From Streettalk Daily X-Change January 22, 2013 - 10:16am
Imagine that your financial advisor called you up one day and said:
"Great news...your investment portfolio gained 1% in January which is an annualized return of 12%. However, we have to subtract .05% from that return because historically January's return has only been 0.95% since 1950. This brings our seasonally adjusted return to 11.4%."
Of course, after the SEC pays a visit to the advisor to correct his performance reporting measures, the simple reality is that "what you see is what you get."
While this example may seem a little farfetched - this is exactly what happens with a variety of economic reports that are released by various government agencies and member organization/lobby groups. The reasoning for such data manipulations is not a nefarious scheme; but rather an attempt to smooth what is normally very volatile data. This is particularly the case with housing r...
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