The year 2013 has been good to me and the family.
We are still living in Coronado, the kids are healthy and working hard in school and my hairline held up relatively well.
Here were my predictions for 2013. They were all important to our family. We focused on saving money (reduce expenses, raise revenues) and retirement (invest in stocks).
In 2013 I thought it would be key to lock in a great interest rate. We finally did. Hundreds of hours spent by Ellen to bring that over the goal line. The system for getting a loan is almost impossible. I have to believe people will be more transient than ever at the rental level because of it and stay more at a home in which they can buy and get financed.
In 2013, I was sure the government would get more greedy. They did. They seized Bitcoins, they shut themselves down, they went deeper into corporate beds and they are bungling healthcare. The NSA problem is just a nice bonus they gave us.
I don’t have stock predictions for you or price targets for the stocks I own now, because that should almost be a crime. On January 1, I will lay out once again what I own like I did last year. It was a hell of a good year to follow me. I highly doubt 2014 can be as profitable.
I can point to graphs that say stocks are cheap and those that show they are expensive.
I think EVERYONE should read Josh Brown’s December pieces on what has been trendy and could be trendy.
I think EVERYONE should watch Fred Wilson’s very recent ‘Le Web’ talk for his thoughts for the next 5-10 years.
Now to my predictions for 2014:
1. Banks will continue with useless and conflicted price targets. Here is a good roundup of the S&P price targets they will never hold themselves accountable for.
2. JP Morgan will pay more fines. Here is the latest one they settled this weekend over Bernie Madoff.
3. The social graphs will lead to some continued big changes in news, advertising and media power. Yes, the prediction is pretty vague (look at this Twitter chart ), but there are hundreds of ways to profit off this trend. I believe marketing automation and content marketing will garner a lot of media and financial attention in 2014 and beyond (Long $MKTG and GetLittleBird to name a couple).
4. Amazon is not the drone investment to make, Google is.
5. Corporations will have to do something with their huge cash piles. They ARE NOT sharing the wealth with employees. I will not ever enter a McDonald’s or a Walmart because I can at least vote with my wallet. I imagine the cash hoards will be used to first – expand family offices (wealth management), than for technology upgrades and acquisitions. Good for $GOOG and $AAPL and a bunch of software companies.
6. The government addiction to printing themselves will continue. I can only point to this trend, but only a liar could tell you when and if it will end.
7. My reading of the cash in the system is that dips continue to be bought. Big dips will be bought by the public companies in the form of mergers and acquisitions.
8. It has gotten easier than ever to stay small and draft behind the leaders. There are so many new sources of data for investors and so many mentors that take huge risk and share their thinking. Drafting is the new location, location, location.
9. As for Apple, I am long, and think the cash and retail keep them stronger than most people think in 2014. This Chart Art though has me on alert though from a pattern perspective. Google is slowly and methodically circling them and hard to bet against Google eating their lunch at some point.
10. Money will be the biggest topic of 2014. Visa ($V) and Mastercard ($MA) are so very strong in a world where Bitcoin is gaining traction. Though they could easily invest in Square and $EBAY could buy Billfloat to protect PayPal, they have nothing on the power of Bitcoin as a platform. I can’t imagine it being as good for Visa and Mastercard shareholders in 2014 and beyond.
11 – Almost forgot and maybe one of the most important trends for me…Google will be entering the financial web in a big way. The Lending Club IPO will be massive (they are large investors) and even I have coinvested with Google in a few financial startups that aim to disrupt the status quo of the brokerage and data business. You will hear a lot more from them in 2014 I am sure of it.
Overall – it is hard to be bearish with the free money that is flowing, but if you reach too far in such a good market, you might be surprised how little is below you.
I hope this helps start framing your investments for 2014.