Last year, Byron Wien, vice chairman of Blackstone Advisory Partners LP and Blackstone Group LP's resident prognosticator extraordinaire, scored an oopsie daisy in his predictions of the 10 surprises for 2013.
In his 28th year of doing the “surprises” list, Mr. Wien typically gets five or six of his predictions right, but 2013 was a bad year, he acknowledged in his January “Market Commentary.”
“While it was not a total washout, it was below average,” Mr. Wien said. His prediction that gold would rise in 2013 was his “worst call, since gold collapsed in the spring.”
Mr. Wien also thought that financial stocks would have a tough time because of “intense competition, overcapacity, increased regulation and lawsuit settlements.” Instead, financial stocks performed well in spite of all that because of the strong equity market, he wrote. And Mr. Wien expected Chinese mainland traded equities to appreciate by 20% during the year, which did not happen.
One surprise that Mr. Wien got ”clearly right” was his prediction that the 2013 Japanese market would be strong and the yen would decline.
“I got the yen right, but the market did better than I thought it would,” he wrote.
Among Mr. Wien's predicted surprises for 2014 is a sharp correction of more than 10% in the equity markets, coupled with a move to new highs as the Standard & Poor's 500 index approaches a 20% total return by the year's end.