SPX. IN FACT, it will be closer to 2200 than to 3200, and that’s just in the near term.
And, finally, you write,
With the market taking us back up towards the all-time high, I am now going to revisit my expectation for the rally I see taking shape in the coming years. Whereas before I had expected that the rally would take us to 4000+ in the SPX (which I had outlined as were down in the 2200SPX region), I am now narrowing it down to the 5000SPX-6000SPX region.
Towards the all-time high??? How about blowing way past it?
And, hey, bold call on the someday-to-6000 move, Avi. Elliott Wave Theory got you to a prediction that is broadly vague enough that you can hardly miss since “coming years” can easily be stretched out to a decade or more if it takes that long. You should eventually be able to say you were spot on!
Prediction: Rather than say what height the market could reach some undeclared number fo years from now, I’ll confidently state that it won’t make it to that 5,000+ level anytime in 2020 or 2021 and not likely 2022. Let’s see who proves more accurate.
Unfortunately, I will not be able to narrow it down any further until we move well into 2021. But based upon the current action, it suggests that we should strike a minimum target of 5000 by the 2023 time frame.
Well, come back and revisit me at the start of 2021 and tell me how accurate or inaccurate my far narrower predictions above, which are based on economics, proved to be.
As you admit, you are unable via Elliott Wave Theory to narrow down either the range or the time frame until we’re well into 2021, but the “minimum” will be 5000 by 2023. That gives you plenty of opportunity near the end of 2021 to say “based upon the current action, I am adjusting my minimum target from ___ to a minimum target of ___ by 2024.”
Nice. Lot’s of wiggle room to slide around in that I never afford myself because I’m interested in being highly accurate, not in giving myself endless caveats so I can prove right.
You always lay in caveats that allow for the next adjustment, even being so sweeping as to say “in the coming years” or so broad as to say “by the 2023 time frame.” Using the little word “by” means, if it happens in 2020, you can also say you were sure right on. It happened more quickly than you thought, but it was certainly “by 2023.”
That’s how you keep moving targets moving so you can always say you were SPOT ON!
I try to be more accurate than that and state what year something will actually happen in, not “by.” In fact, I almost always state what part of the year it will happen in. Thus, I said very specifically the economy would start into recession in the summer of 2019; we’d have a huge repo crisis in the latter half of 2019, likely starting in late summer; and the collapse of the economy would become evident enough that recession would be officially declared in early 2020. (I also noted clearly every time that the recessionary moves of 2019 would not be evident enough to most people for the official declaration of a recession to happen before early 2020). Finally, I said the move into recession would cause a massive crash in the stock market.
The two events — recession and market crash — timed out with each other to the day! That whole line of predictions culminated when and how I said it would in the steepest and deepest market crash since 1929 starting right at the same time the recession hit … all based on economic reasoning (because a single black-swan event triggered both), not ever on charts or Elliott Wave Theory.
Prediction: I now anticipate a large plunge back to the March lows with a high risk that we’ll break below that after taking a rest there. Depending on economic events at the time, it may bounce at that level again (because sentiment would normally trigger on that fibonacci band to use your Zealliott lingo) or just stall out before going further down.
I’ve said many times here that the Fed has lost its ability to push the market higher, so we will also see once again this year that the Fed can no longer do the heavy lifting without equally huge US government assistance. We are so far over the hump on the Diminishing Returns curve for the Fed that it will take the utmost effort of both Fed and feds (again) to stop the next market crash, and it’s highly likely that combined effort will ultimately fail.
Proof the Fed has controlled the market in the past, but the Fed is now dead
You have claimed many times, Avi, that the Fed has little to no influence over the stock market, nor does the economy. The market is only moved by some ethereal sentiment that only Elliott Wave Theory can divine.
Prior to 2010 that may have been largely true about Fed because the Fed was not intently trying to rig the market as it has ever since the Great Recession came down on us. The Fed wasn’t engaged in massive money printing, just interest-rate influence.
Since the advent of quantitative easing during the Great Recession it’s a different story altogether. I’ve pointed out here that you can overlay a graph of the stock market on a graph of Fed monetary expansion and see near-perfect correlation now that the Fed is trying to control the market, as even one Fed president has said, “to create a wealth effect”:
This graph solidly refutes Avi’s repeatedly stated belief (see below) that the stock market does not move based on what the Fed is doing. You can see huge changes in market dynamics with each Fed change in money supply. The correlation between Fed monetary boosting and stocks rising and between Fed monetary tightening and stock market troubles was 100% over the past decade of extreme Fed largesse, with the exception of the Trump Rally, which the Fed still managed to break when it started tightening.
That rally resumed last year when the Fed started easing in the second half of the year as I predicted the Fed would have to do to resolve the repo crisis. The tight correlation between Fed monetary policy and market action finally broke down in March, which is when I had predicted the Fed would finally become ineffective.
I had said for months the Fed would be too far down the dark side of the Law of Diminishing Returns’ bell curve by the next recession to have much effect on either the market or the economy, because the strength of the next recession, due to all the economic flaws the Fed had helped lay in, would be more than the Fed could handle.
The graph proves all of that to have been correct.
Wherever the timing in correlation between Fed policy and market action has been off by a hair’s breadth, it was only because the market changed course on the exact DAY the Fed announced its monetary policy change, but the actual increase or decrease in money supply may have come a month for so later. The market has been so rigged by the Fed that it typically responds the very HOUR the Fed announces a change in policy, even with moves large enough to change the market trend.
Nevertheless, I agree with your statement that the Fed is not omnipotent, though not with your mockery of those who believe the Fed influences the market:
Many of you still believe (as the commenter noted above) that the Fed controls the market. So, despite this almost unanimous belief in the Fed’s omnipotence, consider how the Fed was unable to stem the tide of the negative market sentiment during the 35% market crash we experienced earlier this year notwithstanding all its attempts:
In another recent article, you argue against the following:
The main premise which is universally accepted is that the Fed can simply “print” money and push it into the stock market to cause the market to rally. In this way, the Fed has supposedly supported the market and has caused this rally we have been seeing for many years.“Sentiment Speaks: The Fed May ‘Cause’ You To Get Caught In The Next Crash“
Indeed it has.
You saw in my quote from my own article above that I’ve said exactly the same thing about the Fed not being omnipotent. We have no quarrel there, but I also predicted where the Fed would lose control. The graph above shows exactly where the Fed’s ability to control the market single-handedly died to where Fed and market diverged completely.
The problem is you don’t recognize the last ten years under Fed QE are an entirely different regime than all of preceding history. The Fed took new powers unto itself and utterly destroyed any true market (making it easy for Elliott Wave Theory to predict the Fed-supported secular trend that was virtually guaranteed by the Fed).
Historically, there is much evidence to suggest that the Fed action is simply coincidental to market actions at times, whereas other times the market does the exact opposite of expectations.
But all of the evidence you present happened before the Fed entirely and deliberately rigged the market to do its bidding; and from 2007-2009, the period in history you look back to for proof, not only had QE not begun, but the Fed was trying to save the economy, not the stock market. It’s interest cuts began before the market even fell because the economy had been falling for a year already (as I noted I graphs above).
I think you want to kill the belief that the Fed engineered the entire last decade simply because you like to boast that you were so accurate in predicting this long secular bull trend.
Those who think the Fed will always be able to rescue the market are, nevertheless, wrong. All “good” things (this one not really being good but perceived as such) must come to an end, and the Fed is certainly not omnipotent.
As for your claim in one article that the market didn’t respond to QE right away when it first came out in 2008 (therefore, the Fed does not control the market, you argue), the market had never experienced QE and had no idea what to expect. At the same time, massive fear pervaded the world over a global banking collapse. Economic damage was massive.
So, there was a lot to overcome, making your claim that it didn’t work right away lame because your expectations of an immediate response the first time QE was tried are totally unrealistic. Regardless, it didn’t take long for all investors to see how Fed manipulation via QE would work and get on board (only four months) … where they remained all the way until this year, as I showed in the graph above.
Even in 2014 when you try to claim the market did not respond to the Fed’s tapering of QE, you are demonstrably wrong:
Yet, even though we saw a pullback in the market, the market still rallied another 10% from the point at which the Fed began to taper. How could it have done so without the continued backing of the Fed?
But it did have the continued backing of the Fed. A taper is not an end. As you can see in the graph above, as soon as the taper began, the market began to falter in the form of falling to a deeper bottom than its long-established bottom trend line. The taper causes a big convulsion that had not happened during two languid years or continual rise; but Fed backing is still on. As soon the Fed’s QE backing actually ended, the market flatlined for almost two years.
That was a break I predicted would happen exactly at that time due to the end of QE, though it wasn’t as deep of a break as I thought, but it was as long, and it did have some deep dives along the way. Two years later, you could still buy the market at exactly the same price as you could on the day when QE finally ended. The market didn’t fall because QE didn’t fall. (That is why I was wrong about the depth because I thought the Fed was going to start unwinding QE right away. I misunderstood what they were saying about ending QE.)
The market didn’t rise again until the Trump Rally where the market rose without new Fed support. That was due to new (sentimental) enthusiasm over Trump and his promised tax cuts bringing new people into the market. The Trump Rally had nothing to do with the Fed, but it is not as though markets could never rally in the past without Fed support, and the Fed did nothing to prevent that rise.
Well, for a little while, and then Fed even managed to kill the Trump Rally when it finally did start unwinding QE. The first three months of unwinding went smoothly, exactly as I said they would because the unwind was too small to matter.
The first trouble in the market also showed up exactly when I predicted it would, which was when the Fed doubled down on its rate of unwind near the end of January, 2018. The market began a record-setting January-February plunge immediately.
I had also predicted prior to that year that the market’s biggest plunge from the Fed’s unwinding would not happen until October when the unwind would hit full velocity. You can see in the graph that is exactly how it played out. Most indices crashed into a bear market as I said they would. (Down 20% or more.)
I bet my blog on it playing out with exactly that timing and increasing depth from the first leg down in January to the biggest one in the fall to demonstrate how certain I was about how the Fed’s rigging worked. (I had maintained for years the Fed would crash its recovery as soon as it tried reducing the QE it had added.)
Longtime readers here will remember that journey on this blog. Some were not too happy with that bet when I backed off writing to wait and see how it all actually played out in the fall, promising never to return if I proved wrong; but you can see I’m still here. In fact, readers enticed me back with pledges of support for the first time in my many years of writing this blog.
Even my detractors with whom I made the bet did not try, even in word, to hold me to it when I came back and said, “See.” (That’s not to say they didn’t stop cawing, but they didn’t attempt to hold me to the bet as there was clearly no ground for that.)
As you note in your own article, we saw in March of this year how the Fed was, finally, not able to get the market to stop plunging. For the first time, the market went in exactly the opposite direction of the Fed, even to the same degree that the Fed moved. I would add that was until the US government joined the battle with an equally massive fiscal bazooka, and then the market IMMEDIATELY turned around … as the graph also shows at the very end. That, too, is exactly where I said the Fed’s rigging would finally break down.
Prediction: Next time, the Fed will find it harder still to arrest the market’s fall because the Fed is even further along the downside of diminishing returns.
That is a purely economic way of looking at the market. In fact, after the March catastrophe, I wrote an article titled “The Fed is Dead.” That is said in the prophetic tone that declares a future reality others will come to realize but claims it now as a fait accompli.
The Fed’s days of getting the market to stop falling on its own are over. This is going to be a tough readjustment for investors who believe the Fed his omnipotent, not suddenly impotent.
With government help, however, the combined forces may again manage to arrest the upcoming market fall at a level near the recent March bottom, maybe before that level; but the Fed will not be able to do it on its own, and it’s not going to result in the major rally you believe is coming. In fact, I think it likely the market stops around that level, recovers a little, and then busts through that bottom for more downside “surprise.”
Hopefully, you don’t have to keep readjusting your targets for new market lows, Avi, like you had to keep readjusting your many intermittent market highs. A little macro-economic understanding could smoothen the course for you so you don’t have to revise so often or employ so many caveats in your predictions.
Come back in 2021, and we’ll compare notes with the predictions above. In fact, I challenge you to lay out some now in the comment section below, contrasted against my own above, that you are certain will be more accurate. It should be fun to see how that turns out. Consider it good sport.