Money

Reviewing the Financial Ups and Downs of 2016

I was speaking with a friend about the financial markets’ moves in 2016. As is usually the case, the market didn’t go quite as most thought it would.

We started off the roller-coaster year with a big China-inspired sell-off that lasted through mid-February. Then we rebounded robustly from mid-February though late June.

That late-June swoon came courtesy of the surprise U.K. “Brexit” vote to leave the European Union. That vote marked the first of the outlier populist rebellions that occurred during this most-unusual political year.

SPY 12-29

Yet despite the immediate selling reaction to the U.K. vote, markets recovered quickly after Brexit on the notion that global central banks would keep the money spigot wide open as far as the eye could see. That thought helped fuel the rally through the summer.

As Election Day here at home drew closer, stocks started to sell off, as the smart money went into defense mode. Then we had the U.S. presidential election vote that shocked the world, and the financial markets.

The election of Donald J. Trump as the 45th president of the United States was perhaps the greatest political upset in history.

Yet far from causing stocks to crater (as so many so-called experts had predicted), stocks soared on renewed optimism.

That optimism fueled equities to multiple all-time highs in December. Though the Dow fell short of that psychologically significant 20,000 mark this year, the post-election move on the “Trump bump” gives me a lot of hope for the markets in 2017.

Of course, the hope that President Trump and a Republican Congress will be able to implement a pro-growth, lower-tax, reduced-regulation and fiscal stimulus agenda will have to be met with some actual progress on this front. And, we won’t really start seeing that until the first couple of months of the administration at the earliest.

Still, Wall Street is optimistic about a return of American economic strength, and that renewed optimism is something that is likely to keep driving stocks higher in the year ahead.

Of course, we’ve seen this year that the market likes to prove even the best analysis wrong.

That’s why in 2017, we are approaching this market with a sense of what I call “realistic optimism.”

That means we think stocks can continue to move higher while riding the optimism wave. However, we are ready with a trend-following plan in place that will help us decide when to get off that wave if the optimism washes out and if it doesn’t translate into real-world gains.

If you’d like to put the power of this proven plan in place for your investments — one that has worked for nearly four decades — then I invite you to check out Successful ETF Investing right now.

In 2017, you deserve the best-laid plans… and that is what you get with Successful ETF Investing.

New Year Goal Setting

“The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.”

— Melody Beattie

I’m big on goal setting, as it’s the best way to get your mind oriented toward what you want to accomplish. And what better time than the beginning of a new year to make sure your life is on track to get you where you want to be? So, write your own book, and start this new chapter with some concrete goal setting. I guarantee it will help you find a sense of achievement in 2017.

Wisdom about money, investing and life can be found anywhere. If you have a good quote you’d like me to share with your fellow readers, send it to me, along with any comments, questions and suggestions you have about my audio podcast, newsletters, seminars or anything else. Click here to ask Doug.

In case you missed it, I encourage you to read my e-letter article from last week about how you can give the gift of financial preparedness this year.


Sign Up