Disclaimer: I am not qualified to make any of the predictions I’m about to make.
(1) The Dow and S&P 500 will end 2018 up 15%. That will put the Dow at 28,427 and the S&P 500 at 3074. I think the bull market rally will continue on in 2018 and the growth will be about double the average growth of the US markets over the last 100 or so years. I think that the technology, financial, and consumer discretionary sectors will lead. Some of the growth in 2017 was due to the optimism that surrounded the tax reform bill. I actually think that optimism was a bit subdued and I expect 2018 to grow at above average rates because of the reality of the tax reform implementation.
(2) Apple will eclipse a 1 trillion-dollar market capitalization. Apple ended 2017 with a market cap of $861B. That implies a little over 16% growth, not much more than my overall market growth projection of 15%. I don’t think the homePod speakers will be a game changer. I do think development into health monitoring and augmented reality will be. I also think Apple will make a big acquisition, but my bet is in the medical device space (Abbott Laboratories/Medtronic), not the entertainment space (Netflix/Disney).
(3) You’ll start seeing Teslas everywhere. I’m a big fan of Elon Musk and Tesla is my top stock pick for 2018. I think as the Gigafactory continues to improve battery output, the bottleneck for producing electric vehicles will subside. My longer-term prediction is that electric vehicles outsell gas powered vehicles sooner than we expect. Sort of like how the smart phone revolution exploded in a few years. I could see this within 5 years.
(4) Truly autonomous driving becomes a reality. A car will be seen driving itself with no one in it. I think this type of passenger-less autonomous driving faces less scrutiny that an autonomous driving car that carries people. This could be like sending your car to get serviced or summoning it from a parking lot.
(5) A private company will put a human into space. My bet is on SpaceX. Mars here we come (in a few more years).
(6) The Cleveland Indians will win the World Series. Not all of this has to be business related right? With 4 Cy Young caliber starting pitchers, 2 of the most dominate relivers in baseball, and 2 MVP caliber field players, this is the year the Tribe wins it all.
(7) Ohio State wins the college football playoffs (technically this will happen in 2019). Dwayne Haskins is the best quarterback you’ve never heard of. You will.
(8) Josh Allen gets picked #1 overall by the Cleveland Browns. They take Saquon Barkley at #4. They make the playoffs in 2018.
(9) Lebron leaves Cleveland…again. James has always been a bit of an enigma to me. I think where he chooses to go this time will tell us a lot more about his personal motivation going forward. Does he go to the Lakers to be near Hollywood and expand on his entertainment career? Does he go to Houston to form a powerhouse to compete with Golden State? Does he go to Philly to lead the next generation of talent?
(Can you tell where I’m from yet? Hint: you’re wrong)
(10) The republican party maintains control of the House and Senate after the mid-term elections. Money speaks, especially when no one is inside the voting booth with you.
(11) Americans will be healthier. Tobacco and alcohol usage will drop. Obesity levels will drop. More individualized health improvement solutions will become popular.
(12) Marijuana will be legalized in more states. I don’t think that the federal government is going to stop this wave. It will be legalized federally within 5 years.
(13) Trump announces after the 2018 mid-term elections that he won’t seek re-election. This will be due to health concerns. Mark Cuban wins in 2020 as a Republican.
(14) Bitcoin mania will fade. It will be replaced by blockchain mania. Cryptocurrencies may still play a part in our future but I don’t think a prominent one. Blockchain technology will.
(15) Social media usage will decrease. I think privacy concerns start to ramp up.
(16) Genetic testing companies will be hacked. This will stoke the privacy concern movement.
(17) Birth rates in the United States will drop. So will marriage rates. So will relationship rates. So will sex rates. People will become more content with watching Netflix with their dog.
(18) Optimism will prevail. I always have the sense we’re at a tipping point. But then I think that maybe humans have always felt this way. Change and the unknown is scary at the same time it is exciting. I can’t seem to put my finger on if “things” are getting better or worse. The world and life is too complex to do that. Some areas seem to be getting better, some worse, and even then, it is more about your personal feelings towards that particular subject. I do believe and the ingenuity and integrity of the majority which is where my optimism stems from. Happy 2018.