Faculty members recognized for predicting key financial indicators
Three NAIT faculty members appear to have an uncanny ability to predict the future - at least when it comes to key financial benchmarks.
Max Varela and Hardeep Gill, both instructors in the JR Shaw School of Business, as well as Ellen Wilson, chair of business in Continuing Education, demonstrated this at the 34th annual Forecast Dinner, Jan. 25 at the Shaw Conference Centre. The event is hosted by the Edmonton Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Society.
Each year in January, Edmonton’s finance community gathers to hear forecast presentations. During the evening, members of the audience are invited to give their forecasts for the upcoming year on financial indicators such as oil prices, exchange rates, equity indexes and bond yields. Winners are announced at the following year’s dinner.
This year, Varela and Gill, who both teach in the finance department at the JR Shaw School of Business, took home two out of a possible six awards for best forecasts, beating out over 250 other entries.
Varela won best forecast for the Canadian Equity Index – S&P/TSX, with a forecast of 12,243.74 versus actual of 11,955.09. Gill won best forecast for the $US/$CAD exchange rate, with a forecast of 97.89 versus actual of 97.92.
As well, Wilson was recognized as a runner-up for the overall best forecast award.
The wins were the result of skill – and a little bit of luck, the winners acknowledged.
“Part of the thinking process is, ‘where is the trend going to go?’ Is the stock market going to go up? Is it going to go down?’” said Varela. “If you happen to get the exact number, or very close to it, that part is a guessing game.”
Gill chalked up his win to an “educated guess” and said the competition is more about fun than anything else. Regardless, with three winners from NAIT, this year’s showing also reflects well on the quality of instructors at the institute, said Wilson.
NAIT is one of Canada’s leading polytechnics, with almost 80,000 registrations worldwide in key areas including science, technology and the environment, business, health care and trades. Known for real-world education and student success, NAIT also engages with business and industry in applied research and innovation and provides corporate training around the world.
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