2018 in Review: Were the Money ‘Experts’ Smarter Than You?

Every year, experts predict what’s going to happen in the next 12 months, including things that will affect your money. For more than a decade, Money Talks News has been comparing some of those expert predictions with those of regular people — randomly selected folks we run into on the street — sometimes with surprising results.

Here here’s how the prognostications of our interviewees stacked up for 2018.

Stock market

Stock market
katjen / Shutterstock.com

Last year, Goldman Sachs predicted the stock market would go up about 7 percent in 2018.

Our guy on Main Street was a bit more optimistic, predicting an increase of “about 10 percent” on the stock exchange.

What actually happened in 2018? As of late December, both forecasters have egg on their faces.

Stocks have been a roller coaster ride all year, but the trend has been sharply down lately, and the market seems destined to end up in negative territory for 2018. Neither Wall Street nor Main Street got this one right.


Oil rigs in sunset
Thaiview / Shutterstock.com

The Energy Information Administration predicted that in 2018 the price of a barrel of oil should average around $51.

As for what people on Main Street thought: Our gal on the street told us she saw the price settling in at around $52 a barrel.

Ouch! Our experts took a pounding on this front, too. As of late December, the average oil price for 2018 was around $45 a barrel.

Again, no winner in this round.

Real estate

Home surrounded by greenery in Charlotte,NC.
Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com

As we rang in 2018, real estate website Zillow said home values would increase by 4.1 percent in the coming year.

Main Street took a more measured tone, with our man on the street predicting a rise of 2 percent.

The final numbers are not yet in. But home prices were up 5.5 percent year over year in September, according to the most recent readings in the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index.

So, we’ll give this one to the experts — at least for now.

How did your own predictions for the year stack up against the ones our experts and folks on the street offered? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.

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