And the Winner of the Market Prognostication Contest Is…


Not a CFP® professional! That’s right, folks!

We have an annual tradition here at Woodward Financial Advisors:  at the beginning of every year, each team member tries to predict where the Dow Jones Industrial Average will end the year. You would think that one of my colleagues would easily win, right? I mean, they’re all CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals.  To become a CFP® certificant requires that you have at least three years of financial planning experience, pass a rigorous exam, and uphold the high ethical standards as outlined by the CFP® Board. In addition, you’re required to attain a specific amount of approved continuing education credits every year.  Plus, all of my colleagues have many years of experience in the profession.

As it turns out, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a CFP® professional or not when it comes to predicting the markets. I just beat all of my colleagues, thanks to a little drop in the market just before the year ended. The fact is, as with many things in life, none of us knows what lies ahead for the market twelve months from now (including my intelligent financial planner co-workers and industry experts who pay a lot of attention to the economy!).

And even when a market expert does get it right in one year, it’s hard to consistently predict things accurately. Case in point: ever since WFA began the annual Dow contest five years ago, no one has had a repeat win. Perhaps this year I’ll beat the odds?

If, like me, you’re not a CFP® professional but want a smart, objective partner as you wade through life’s financial decisions and changes, I’ve got four fantastic names for you…but none of them have a shiny Dow Prognosticator of the Year trophy sitting in their office at the moment.

About Maggie Wilkins

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