Back by popular demand is the Year-End wrap up! Some of these affected our portfolios and others made our lives better…or at least made us smile for a few days.
Last year, 2016, gave us a year of historic market highs, mind-blowing political events (remember Brexit?) and epic sports achievements. This year, 2017, gave us more historic market highs, more epic sports achievements and, yes, more mind-blowing political events. And ever more. Read on….
Top 10 – Part One. Perhaps you may be moved to remind me of a couple of your personal gems to round out Part Two next week.
1. Surviving through this date in December 2017.
If we only watched TV and stayed connected to traditional media outlets (or remained absorbed in Twitter feeds, Facebook and the like) it may have seemed at times that we would not survive 2017. Well, we did (if you are reading this). Perhaps with a bit harder perspective on the divisions present in our society and around the world. But especially for those with a “can do” and “stand for something” attitude – which has historically been part of the American way of life – we did survive 2017.
Babies were born! Businesses grown! New homes purchased! Financial hardships overcome! Challenges remain, but personal victories were achieved.
2. Dow 20,000
Hard to believe but on January 27, 2017 the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the worldwide barometer of the US Stock Market, surpassed 20,000 for the first time.
3. Dow 24,876
As of this writing of TGIF 2 minutes, the high on the Dow Jones nearly reached the 25,000 mark, settling at 24,876, earlier in the month of December. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Dow Jones “has notched 70 record closes in 2017 so far – the most records ever for the index in a calendar year”. For the S&P 500, 2017 is poised to be the first year since 1970 for the index to post 12 straight months of gains. The surge in stocks has been powered by corporate earnings, economic growth and positive future expectations.
4. Jordan Spieth winning the Open Championship
5. Justin Thomas winning the PGA Championship AND the FedEx Cup
Not bad for a pair of guys who each turned just 24 this year to have won two of the season’s four “Majors”! For golfer Jordan Spieth, his win at the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale in England put him in a category of the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Tiger Woods and only a handful of others. For Justin Thomas his PGA win helped propel him to win the season-long (nearly 11 months) “FedEx Cup” which comes with a bonus of $10 million.
6. The US Congress passing a sweeping Tax overhaul plan
The tax plan scheduled to be signed into law by the President is the most sweeping tax legislation in America in over 30 years. It can be said that part (emphasis, “part”) of the strength of the 2017 rallies in US and global stock markets is attributable to anticipation of this major legislation passing.
7. Amazon buying Whole Foods
As fast as you can say “Amazon Prime” you can say “Amazon Fresh”. Who would have imagined that the original online bookseller would morph into delivering us everything from home gadgets to service from ALEXA to food??!! Alexa?? ALEXA !!
Next week will wrap up the Top 10… reader comments welcome!
MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY HOLIDAYS, Happy New Year and thank you for reading. TGIF!