It’s that time of year when we get to hear an avalanche of financial predictions for the year ahead – mostly because people are on holidays, but the media still needs to fill space in the silly season.
The television stations and newspaper quote the analysts with their forecasts about what may or may not happen.
So it’s always an interesting exercise to peak in rear-view mirror and see what they said way back in December of last year.
We can start off with Hugh Giddy, senior portfolio manager at Investors Mutual, who wasn’t so giddy about 2013.
According to Mr Giddy, the sale of a 1954 painting by Mark Rothko for $75 million late in 2012 was a sign we were getting ahead of ourselves.
He feared 2013 might be a return to the bad old days, where credit markets froze and shares plunged – this based on some rich guy buying a painting that looked like a 1920’s football jumper.
Chief market analyst at City Index, Peter Esho thought it would be a decent year for mining, highlighting coal stocks for a bounce after a woeful 2012.
Hew Hope, our largest listed coal miner led the way down with a 20% decline for the year (so far) and the results from other coal companies only got worse from there.
The Australian Financial Review told us 2012 couldn’t be repeated, “posing dilemmas for investors wondering how to invest in 2013”.
Of course most investors without an investment strategy or time machine would be left wondering how to invest in 2013, 2014 and 2015 and beyond.
For the record (at the time of writing) the ASX was up around 9% this year and the Dow Jones was up around 20%.
Like every other new year, we don’t know what is in store – that’s why we should have an investment strategy tuned to our risk tolerance and a healthy emphasis on diversification.
The gurus don’t know any more than the rest of us and if they did, why would they tell us?
Everyone have a Merry Christmas!