Joseph G. Witthohn, CFA
VP of Product Development Emerald Asset Management

Good morning.

One thing of which we never seem to have a shortage … for good or bad … are forecasters … especially regarding investments … for the press seems to give free rein to provide views … and if these prophets are wrong … well, no problem … we’ll call them “gurus” and ask them for another opinion at some future date.

I often wonder about this when I read about “odds” and chances for recession. I mean … if someone claims a 60% chance of recession … and no recession appears … can’t they just say that … well … the result fell in the 40% camp? I was reminded of this puzzle when I read on Reuters that Janet Yellen, the former Fed Reserve Chair, doesn’t anticipate recession next year … yet claims the odds are “higher than normal.” I still don’t know if I should worry after hearing this … but that is true about most articles I read lately.

What reminded me of this was the article last week that I put out that shows 50% of strategists expect a market downturn in 2020. Now today I include an item (first story below) that claims JP Morgan feels it will be a banner year for equities. That’s why many of us just sit on the sidelines. Anyone with a computer can appear to be an expert, a journalist, or an author. Most opinions aren’t worth the paper they’re written on … and we should keep in mind that … in this day and age with computers … they aren’t even written on any paper at all. And rightfully so.

Sorry to be down on forecasters. I think the realization that I still own some Bitcoin – which recently dropped to $7,000 – from $20,000 last year – has set in. Tom Lee recently called for each Bitcoin to be worth $40,000 by the end of this year. Tim Draper of Draper Associates just gave the view that it will reach $250,000 sometime over the next 3 years. Each claim … much like the famed Nigerian Prince email … probably gets a few people with dreams to buy into the hype. Like me.

On a final note … and the last article below … as we begin to prepare for the holidays we should keep in mind that some are not as fortunate as many of us.

A group contacted me and invited me to an event where people/friends/acquaintances show up at a bar to get together for a friendly holiday toast … and toss money into a donation box where funds will be used for kids and families down on their luck. What a great idea!

If, somehow, my donation can help one child enjoy Christmas … somehow I will be better off.

And so will the world.

Have a great day,

Joseph G. Witthohn, CFA
Vice President
Emerald Asset Management PA, LLC
610 Freedom Business Center Drive
King of Prussia, PA 19406
Direct: (610) 285-9905

… as of 11:44 AM today …

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