Forecasting. Theory and practice. Satchwell C.J.

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21.11.11 11:54
Название: Forecasting. Theory and practice.

Автор: Satchwell C.J.

   This paper aims to make some new forecasting techniques comprehensible to the widest possible audience and so contains no formulae.
   Technically, we aim to provide useful forecasts. The utility of a forecast depends on a user's objectives. Our present work is targeted at users whose decisions can be made on the basis of a general view of whether prices will go up. down or stay about the same. We also have other methods, currently in a research phase, which are arguably more accurate, but which produce less-smooth forecasts from which a general view of price movement is harder to infer. Users requiring limits to price movements (e.g. for setting trading stops) may find those forecasts more appropriate. These examples illustrate the general point that it is difficult to define what is meant by a "good" forecast, without some knowledge of its intended use.

Judging a new forecasting technology can involve some unusual problems. A decision to use some new technology should depend on the advantages it offers over existing methods. With forecasting, there is often a tendency to want to act on one's own hunches - a desire serviced by the betting industry and to a lesser extent the equities market. This can sometimes produce a belief that one's own forecasts are always best: leading to exaggerated claims and a tendency to underestimate the value of other forecasts or forecasting technology
As developers of forecasting methods, we also are subject to the temptation to self-deceive. Consequently, we shall try to spell out both the shortcomings and capabilities of forecasting methods presented in this paper. To assess technology objectively, a potential user should first attempt to define a benchmark for the best forecasting technology they can realistically implement, and then judge the advantages of an)' new forecasting technology against that benchmark. A decision to implement a new financial forecasting technology will probably always be a choice between imperfect methods - implying that it may be better to do something rather than suffer the indefinite wait for the perfect forecasting method to be developed.

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