Financial Experts' Failures

Why are experts so bad at making predictions? The world is a messy place with countless intervening variables and confounding factors, which our brains are not equipped to evaluate.

We evolved the capacity to make snap decisions based on short-term predictions, not rational analysis about long-term investments, and so we deceive ourselves into thinking that experts can foresee the future. This self-deception among professional prognosticators was investigated by University of California, Berkeley, professor Philip E. Tetlock, as reported in his 2005 book Expert Political Judgment. After testing 284 experts in political science, economics, history and journalism in a staggering 82,361 predictions about the future, Tetlock concluded that they did little better than "a dart-throwing chimpanzee."

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