Careful what you predict – you would never have believed these would happen

Careful what you predict?

As a timely reminder for those of us who make predictions Morgan Housel shared a list of things you would never have believed would happen at

Here are a few of these things that actually did happen but very few would have predicted:

You would have never believed it if:

  • In the mid-1980s, someone told you that in the next two decades the Soviet Union would collapse, Japan’s economy would stagnate for 20 years, China would become a superpower, and North Dakota would be ground zero for global energy growth.
  • In 1930, someone told you there would be a surge in the birthrate from 1945 to 1965, creating a massive generation that would have all kinds of impacts on the economy and society.
  • Google metropole computer search techIn 2004, someone told you a website run by a 19-year-old college dropout on which you look at pictures of your friends would be worth nearly a quarter-trillion dollars in less than a decade. (Nice job, Facebook.)
  • In 1900, as your horse and buggy got stuck in the mud, someone pointed to the moon and said, “We’ll be walking on that during our lifetime.”
  • In late 1945, someone told you that after Hiroshima and Nagasaki no country would use a nuclear weapon in war for at least seven decades.
  • In 1910, when forecasts predicted the United States would deplete its oil within 10 years, that a century later we’d be pumping 8.6 million barrels of oil a day.
  • Three years ago, someone told you that Uber, an app connecting you with a stranger in a Honda Civic, would be worth almost as much as General Motors.
  • 15 years ago, someone told you that you’d be able to watch high-definition movies and simultaneously do your taxes on a 4-inch piece of glass and metal.
  • In 2002, someone told you we’d go at least 11 years without another major terrorist attack in America.
  • In 1997, someone told you that the biggest threat to Microsoft were two Stanford students working out of a garage on a search engine with an odd, misspelled name.
  • Just a few years ago, someone told you investors would be buying US government debt with negative interest rates.
  • In 2008, as U.S. “peak oil” arguments were everywhere, that within six years America would be pumping more oil than Saudi Arabia.

But all of that stuff happened.

And they were some of the most important stories of the last 100 years.

The next 100 years will be the same. 


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Michael Yardney


Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who create wealth for their clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's once again been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and his opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit

'Careful what you predict – you would never have believed these would happen' have 2 comments

  1. March 11, 2016 @ 7:54 am Peter

    Wow, well said, seems likely opportunity will stick around for decades to come. I’ll definitely jump on uber if they ever float.


    • Michael Yardney

      March 11, 2016 @ 8:21 am Michael Yardney

      Either that or invent the next Uber, Peter. I wonder what it will be


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