Hulbert: Two Top Forecasting Models Bullish

Given the recent economic and market turmoil, there’s been a resurgence of pundits warning of a double-dip recession, or another major market crash. But newsletter-tracker Mark Hulbert says two econometric forecasters with excellent long-term track records are bullish right now.

The first is Sam Eisenstadt, the former Value Line research chairman. His model predicts that over the next six months, the S&P 500 will return about 20%. The other is Norman Fosback of Fosback’s Fund Forecaster, who used to head the Institute for Econometric Research. Fosback recently said his model expects the market to gain 26% in the next year, and 75% (12% annualized) over the next five years.

While noting that there’s no guarantee that past success will be replicated in the future, Hulbert says these two forecasters are worth listening to.

“Given how difficult it is to forecast the stock market’s short-term direction at any time, much less now, you might imagine that it is even more difficult to forecast the market’s direction over longer periods of time,” he writes. “Ironically, however, that may not be the case. Statisticians tell us that it is less hard (note I didn’t say easy) to predict the market’s return over the next six to 12 months than it is to forecast its return over the next day. And it’s even less difficult still when the forecast horizon extends to longer periods of time.”

“We should remember their past success when we are tempted to throw up our hands in despair at predicting the stock market’s daily ups and downs,” Hulbert says of Eisenstadt’s and Fosback’s models. “We don’t have to be good at forecasting those gyrations in order to do very well, thank you, in predicting the market’s longer-term trend.”

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