I sat down this weekend to write out some themes that will likely matter in 2018 and I noticed a recurring theme within those themes. I bet you do too:
- A continuation of Republican Democrat Regime policies that fuel corporate earnings and stock market prices with the latest even more complicated tax code with yet more loopholes and carveouts. The 2008/2009 bailouts under Bush and Obama, Obamacare, the latest tax bill — these were all written by and created to profit giant corporations.
- Continued strength in the corporate economy, partly if not largely fueled by those aforementioned corporate-focused policies from our government.
- A continuation of the trend of slow moving, barely higher interest rates with a focus from the Fed on keeping the bull market and easy access to money at below-market rates for giant corporations and banks.
- Most likely a continued bull market, fueled by these underlying economic/political trends. At least for now, of course, but someday all imbalances come back to create losses as the piper gets paid.
- Definitely a continued focus on stock picking. I have a couple smaller cap and a couple new larger cap stocks I’m planning on buying into the new year, and I’ll keep on top of all of our stocks.
Some new trends in the stock market to look out for:
- Marijuana-related stocks coming public. Hopefully some good Revolution Investing opportunities included.
- Blockchain/bitcoin stocks coming public. Hopefully some good Revolution Investing opportunities included.
- Yet more more growth in money flowing into start ups from venture capitalists and angel investors.
What will be the most likely catalyst to disrupt all these continued trends that we predicted seven or eight years ago and have been profiting from ever since? Here are some potential downside, even “Black Swan”-type, catalysts to watch for in 2018:
- A crash or two in the currently spiking emerging markets. Most emerging markets have been on a big tear for the last year or two and it’s likely at least some of those emerging markets crash this year, no matter what happens in the US and China stock markets/economies.
- Spike (or a crash, though I think a crash in the US dollar very unlikely) in the US dollar. If the Euro suddenly reverses and drops hard from the highest level its been at in three years, as it is currently, the endless currency wars from our planet’s developed nations could escalate in a hurry. (Would that be good for bitcoin? Probably.)
- A spike or a crash in US-based interest rates. It’s not necessarily the direction that the interest rates move that matters, it’s the speed with which the move happens. There are banks playing games with interest rate derivatives that could exposure them to billions in losses if interest rates get funky.
- War. China/Japan, US/North Korea, Middle East tensions — these could lead to war, war leads to fog, fog makes for bad policy and economics, and all of that can lead to lower stock markets.
- A consumer recession. The US consumer has been hanging tough and keeps spending, India/China consumer class grows, and that’s been a boon for the global economy and multinational corporations. Is the US consumer exhausted?
- Who knows what? We know we don’t know what might cause the next stock market collapse. So always be prepared.
Let’s be vigilant, free-thinking and as objective as possible when it comes to our analysis and our money. It’s always steady as she goes until it’s not. Let’s not ride anything off a cliff but let’s not jump from the train while it’s still rolling. Too much with the metaphors, but you get my point.