By: Ron Ellison | Thu, Nov 3, 2005
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Imagine no possessions,
I wonder if you can,
No need for greed or hunger,
A brotherhood of man,
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world....

You may say I'm a dreamer,
But I'm not the only one,
I hope someday you'll join us,
And the world will live as one.

John Lennon

Just imagine if you can a world where nearly everything is off by 10 percent.

No, we're not talking discounts here; we're talking missing the intended mark by two times five percent.

You go to cash your paycheck and it's 10 percent light. The construction crew remodeling your new kitchen fails to show 10 percent of the time. Commuting to work daily you are frequently stalled in traffic when nature calls and on 10 percent of the occasions you don't make it safely to a restroom. That friendly Ivy League-trained dermatologist you had remove the mole-like structure from the bridge of your proboscis last summer is off by 10 percent.

Your golfing bubby at the country club overstates his handicap by 10 percent. The prescription for your new pair of bifocals is 10 percent off. The officer who you gave that speeding ticket overestimated your speed by 10 percent and your insurance company cancels your policy. The pilot on your next flight underestimates the beginning of the runway when you are landing by 10 percent.

Your loveable CPA underestimates your quarterly taxes by 10 percent and you get a notice from the IRS slapping you with a 20 percent penalty and that you face an upcoming audit. Your mother-in-law arrives for her annual month-long visit to see her grandkids 10 percent earlier than you thought and your wife promptly announces she's going to stay 10 percent longer than usual. Your neighbor's big dog gets out once a day and 10 percent of the time does his business on your newly manicured front lawn. Your spouse borrows you brand new Hummer while her car is in the shop and misjudges by 10 percent the parking space at her work.

Just imagine if you can a world where nearly everything is off by 10 percent. Well, according to Citigroup, you don't have to imagine anymore. A recently released report from the big banking firm noted that every year since 1998 research analysts' forecasts have been either too strong or too shy by, you guessed it, 10 percent. And that's the good news. The bad news came in 2000 during the technology bubble when they were off a whopping 70 percent.

You may say we're dreamers, but we're not the only ones. Given the Citigroup report it should be clear there are plenty of others.


Ron Ellison

Author: Ron Ellison

Ron Ellison
Blasingham and Ellison Financial Group

Ron Ellison is a principal of Blasingham and Ellison Financial Group, a money management firm in Newport Beach, California, and can be reached at

Copyright © 2005-2007 Ron Ellison

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