That’s a wrap on the holiday season. Now we’re in the midst of the prediction season. It’s time for countless experts to emerge and tell us when the next recession is coming. You can tune that out, unless you’re reading purely for entertainment value. Certainly, don’t make any investment decisions based on someone’s short-term predictions.

Nobel laureate Burton Malkiel had a refreshing interview last week. He knows that predicting a recession is extremely difficult. “Don’t try it at home,” he said. His best guess at the cause of the next recession is “some shock that we don’t know of now.” Yes, he basically said “I don’t know. Nobody does.”

I would expect no less from one of the pioneers of index investing. Half a day after the interview on CNBC, the U.S. killed an Iranian general. The stock market opened down one percent the next day out of worry that things would escalate. That didn’t cause the next recession (not yet at least), but it does illustrate why Malkiel wrote a book called, “A Random Walk Down Wall Street.” It’s the random, unknown things that move the market most.

Don’t waste your time trying to predict the next recession. Invest for the long-term. Make a plan that balances your risk and go on to other forms of entertainment.

Legal Disclaimer: These posts do not constitute an offer or recommendation to buy or sell any securities or instruments or to participate in any particular investment or trading strategy. They are for informational purposes only. CTW gathers its data from sources it considers reliable. However, CTW makes no express or implied warranties regarding the accuracy of this information or any opinions expressed by the author and may update or change them without prior notification.

About the Author:

John has more than ten years experience as an Investment Advisor. He focuses on devising and maintaining portfolios that meet individuals’ needs, investment research, and investment strategy. John has been recognized as a “FIVE STAR wealth manager” by Twin Cities Business Magazine 2016-2020.