LBMA’s Annual Precious Metals Forecast Survey celebrated its silver jubilee this year when the 25th Survey was published at the beginning of February.
The very first Survey was conducted in 1997 (the results were published in the first report in 1998) when analysts were required to provide high and low forecast ranges for gold and silver along with accompanying commentaries. The requirement to also provide an average price forecast was introduced in 1998 and, at the same time, prizes of a 1oz gold bar for both the gold and silver categories were awarded to the analyst whose forecast average was closest to the actual average price. In 2002, platinum and palladium joined the party.
Nineteen analysts contributed to the first Survey, with nearly twice as many taking part in 2020. Rhona O’Connell contributed to the first Survey, and she has the distinction of being the only analyst still contributing (although she hasn’t contributed every year).
The international dimension to the Survey continues to this day, with contributors located in many of the world’s major cities, including London, New York, Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing, Toronto and Cape Town. You can read the results of the 2021 Survey on page xx and what analysts think the trajectory of precious metal prices will be in the year ahead in the 2022 Forecast Survey, which is available on our website.
19 analysts contributed to the first Survey with nearly twice as many taking part in 2020
We thought that it would be interesting to compile all the results of the Surveys into a table – call it the Premier league of world forecasters! As with any statistics, it is possible to represent the results in many ways, so to be as fair as possible, whilst at the same time keeping things as simple as possible, we are presenting the results in two tables. In doing so, we have applied some basic rules. First of all, to avoid skewing caused by a small sample, we considered only those analysts who have made at least 12 forecast contributions. We then applied a points scoring system on the following basis: three points for finishing first in each metal category, two for second and one for third. On this basis, Table 1 is based on a simple weighted score (the number of points divided by the number of contributions) and Table 2 is based on the absolute number of points scored.
Table 1 shows Bernard Dahdah out in front with a weighted score of 0.71 points from his 28 forecast contributions (his haul includes an impressive four first prizes). Filling many of the places in the top ten are several analysts who now no longer contribute to the Survey, including David Holmes (2nd), Frederic Lassiere (3rd), Glyn Stevens (4th), Neil Hawkes (5th), Andy Smith (7th) and Tom Kendall (9th). In terms of those still contributing, in addition to Bernard, we have Ross Norman in 6th place with a weighted average of 0.50 and a whisker behind in 7th with 0.46 is Rene Hochreiter. Ross and Rene hold the distinction of being the two analysts with the most wins at 9 and 7 first place finishes respectively.
Table 1: Weighted Average Points Per Forecast Contribution, 1998 to 2021. Analysts shaded no longer contribute to the Survey.
Table 2: Total Points, 1998 to 2021. Analysts shaded no longer contribute to the Survey.
If we look at Table 2, which tabulates analysts in terms of their absolute total number of points, we find that Ross Norman is out on his own in the lead thanks to his record haul of nine first place finishes and a number of placed efforts, which gives him an overall total of 40 points. We find Rene Hochreiter in second place on 31 points, the bulk of which is accounted for by seven first place finishes. In third place is Philip Klapwijk with 27 points, followed by Frederic Panizzutti and Glyn, with Bernard in sixth place and James Steel in seventh.