2015: The Year Ahead

On the last day of the year, it’s natural to reflect on the year that’s passed and wonder about what the 2015 might bring.

In the next few weeks, I will do my fair share of post-mortem analysis and offer a few thoughts about the year to come.  Of course, one of the lessons from 2014 is that it’s tough to predict the future.

I’m thinking about how ‘everyone’ thought interest rates would rise and instead they fell dramatically, how oil prices dropped by 50 percent in roughly six months time and that the S&P broke new records and managed to get through the year without a single 10 percent correction.

Still, it’s hard not to have some opinions about the future and I intend to share a few of them knowing that my personal beliefs aren’t strong enough to trade on.  We make our investment decisions as a committee and when we trade, we do our best to follow timeless strategies that don’t rely on short-term market views.

In the next few weeks, I will do my best to avoid the meaningless, but intelligent sounding market talk that you hear so frequently from Wall Street, such as:

  • I’m cautiously optimistic.
  • The easy money has been made.
  • I’m constructive on the market.

All three of these come from a blog post by former technology analyst Henry Blodget, who now writes for The Business Insider.  Here is a link to his list of ’14 Meaningless Phrases That Will Make You Sound Like a Stock Market Wizard.’

They’re pretty funny and although I may have relied on some in the past, he’s right that they are meaningless.  I would add one: ‘investors should expect volatility to pick up in the future.’  It sounds smart, it’s hard to get wrong and if volatility doesn’t pick up, nobody cares and you can recycle the warning.

But before we get into our look back and some thoughts about the future, today I just want to say thank you.

Thank you for reading Daily Insights.  It’s not easy coming up with ideas nearly everyday and hammering out something that you think people might enjoy and find interesting – I have new respect for professional journalists.

What keeps me going is your continued readership, which I greatly appreciate along with your periodic email replies and comments in person.

Thank You and Happy New Year!