Missing the Yen
Buy, Hold, Pray
Passive Investing by the Numbers
Floating Aimlessly
Dallas and New York

Regular readers know I often criticize so-called “experts,” usually economists or central bankers whose flawed decisions are punishing the rest of us. I find their expertise is not nearly as reliable as they seem to think.

At the same time, I rely on experts whose judgment I respect. I know they aren’t perfect—usually because they know and disclose their own limitations, and limitations of the data they rely on. I take ideas from many sources, load them in my mental blender and produce what is hopefully a smooth, tasty concoction you read in my letters.

The interesting part, one that often slips my mind, is that sharing these ideas makes many readers consider me an economic expert. Then they hold me responsible for whatever I said, just as I do with central bankers.

They’re absolutely right. We who have large audiences should be accountable for everything we say. In my case that’s not in a legal sense, because these letters aren’t “investment advice” per se, but I still owe readers my best efforts. And—sorry if this shocks anyone—I sometimes get it wrong.

As you will see today, sometimes I get it really, badly, completely wrong. Thankfully, not too often.

That opens an interesting question. Can an expert be both incorrect and valuable? Are we sometimes better off with them than without them?

I think so. And recently someone proved it, even as they highlighted my own mistakes.