The Flying Frisby
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Investment Nostradamus or Just Guessing? A Recap of Frisby's 2023 Forecasts

Investment Nostradamus or Just Guessing? A Recap of Frisby's 2023 Forecasts


As long-time readers/sufferers will know, at the beginning of the new year I like to make some predictions for the 12 months ahead.

The bolder the prediction, the more entertaining the copy, though the less likely it is to actually happen. Herein lies the eternal conflict at the heart of so much market commentary. What is more important: getting lots of eyeballs or being right?

Today we mark our own homework. We look back at last year’s effort and we count up the points. The scoring system: 2 points for a direct hit, 1 point for a nearly right, 0 for a fail and minus 1, if the prediction is David-Lammy-on-Mastermind-level bad. 

(For those readers not familiar with David Lammy, he is a UK politician from the “everyone who does not agree with me is a Nazi” school of philosophy, who appeared on one of the UK’s flagship quizzes and was really, really bad).

I like this exercise because it demonstrates just how much perspective can change over time. While we can change strategy as events develop, the copy from last year stays and back then things looked very shaky. The stock market was imploding, and the end was nigh. Now it all looks rather better.

Next week I’ll put together some predictions for 2024, but here’s how 2023’s batch panned out.

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  1. Brent crude oil, then at $80, to hit three figures. We felt commodities would have a good year with China’s re-opening increasing demand. It didn’t. The highest Brent got was $95. Zero points.

  2. Copper would go to $4.80/lb, we said, on the same theme, and we were wrong about that too. It got to $4.30. Not quite Lammy-on-Mastermind levels of failure, but a big fat zero nonetheless.

  3. Yield becomes a thing again. “With choppy, uncertain markets, but sticky inflation, investing for yield rather than capital growth becomes a much bigger theme in 2023.” It seems painfully obvious now, I can’t believe it wasn’t a year ago, but a lot of investors, particularly those with lots of capital, have been quite happy to take safe 5 or 6% yields. Two points.

  4. S&P500. Things looked very dicey in the stock market this time last year. Many were declaring end of days. We said no such thing. It was “a classic recessionary bear market”, we argued. It looks obvious now. It wasn’t then. The S&P500, 3,800 at the time, would get back towards its old highs of 4,800. It has done just that. We are at 4,770. A big fat two points.


  5. Emerging Markets outperform, we said. They didn’t. Zero. 

  6. Biotech becomes a thing again too, we said, thinking that after so many years of underperformance, perhaps it was due some time in the sun. Nope. While it has been extremely strong these last two months, it was flat over the year. Zero. (Don’t worry the predictions get better).

  7. European banks have a good time of it too. They did. Up somewhere between 15 and 20%, depending on which measure you use. Even Deutsche Bank is up. Two points.

  8. Bitcoin has a good year. Hard to think it was $17,000 a year ago. ”There are so many reasons to be bullish about bitcoin, yet sentiment could not be worse.” It’s tripled. Two points.


  9. Silver, on the other hand, “fails to deliver yet again.” While many this time last year were saying $30 was on the way, we bitterly observed that “If you can count on anything in this cruel world, it’s that silver will let you down”. It began the year at $24 and, one year on, that is where we remain. $26 was the high. Two points.

  10. US dollar. “Up and down” range-trading was our prediction for the US dollar, and that is what we got. Though the US dollar index ended the year at 101, we tentatively ventured that it would end higher than the 102 where it started. Just the one point. 

  11. Central Bank Digital Currencies. Delighted to be wrong about this one, as they are evil. “A nation with a population greater than 15 million rolls out its first CBDC,” we said. No nation did. (Nigeria doesn’t count, as it already had one). Zero points. (Here’s my comic song about CBDCs, if you haven’t already seen it).

  12. Ukraine. Dominic Frisby is your first port of call for Ukraine War analysis, I know. But my outlook was “The Ukraine War will not end before October. There will not be a nuclear war and Vladimir Putin will still be Russia’s president by year end.” Even though Hamas took it off the front pages, it goes on. Two points.

  13. Gold. It “retests its old highs around $2,080. But then it finds a way of being frustrating. It always does. It’s gold.” That is where we are. Two points.

  14. Finally, sports. Man City win the league, I said, and they did. (At that point Arsenal were way ahead). Got that right, but the relegation I got wrong: Southampton, Wolves and Bournemouth were for the chop, but no. Wolves and Bournemouth both managed to stay up. Leeds and Leicester went down. One point.

A grand total of 16 points. Not great, but not awful either. Kind of like my school reports.

I hope you had a very Merry Christmas. I wish you good fortune, health, wealth and prosperity in 2024. May you make good decisions! May we all make good decisions.

Thank so much for being a subscriber to the Flying Frisby. I really am very grateful.

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Buying gold?

Interested in protecting your wealth in these extraordinary times? Then be sure to own some gold bullion. My recommended bullion dealer is The Pure Gold Company, whether you are taking delivery or storing online. Premiums are low, quality of service is high. You can deal with a human being. I have an affiliation deals with them.

Live shows coming up

If you have not seen my lecture with funny bits about gold, we have two more dates in London lined up for Feb 14 and 15. Please come.

And I am taking my musical comedy show, An Evening of Curious Songs, on a mini tour in the spring with dates in London, Somerset, Hampshire, Surrey and Essex. This is a really fun show.

Here are the dates and places.


The Flying Frisby
The Flying Frisby - money, markets and more
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