Although 2017 saw the usual worry list (President Trump, elections in Europe, China, North Korea and Australian property), it was good for investors. That will likely remain the case as we enter 2018 – provided you’re sufficiently diversified!
2016 started badly for investors with worries about global growth and deflation. But global growth turned out okay &, despite political events, rising bond yields & disappointing Australian growth, the end result has been a constrained but okay year for diversified investors.
2017 is likely to see another year of okay & maybe even slightly higher global growth, higher inflation, higher bond yields after a pause and divergent monetary conditions as the Fed tightens but other countries stay easy. The RBA is likely to cut rates to 1.25%.
Most growth assets, including shares are likely to trend higher, resulting in reasonable returns in 2017.
The main things to keep an eye on are US policy under Trump (stimulus v trade wars), the Fed and the $US, bond yields, various European elections, China and the impact of the rising supply of apartments in Australia.
The mostly gloomy debate around the Australian economy often gives the impression we are in a constant state of crisis.
But economic growth is pretty good, the economy has rebalanced without the (“inevitable”) recession, the worst of the mining bust looks to be behind us, public infrastructure spending is ramping up, consumer and business confidence are around long term averages, share market profits have likely bottomed and Australia stacks up well on social considerations.
These are all reasons to be reasonably optimistic about the Australian economy and Australian assets.