comment 0

What happened in 2022 and how I did on my predictions

It has become tradition around here that at the end of each year I write down my predictions for the following one. And in 2022, I did that here. The overarching point of writing something like this down publicly is not necessarily to be right (because you can do that through obvious predictions). The point is to dedicate time to thinking (which is oftentimes hard to do throughout the year), to search for non-obvious things, and to generally be okay with being wrong. So I plan to do this again in the coming weeks for 2023.

But first, let’s see how I did with my 2022 predictions:

  1. COVID: I argued that 2022 would be the year that the pandemic becomes endemic and it reaches a point where it no longer factors into decision making in the same way that it has since 2020. Some of you may disagree whether this is a good thing, but I would still say that this happened, at least in this part of the world. I started the year in lockdown here in Toronto and I ended the year having taken multiple overseas trips where testing was no longer required. (Right)
  2. Return to office: I was kind of close. I thought that the majority of people would be back in their offices by September. I didn’t say that hybrid/flex work was going to disappear, but that we would see a great return. That did happen, according to my super scientific Jimmy the Greek Reopening Index. But if you look at the latest swipe card data for the 10 largest US cities, average occupancy is hovering just below 50%, which is not a majority. (Wrong)
  3. Recreational/fringe housing: I felt very strongly that we would see a pullback in residential real estate this year, specifically recreational properties and properties in tertiary markets. This 100% happened, but I’ll be honest in that I was not thinking about the interest rate hikes that we saw. I just saw it as a pandemic bubble. I also thought that apartment rents would do very well and surpass pre-pandemic levels. This happened in many markets. (Right)
  4. Return of travel: Yup. (Right, but maybe too obvious?)
  5. Intensification of single-family home neighborhoods: This continued to be an important topic in 2022. Did we see some a tipping point-like moment, like I had predicted? I think it depends on the market, but here in Toronto we did see things like Bill 23, as well as additional efforts on the part of Mayor John Tory. (Right)
  6. Autonomous vehicles: Progress was made this year. You can now hail an autonomous taxi in places like San Francisco. But I also thought that this would be a fantastic year for Uber as the world reopened, and that they’d finally become profitable. As of Q3 of this year, that had not happened. (Wrong)
  7. Public transit and micromobility: I got the public transit ridership piece correct. I assumed that ridership levels would remain depressed. Perhaps an obvious one. But I also figured that e-scooters would be one of the main beneficiaries. While it is true that e-scooters remain very popular, particularly with French people, we did see ridership decline in the US, as the availability of cheap capital waned. (Mostly right)
  8. NFTs and augmented reality: There’s a lot happening in this digital world and I continue to be incredibly bullish. But we are certainly in a “crypto winter.” I also thought that Apple would announce something big related to augmented reality this year, but supposedly that has been pushed to next year. (Wrong)
  9. Climate change and carbon prices: I thought that the price of carbon on the EU’s Emissions Trading System would surge this year. It did not. Right now it’s looking like it’ll end up being fairly flat for the year. Of course, I also had no idea that Russia would do terrible terrible things to Ukraine, which has had dramatic impact on energy markets. (Wrong)
  10. More crypto (Ethereum, Bitcoin, and Solana): Well, I got this last one really wrong. ETH is down ~70% over the last year relative to the US dollar. I was not predicting a “crypto winter.” And I did not know that Sam Bankman-Fried was operating a weird cult-like ponzi scheme out of a penthouse in the Bahamas. None of this changes my views on crypto, but I was still wrong in 2022. (Wrong)

Looks like I’m somewhere around 5/10.

Stay tuned for my predictions for 2023. In the meantime, if any of you have predictions of your own, I would love to hear from you in the comment section below or on Twitter.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s