With just two months to go to assess the absurd forecast from RBS analyst Andrew Roberts at the start of the year to “sell everything”, it gives me little pleasure to note that his forecast continues to be humiliatingly wrong. 

If Roberts has any clients left, they would be reeling if they had taken his advise on a range of asset classes he said were a “sell” when in fact most have been rallying strongly.

As a reminder of the issue at hand, when Roberts made his outlandish, headline grabbing forecast, I offered him a chance to have some skin in the game. I was overly generous in my offering noting that he would need to get just 6 of 11 variables to win a $A10,000 bet – not ‘everything’ had to fall for him to be right. The bet I offered Roberts is here https://thekouk.com/blog/sell-everything-my-challenge-to-andrew-roberts-of-rbs.html 

Some ten months since the bet and the scorecard reads:

The Kouk  10
Roberts      1

As has been the case for the bulk of the year, the only market where Roberts is ahead is the Nikkei which is down a piddling 0.2 per cent.

Including that fall, the average rise in the 11 items that Roberts suggested should be sold, the gain so far is a marvelous 22.1 per cent. In the current era of low inflation and low interest rates, that’s about 6 years return in just 10 months.

                                                              Level at time                Latest               Difference %
                                                                  of bet

US stocks S&P500                                       1925                         2125                  10.4
Brazil stocks Ibovespa                                39500                       64051                  62.2
China stocks Shenzhen                                1850                         2068                  11.8
Japan stocks Nikkei                                    17200                      17160                   -0.2
US house prices Case-Shiller                     182.83                     191.66                    4.8
UK 20 city house prices Hometrack           228800                   239100                     4.5
Sydney house prices Corelogic                       915                       1042                    13.9
Iron ore US$ tonne                                       40.50                      67.40                    66.5
Oil WTI US$ barrel                                        31.50                      44.61                    41.6
Copper US$ tonne                                        4325                      5079                     17.4
AUD/USD                                                   0.7000                    0.7710                     10.1

Simple average                                                                                                      22.1

Just as bad as Roberts, were the fawning media who gave him blanket coverage. They owe a duty to follow up on the story just to make sure otherwise trusting readers are aware that such forecasts are horrid snake oil designed to get attention.

Roberts refused to take up my bet which says quite a lot.