Thursday, September 23, 2010

Happy Anniversary Model "T"!

Happy anniversary baby
Got you on my mind

Hey everybody, I am excited about a big upcoming anniversary. If my wife is reading this, of course I’m talking about my 30th wedding anniversary. For everyone else, I’m referring to the one-year anniversary of the Model T Stock Trends Blog.

I started the blog a year ago to share the Model “T”, which attempts to predict the highs and lows of stock market cycles using data primarily connected to the commercial transportation industry. It also helped me keep my skills sharp as a looked for employment.

My friend Robert who helped me set up the blog page, asked me a year ago, “Who is going to read this?” I said maybe the 15 people who already know about the model and whoever else is interested. But the blog has a readership larger than I ever expected. It is read by people who want an understandable explanation of the economy. It is read by financial professionals in New York who remain curious about the model’s potential. I have received e-mails from readers in India, Sweden and other countries.

After presenting and explaining the model in my initial posts, I delved into factors that impacted the economy and made many predictions and forecasts along the way. The interesting thing about blogging is those predictions “go on the record” and can be reviewed at anytime. And it is now time for a review. So what did readers of the blog get over the past year?

The Losers

Let’s start with the failures. The Model “T” predicted the S & P 500 index would bottom out at around 580 in September or October of this year. So the model has not been accurate the past 18 months. The main reason for this “miss” is that the economic conditions are very unique and the government has injected an enormous amount of support and stimulus to stabilize the economy. I have been critical of Timothy Geithner, but the one thing he has been very successful at doing is stabilizing and strengthening the stock market. And don’t dismiss this. It was a very important factor in controlling this crisis.

The Model “T” has not been accurate in predicting the recent stock market, but none of the other sophisticated models developed by your PhD in Economic experts have worked either. As I have stated before, even some very accurate economic indicators have been rendered useless in this Redression (my new term for the Recession/Depression) So as a marketing person, I can honestly say that the Model T has been as accurate as many of the models developed by respected economists.

The Winners

Don’t focus so much of the content, much of which is obvious now, but when the predictions were made.

- In October 2009 you read that the economic recovery would not be a V-shape, a U-shape, an L shape or a W. It would be a “UL” with a slow, sluggish growth rate after riding the bottom of the cycle. (Almost a year later, this one has been spot on).

- In October 2009 you read that the unemployment situation was unique and pervasive. The number of displaced skilled, white-collar, workers meant that that unemployment would remain high for an extended period of time (some government officials still don’t understand this).

- In November 2009 you read how lack of credit availability was choking the economy and would not improve much until well into 2010 and would not fully recover until 2011. (Count it)

- In November 2009 you read that 2010 GDP would be below 3% and that the housing market despite the government stimulus efforts and low interest rates, would not recover in 2010. Housing starts were predicted to be below 700,000. (GDP is forecast at 2.7% for 2010 and housing starts at 590,000 (Wells Fargo))

- In November 2009 you read that the recession ended in July 2009 (NBER just announced this week that it ended in June 2009. (Okay, one month off but 10 months ahead of the experts).

- In December you read that the government programs to stimulate the economy were not working. In February 2010 this issue was addressed in more detail. (No comment necessary)

- In January 2010 you read that the economic indicators predicted slow, choppy, economic growth in 2010. (Slow and getting choppier)

- In January 2010 you read that this was not going to be an economic recovery as much as it was going to be an economic “healing”. Also, there would be no “double-dip” recession. (The “recovery” hasn’t really happened)

- In March 2010 you read that there was a structural unemployment problem that a typical economic recovery would not solve. (Several economists agreed with me several months later, but the government still doesn’t get it.)

- In May 2010 you read that the recovery was it trouble and there was an economic slowdown ahead. (Swish)

Of course there were other predictions made earlier in 2010, but it is too soon to determine the accuracy of those. The Model “T” would still indicate that the stock market will see a significant drop to compensate for the rally that has taken place the past 15 months, but the market continues to show surprising strength.

I am tempted to boast about the accurate predictions, but my Pennsylvania Dutch upbringing prevents me from doing so. Proud Pennsylvania Dutch boys get sent to bed without any cheese and birch beer! So I will just quote Walter Brennan’s character from the 1960’s western The Guns of Will Sonnett: “No brag, just fact.”

Happy anniversary baby
Got you on my mind

1 comment:

  1. I appreciate your post and it was superb .Thanks for sharing.I would like to hear more about this in future.