Technology stocks are trending big-time as investors latch on to innovative companies racing ahead in a slow-growth world.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq is the best performing major U.S. stock index this year, gaining 6 per cent as the Standard & Poor’s 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial averages have wavered between small gains and losses.
Is it a bad idea to make predictions in your investment commentary because clients will slam you when you’re wrong? Whenever you make predictions, you run the risk of being wrong. But being wrong isn’t a problem, in my mind, if your prediction reflects good thinking.
Lesson from my winning prediction
Accurate predictions alone don’t make you seem smart. I remember the time I participated in a betting pool with members of an investment policy committee. I had to predict where a certain number—probably the 10-year Treasury rate—would be one quarter later. Guess what! I won. However, it wasn’t knowledge of Federal Reserve policy or the economy that inspired my winning bet. It was that I deliberately picked a rate 25 basis points lower than any other committee member’s bet.
Did I respect the losers less after I won my bet? No. They had well thought-out ideas about the factors driving bond yields. As a result, I continued to think highly of them.
The lesson is that smart people can and will be wrong. After all, look at any major investment firm’s quarterly predictions of statistics such as the fed funds rate, gross domestic product (GDP) growth, or the consumer price index. Most of the time they are wrong. Heck, the federal government revises its GDP numbers as new data comes in.
Why you should make predictions
Investment commentary that only reports facts is often boring. Plus, unless you’re pumping out commentary instantaneously, you’re not telling your readers anything they couldn’t learn online or in The Wall Street Journal. They have no reason to read your factual, unopinionated commentary. Keeping your clients interested isn’t the only reason to make predictions—or, at a minimum, express opinions. When you support your predictions with carefully reasoned arguments, you give clients insights into your firm’s thought processes. That’s valuable. Imagine, for example, that you predict that the Federal Open Market Committee will boost its fed funds target later in the year. By itself, that’s not so interesting. What makes it valuable is why you think that’s true and what you recommend based on that prediction.
Unexpected events—war, natural disasters and the like—can sabotage your predictions. However, they may only delay your predictions coming true. Clients will find comfort in the soundness of your thinking.
For the past 40 years I've been working with hiring managers, recruiters and candidates on all types of jobs from camp counselors to senior executives. Part of this has been tracking the results of their hiring decisions including what happens to people who didn't get hired for a dumb reason at company A, but did get hired at company B for the right reasons.
Given this perspective, here are 15 things I've found that absolutely don't predict on-the-job success. Despite the obvious, companies, recruiters and hiring managers still use these factors to make critical yes/no hiring decisions.
There is no grander goal in life than the pursuit of happiness.
Kim Kardashian and TV presenter Willie Geist take a selfie on an iPhone. Photograph: Nbc/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
Most of the big names in futurism are men. What does that mean for the direction we’re all headed?
In the future, everyone's going to have a robot assistant. That's the story, at least. And as part of that long-running narrative, Facebook just launched its virtual assistant. They're calling it Moneypenny-the secretary from the James Bond Films. Which means the symbol of our march forward, once again, ends up being a nod back. In this case, Moneypenny is a send-up to an age when Bond's womanizing was a symbol of manliness and many women were, no matter what they wanted to be doing, secretaries.
Much of wearable technology is used to help coaches, trainers and general managers maximize player performance – but athletes want to make sure the line between the personal and the professional doesn’t blur.
It's a common complaint — if you spend a night in the hospital, you probably won't get much sleep. There's the noise. There's the bright fluorescent hallway light. And there's the unending barrage of nighttime interruptions: vitals checks, medication administration, blood draws and the rest.
Providence Mount St. Vincent in Seattle is a seniors' home like no other. About 400 seniors reside in the home, affectionally referred to as The Mount, and 125 children attend a daycare in the building. Employees came up with the idea of creating joint activities for the seniors and the youngsters more than 20 years ago. Director Charlene Boyd took it a step further, making sure the the entire facility is licensed for child care, creating more opportunities for the residents and the children to interact throughout the day. Residents of The Mount say spending time with the children is source of joy, and Boyd considers it an integral part of their care. But it's also good for the kids, she says. "I think it's really important that these elders aren't out of sight, out of mind. All of us are aging and not all of us will age in these perfect ways," Boyd tells CBC's Ioanna Roumeliotis. "Just because I'm in a wheelchair or a walker, or just because I have dementia, doesn't mean that I'm not human anymore, and those children are learning humanness at a very young age."
Brain injuries are the No. 1 cause of death and disability in Americans under age 35, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Now, a new technology that looks at your eyes can help doctors diagnose brain injuries better than any other tool. Concussions are a scary injury because what we see on the outside may not reflect what’s happening on the inside. Doctors have long been able to see how the brain looks. Now, they can see how it’s working just by tracking eye movement. “The underlying premise is that when normal people’s eyes are moving, if they are watching television for example, they move with really tight synchrony. When someone has a brain injury, their eyes do not move with tight synchrony. And we can measure that,” Dr. Uzma Samadani said. “We can figure out how badly the eyes are functioning. That tells us something about how well the brain is functioning.”