2013 Review: Were the Experts Right About Stocks, Oil and Housing Prices?

Photo (cc) by Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious

It’s always fun to look back on predictions and see if they’re right – such as those made in this 100-year-old Ladies’ Home Journal article that correctly predicted we would have telephones across the world and ready-made meals delivered to our homes in “automobile wagons.”

Of course, not all predictions pan out as expected. That same article also said the letters “C,” “X” and “Q” would be eliminated from our everyday alphabet (should have gone with cursive instead) and university education would be free (ha!).

For a look at the outcome of some more recent predictions, watch the video below. Money Talks News money expert Stacy Johnson looks at how Wall Street and Main Street did when predicting what would happen with stocks, oil and the housing market in 2013.

No one predicted the incredible stock market boom

Before the start of the year, Stacy talked to Richard Sylla to get an expert opinion on what would happen to stocks in 2013. Saying he was an optimist, the economics professor and chair of the Museum of American Finance predicted the stock market would see 10 percent growth and may even see stock indexes hit all-time highs.

And what did Main Street think? Well, the man on the street said stocks might increase a more modest 5 percent.

Ends up they were both wrong about the percentages. The stock market was scorching in 2013 with the Dow Jones ending the year with a 26.5 percent gain.

Sylla might have missed on the percentage growth in the market, but he was right about one thing: Many index funds did hit record highs. The Standard & Poor’s 500 was up about 30 percent by the end of the year, and the Nasdaq gained 38 percent.

Wow! I sure hope you had some money in the market during 2013. If not, it may be time to check out Stacy’s article on “How Do I Invest in the Stock Market?

Oil price predictions were also off

For an expert prediction on oil prices in 2013, Stacy turned to the federal Energy Information Administration.

That agency forecast oil prices to be about $88 per barrel at the end of 2013. However, crude oil averaged around $95 per barrel in January 2013 and never really dropped much below that.

Main Street wasn’t as optimistic as the experts, and the folks interviewed by Stacy thought oil prices would rise to $120 per barrel by the end of the year.

The actual price of oil ended up falling in between the two predictions. Oil ended the year selling at a price just shy of $100 per barrel.

Housing predictions make for 0 in 3

Both Wall Street and Main Street were on the same page when it came to housing market predictions. But that doesn’t mean they were right.

Real estate website Zillow surveyed more than 100 housing experts and boiled down their predictions into one Wall Street worthy estimate: Housing prices would go up an average 2.5 percent in 2013. Main Street agreed, saying a 3 percent rise in real estate values was their guess.

However, they were both way off. Information intelligence firm CoreLogic says, as of the third quarter of 2013, housing prices had jumped by 12 percent. That’s good news for those of you with underwater mortgages.

In the battle between Wall Street and Main Street, no one seemed to do a good job making predictions for 2013. If we have to pick a winner, the nod probably goes to Wall Street since they called the record stock indexes.

Wondering who will win the next round? Watch for Wednesday’s video in which Wall Street and Main Street will give their best guesses for what to expect in 2014.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
7 Surprising Things That Damage Your Credit Score
7 Surprising Things That Damage Your Credit Score

A seemingly small stumble can cause your credit score to plummet.

9 Hidden Ways to Get More Out of Amazon
9 Hidden Ways to Get More Out of Amazon

You don’t have to be a Prime member to take advantage of these little-known perks of shopping on Amazon.

15 of the Fastest-Growing Jobs Today
15 of the Fastest-Growing Jobs Today

Times are tough, but these career fields are thriving.

The 3 Worst Money Mistakes You Are Making at the Gas Station
The 3 Worst Money Mistakes You Are Making at the Gas Station

Beware these cash-guzzling missteps when you stop at any gas station.

7 Things That Prove Cheaper Isn’t Always Better
7 Things That Prove Cheaper Isn’t Always Better

These purchases can end up costing you more if you try to go the cheap route.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership
How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership

The warehouse club often has some of the cheapest gas in town. Here’s how you can get it as a nonmember.

10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home
10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home

If you like to keep things simple, avoid these purchases.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Vacuums from this brand can last a half-century, if not longer — and they’re hot on the resale market.

A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today
A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today

A few steps can keep your phone from ringing when a spammer calls.

This Company Makes the Best Tires in America
This Company Makes the Best Tires in America

Driver satisfaction with tires is at an all-time high, but one brand stands out.

Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?
Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?

Knowing when to claim can help you maximize benefits.

36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon
36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon

The writing is on the wall for dozens of things we have grown up with.

This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance
This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance

One type of pain is especially associated with cognitive decline.

8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon
8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon

The giant retailer shines when it comes to these things, from basics to hard-to-find specialty goods.

Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs
Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs

Don’t let these health care expenses catch you off guard in retirement.

8 Federal Income Tax Breaks for Homeowners
8 Federal Income Tax Breaks for Homeowners

Some of these deductions and credits are available to a wide swath of homeowners.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food
5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food

Anyone can take advantage of these resources.

10 Types of Retirement Income That Are Not Taxable
10 Types of Retirement Income That Are Not Taxable

There are lots of things Uncle Sam can’t touch — so long as you play by the rules.

10 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
10 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home
6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home

Stashing money around the house is anything but harmless.

5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic
5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic

Sometimes the brand-name version is clearly superior.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.