If you watch a little (or a lot) television, you have no-doubt heard or seen all of the 2017 year in reviews. If you did some homework, you could find out in 2016 what the predictions were going to be for 2017. It’s always interesting to find – after the fact – how many prognostications went “south”. Well…
The media’s predictions for 2018 are in, and if even half of them come true, it’s going to be a remarkable year. Here we go:
Bitcoin will hit $60,000. The midterm elections will be a landslide for the Republicans. And the housing bubble will burst, resulting in property values dropping substantially. Also, two companies will start selling flying cars and a new form of energy will be discovered on Venus.
These speculations are all taken from what are considered mainstream news sources, which should tell you two things. First, there’s very little risk in publishing bold predictions. And second, anything is possible.
The 2018 Forecast You Can Count On
Looking back, 2017 was a momentous year. It seems that not a week went by that didn’t hold a major surprise with national and even global implications. Sadly, some of the most memorable were scandals, tragedies, and disasters. Many of them were things that no one seemed to foresee.
Like every year before it, 2018 is sure to have its share of milestones, turning points, and events that will take everyone by surprise. Next December, just like this last one, we’ll probably all be saying, “What a year!”
Be Prepared For The Unexpected
In 2018 our personal life is also guaranteed to have its share of surprises—both good and bad.
That’s why the best way to prepare yourself for the new year is with a plan that’s designed to take into account the unexpected. The good news is you don’t have to know exactly what you’re going to face to be ready.
The Boy Scouts have the right idea. Their motto of “Be prepared” is an effective guiding principle when thinking about everything you might encounter in the woods: hunger, cold, rain, getting lost, poison oak, etc. The Scouts have figured out how to fit all these preparations in a pack small enough for an 11 year old to carry on his back.
“Be prepared” works well in other areas of life as well.
In your personal finances, have a plan that takes into account your expected financial commitments so you can save for them ahead of time. Things like taxes, insurance payments, and even gift giving. This also goes for saving up for events to look forward to, like a special vacation.
Plan for the unexpected with an emergency fund. It’s the cornerstone of every solid budget.
Follow the same principle in your investing. Plan for the things you know will occur, like your regular contribution to your retirement. But plan for the unpredictable with a properly diversified portfolio that’s designed to spread risk among stocks from scores of countries, sectors and company sizes that will make up the ever-fluctuating market.
Remember that global stock markets are inherently volatile. That risk of changing values is part of what we rely on to expect a long-term return that beats inflation. Along the way, remember that only new and unknowable information is what will move stock prices – not some pundit’s prediction.
Talk with your trusted advisor to make sure you’re in an appropriate position for your age, income, tax profile, and retirement timeline. Then when the unexpected happens, you will be less likely to worry. And that will make you less likely to make a short-term mistake that could cost you in the long run.