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By Nathan Young

December 21, 2017

2017 has been a successful year for the equities market, continuing on their bull run of nearly 10 years. Retail has struggled and the geopolitical climate has impacted markets more than they have in previous years. The Federal Reserve continues to raise rates and will continue to do so into 2018. That being said, there are many other spaces in the market, but these are the most notable. Bitcoin came onto the scene and has people taking note of the cryptocurrency world.

As 2017 Comes to an End, Here Are Areas to Watch for the Coming New Year

Looking ahead to 2018, the Fed wants to try and bump up interest rates as well as push inflation higher. It as been steady these last few years and that has not been the objective. From the looks of things, it would be safe to say we can expect three or four rate increases this coming year, which will do well for investments but hinder consumer lending. Also, with Yellen being replaced, we could see a shift in how the Fed operates.

Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency market will remain in focus for 2018 as major exchanges bring futures products to the market, allowing traders to short the market and trade on a reliable exchange. Many are speculating a large boom or large bust for Bitcoin, but it remains to be seen which is the most likely, given more people are backing it each day.   Retail struggled in 2017 with the closure of many high profile brands. Retail ETF ticker XRT shows a light gain at the end of the year, which pales in comparison with the greater market. 2018 could prove to be a recovery year, but once 2017 Q4 numbers being rolling out, it will be a true indication on how the retail sector is doing.  

Notable products for 2018 include Apple’s home device that was due to launch in winter of 2017 but was pushed out further. Apple’s iPhone X hit the market just before the holiday season, and those sales will be important given Apple relies on iPhone sales. Also, Spotify will likely go public late Q1 or Q2 of 2018, which many will be watching. Spotify is a music streaming platform that is used by millions.  

2018 is shaping up to be a solid year given the atmosphere of the market. Equities might cool off but nothing indicates a large pullback. However, do not be complacent and always balance your portfolio. Annual reviews are a must and offer people a chance to reallocate before a new investing year.

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