- Warren Buffett does not give much credence to financial market predictions from economists.
- “I don’t pay any attention to what economists say, frankly,” he said.
Warren Buffett believes economists do not add value for investors. In a 2016 interview video clip found using CNBC’s Warren Buffett Archive, the billionaire investor explained why he does not give much credence to financial market predictions from economists. “I don’t pay any attention to what economists say, frankly,” Buffett said two years ago. “Well, think about it. You have all these economists with 160 IQs that spend their life studying it, can you name me one super-wealthy economist that’s ever made money out of securities? No.”
The Oracle of Omaha cited the example of the economist John Maynard Keynes, who went through periods of heavy losses trading currencies in the 1920s and 1930s and stumbled while speculating on stocks. Buffett said Keynes faltered using top-down economic forecasts such as credit cycle predictions. But when Keynes switched to a value philosophy focused on owning stocks of a few well-run companies over the long term, his investment performance improved, Buffett noted. “If you look at the whole history of [economists], they don’t make a lot of money buying and selling stocks, but people who buy and sell stocks listen to them. I have a little trouble with that,” the investor added.
By Tae Kim
“There are 60,000 economists in the U.S., many of them employed full-time trying to forecast recessions and interest rates. If they could do it successfully twice in a row, they’d all be millionaires by now. As far as I know, most of them are still gainfully employed, which ought to tell us something” -Peter Lynch