January 2018

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January 2018

Wondering what the markets will do in 2018?

Maybe Wall Street crystal ball readers can provide a clue, since it is the time of year when the gurus feel compelled to make investment predictions. Perhaps the media should be partially responsible by pressuring them into the exercise—take your pick.

We find it somewhat amusing that when the calendar rolls into a new year markets are treated as though they are starting anew rather than simply continuing on their way.

One wonders about the way reporters, sans reason, sometimes ask an end/beginning-of-the-year question, such as, “What surprises do you expect next year?” Huh?

Anyway, the market, as measured by the more familiar Dow Junes Industrial Averages has been predicted to fall below 18,000 or rise beyond 30,000 or remain in a narrow range. Add to those predictions the analysts’ convictions that the big story in 2018 will be Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, nope, make that marijuana stocks, wait—maybe large company technology issues, don’t forget the North Korean military threat—better focus on defense related businesses. And so it goes.

Here’s what we do know will happen: the markets will fluctuate (big news, eh?); there will be multiple unexpected events that will rattle the markets—especially the traders and speculators; interest rates will be gradually increased; Democrats and Republicans will continue working to beat each other rather than working to solve problems (could they be the problem?), thereby adding more than a modicum of nervousness to the economy; and our method of focusing on dividend-growing companies will continue providing increasing income and potential for appreciation.

Let’s make 2018 a great year!

Happy New Year

Next column: February 2018