Nobody heard the bulls coming down Wall Street.
Heading into last year, our panel of investment advisers was expecting 2013 to be pretty standard, maybe even a little below average, with their predictions of a 7 percent rise in both the Dow Jones industrial average and the Nasdaq Composite index.
They weren’t even close, not with the Dow surging by almost 26 percent this year and the Nasdaq skyrocketing by 38 percent.
David Hartzell, the president of Cornell Capital Management in Clarence, came the closest to forecasting the big rally, but even his rosy prediction wasn’t nearly optimistic enough. His forecast of a 12 percent gain by the Dow and a 22 percent jump by the Nasdaq each fell short by more than 10 percentage points.
Our panel’s individual stock picks also struggled last year, gaining an average of 21.9 percent, which was well below the gains by all of the major market indexes.
But some still stood out. Cynthia E. Vance, a certified financial planner at Jensen, Marks, Langer & Vance in Buffalo took the prize with a portfolio of five stock picks that rose by a market-beating average of 44 percent. Her pick of hard disk drive manufacturer Western Digital hit paydirt when the stock jumped by 96 percent, while gaming stock Las Vegas Sands soared by 71 percent. Those big gains were the icing on the cake in a portfolio that also included a 33 percent gain by JPMorgan Chase & Co., a 15 percent rise by drilling equipment maker National Oilwell Varco and a 6 percent gain by Apple Inc.