Reaching the Winner's Circle "Bearly". (Briefing)

ABA Banking Journal, May 2003 | Go to article overview

Reaching the Winner's Circle "Bearly". (Briefing)


In 2001, it was 9/11. In 2002 it was corporate scandals. In 2003 (so far) it's war and SARS. Yup, it's getting tough to be a market prognosticator.

Undaunted by such challenges, however, a band of hardy financial services professionals took a stab early last year at predicting the close of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite Index on Dec. 31, 2002. The group was attending ABA's 2002 Trust, Wealth Management & Marketing Conference and participating in the annual ABA Banking Journal Stock Picking Contest.

Needless to say, in hindsight, the most bearish of the bunch came out on top. Not one prediction, however, came in lower than where the two indexes actually ended up. The closest prediction was 52 points high. Most of the group predicted a modest 6-7% gain for the Dow, not a drop for a third straight year. Most of the Nasdaq predictions were for a 10-12% gain. The Dow actually closed 2002 at 8341.63, down 17%, while the Nasdaq closed at 1335.51, down 32%.

At this year's Trust Conference in Tampa, Fla., ABABJ Editor-in-Chief William Streeter announced the winners and runners-up for the 2002 contest. Three of the four were bankers.

Who were these bears?

The winner of the Dow Jones contest was Dave Yonamine, director of software company Upstanding, based in Irvine, Calif. He won even though his pick was actually 609 points high of the close, giving you an idea of where everybody else was. Yonamine's view of 2003 is along the same line: "Unfortunately, the Dow will probably be down again," he says. …

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