Financial forecasts during the crisis: Were experts more accurate than laypeople?
The main goal of this paper was to examine the accuracy and confidence of financial forecasts during the 2009/2010 crisis. The study was carried out in February 2009 in Poland. The participants represented two groups: financial analysts and laypeople (people without knowledge or skills in finance). All participants were asked to forecast future stock market performance and foreign exchange rates. Additionally, they marked their confidence on a 100-point scale. The results showed that the forecasts significantly differed from the real values. In forecasting both the stock market and the currency exchange market, the prediction error significantly differed from zero. Even if the participants were optimistic in making the directional stock market forecasts, they were pessimistic when making point index predictions, which suggests a judgmental paradox. The experts were slightly better than the non-experts in predicting the stock market. However, their accuracy was generally not better in the exchange market forecasts. The next step of the analysis focused on the confidence factor. The results of this part of the research showed that the laypeople were less confident than the experts in all the judgments.
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