Yearly Reflections – 2018

2018 is in the books, and for many of us . . . . Good Riddance!!!  But, it is always enlightening to look back over the past 12 months to see what interesting things happened in the world.  So, here are 18 observations about 2018!

Eighteen “Firsts” – or Rare Occurrences – in 2018 . . .

1)  U.S. company’s buybacks of their stock surpass $200 Billion in a quarter (Q3); on pace for $1 Trillion for the year – the highest dollar amount ever!

2)  Cash out-performs both stocks and bonds (first time in three decades).

3)  US mid-term elections saw a record number of women being elected to Congress, making the current percentage of women lawmakers the highest ever.

4)  The amount of Venture Capital invested in the U.S. is on pace to top $100 Billion, across 6,600 deals (highest dollar amount ever)!

5)  The Washington Capitals skate to their first Stanley Cup victory.

6)  Apple became the first public company to hit $1 Trillion in market capital value, until December’s lousy market knocked it back down.

7)  Astronomers detected the first planets outside our galaxy.

8)  Two major U.S. retail icons filed for bankruptcy: Sears & Toys R Us.

9)  Highest volume of shopping ever in online purchases:

  • $7.9 Billion on Cyber Monday in the U.S.
  • $30 Billion on Singles Day by Alibaba (largest shopping event EVER; 11/11/18)

10)  Strong earnings growth DIDN’T translate into positive performance for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index:

  • Average S&P Earnings Growth = +11%
  • Average S&P Rate of Return = (-5%)

11)  The Philadelphia Eagles won their first Super Bowl!

12)  Bonds entered their first rising interest rate cycle since the 1940’s.

13)  China changed its constitution to remove presidential term limits, effectively allowing leader Xi Jinping to remain “president for life.”  (I hear that Donald Trump is looking into this!)

14)  Crypto Currencies Crash…Bitcoin falls 74% & Ethereum goes down 82%.

15)  The first pedestrian fatality caused by a self-driving car occurred in Arizona.

16)  A Chinese company surpasses Apple’s smartphone sales for the first time (Huawei).

17)  Canada legalizes recreational marijuana (first major world economy to legalize recreational use).

18)  Despite a down year overall for the Dow Jones, we saw the single best day ever for the investment markets!

Who knows what 2019 will bring, but, I am keeping my fingers crossed that we’ll all enjoy a prosperous, healthy year!