Deciphering Past Performance in Real Estate Investment

Today we will delve into a, seemingly confusing, but relevant discourse – “Past Performance is NOT an indicator of Past Performance.” Join me as I unravel this new take on a normally understood concept of past performance in investments.

Disclaimer: Past Performance and Future Performance

It is a commonly known and accepted notion that past performance is not indicative of future performance. This cautionary declaration can be spotted in fine print on almost every mutual fund, exchange-traded fund, publicly traded stock, and even private investment offerings. Essentially, it highlights the uncertainty inherent to any investment due to lack of a crystal ball or a means to predict the future.

A Twist: Past Performance and Past Performance?

Now, in a new light, we are claiming that past performance is not indicative of past performance. Confusing? Well, that’s revisionist history for you! It involves altering past facts to fit a particular narrative or illustrative purposes. However, the focus here is on the constant revision of economic data.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Revisions and Realities
GDP is a crucial measure of a country’s economic activity – it measures the value of final goods and services produced in a country without double counting the intermediate ones employed to produce them. Economic data, such as GDP, inflation metrics, employment metrics, and gross domestic income, are continually revised giving rise to a form of revisionist history. A case in point: First estimate of GDP for the first quarter of 2024 showcased an economic growth of 1.6%. However, the second estimate for the same period showed a growth of 1.3%, depicting a constant flux in the economic estimates.

Economic Indicators: Fiction or Fact?

The Bureau of Economic Analysis elaborates that the current quarterly estimates of GDP are based on source data that is incomplete, subject to further updates and revised as more detailed data become available. Hence, the earliest GDP and GDI (Gross Domestic Income) estimates are based on partial or preliminary data, subject to a mix of sampling and non-sampling errors, and biases that are very tough to assess. Consequently, it creates the illusion of accuracy while the reality might be quite different.

Reality Check: Making Sense of the Paradox

This constant flux and continuous revisions in the economic indicators underscore the validity and relevance of the new saying that ‘past performance is not an indicator of past performance’. It lays the groundwork for investors to reconsider relying heavily on these economic indicators and reorient their investment strategies accordingly.


As we dive deeper into the world of economics and real estate investment, new perspectives and interpretations emerge that challenge the conventional wisdom. The revisionist history of economic indicators is a reality that investors must comprehend and factor into their decisions to navigate the complex investment landscape effectively. This rephrased, but fitting, notion – “past performance is not an indicator of past performance” – is a reminder for all investors to be agile and adaptive in their strategies.