Review of 2018 predictions

Time to look back on the 2018 predictions from 12 months ago…. how many of the predictions came true?

1. Tesla share price to drop significantly

Tesla stock was $312 on New Years Day 2018 and finished the year at $333, so on the face of it, the prediction was incorrect.

However, on 7 August, Elon Musk made the headlines by tweeting that “funding secured” at $420. The share price jumped 10% to $379. He was personally fined $20 million, and the company was fined the same amount.

Two months later, the stock was $250. The stock has been relatively volatile since then, climbing back to $376 and back down to $333.

Amazingly, the offending tweet is still live.

I also mentioned how “2017 was generally a good financial year, and if consumer confidence drops in 2018, people will buy fewer cars.” Ford stock started 2018 at $12 and is now under $8. General motors started at $41 and is now $33. Jaguar Land Rover (which is a private company) made a pre-tax loss of £90m for the three months to end of September, compared to a profit for the same quarter in 2017. The firm’s Solihull plant, where it makes Range Rover and Jaguar models, was closed for a two-week shutdown due to “fluctuating demand”. That followed a move to a three-day week at JLR’s Castle Bromwich plant.

Prediction rating: 5/10 – Tesla stock has been a volatile stock in 2018 but has actually finished higher

2. GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)

When GDPR became legal on May 25, it was a strange event. It provided the opportunity for every company we’d ever registered with, to bombard us with “We’d love to stay in touch”, followed by another email “We’d really love to stay in touch”. And at the end of the year, we’re still receiving emails from those companies with the subject “Are you absolutely sure you don’t want us to stay in touch?”

I predicted “the first few GDPR fines will be close to the maximum levels, to set a benchmark for how companies should treat data carefully” but in reality, GDPR fines have been a small percentage of the maximum.

Prediction rating: 2/10 – Yes there have been fines, but they are still each under £1m

3. Brexit

To summarise, I predicted “AWS revenue to be over $6bn per quarter” – and the last quarter was $6.68bn; “and Azure will be over $24bn for 2018” – it was over $26bn.

Prediction rating: 10/10 – Cloud service providers have continued to massively increase revenue

4. Much more hardware from the digital big boys

I predicted a new hardware market segment appearing from Apple, Google, Amazon and Microsoft.

I was close… because Facebook launched the portal in October 2018. Microsoft has continued its range of Surface devices – some bigger and some smaller than the original tablet/ laptop Surface. Apple launched the latest Watch this year, which seems to do everything, except remain powered for more than a day. Google rolled its Nest acquisition into its hardware division at the start of the year and then launched its latest version of Pixel devices from a phone to tablet to Home Hub (smart speaker with a screen).

Prediction rating: 8/10 – Mainly new generations of the same product, with more varieties

5. Rich new UK Premier League Rights winners

The auction for the 2019-22 seasons didn’t provide any major increase in revenue for the Premier League.

I had predicted the value of the rights will increase by the same level as the last auction. The previous contracts (owned by BT Sport and Sky) were worth £5.14bn and increased 70% since the previous one. I predicted the new contract would will be worth over £8.7bn.

What really happened, is that Sky offered 14% less than their current deal, and BT paid £15m more per season, but for an extra 10 matches per season.

The bottom line: its an awful deal for fans because they have to subscribe to several different services to access the most number of games.

Prediction rating: 0/10 – Income from the rights sales declined in 2018

6. Apple and Google will have a market cap of over $1 trillion

Look away if you bought Apple stock when they became a trillion dollar company

I predicted Apple would be the first trillion-dollar company, with Google very close.

Apple were the first to hit the magical trillion on August 2nd, but since then they’ve been rather volatile. Since hitting the dizzy heights of $232, they have fallen to $150. Apple are now worked $741bn. By comparison, Microsoft has increased about 20% this year and are now worth $770bn. Alphabet stocks have also had a volatile year and the company has a Market Cap of $725bn.

Prediction rating: 5/10 – I was correct on who won the race, but it looks like it will be more of a marathon than a sprint

Summary of 2018 predictions

That’s a total score of 30 out of 60. 50% could be my worst result of all time, but the predictions were bolder than usual this year. That’s my excuse.

And on that bombshell, I wish you, your friends and family, a very happy and healthy 2019.

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