It’s usually a bad idea to try to predict the future but I couldn’t resist. I think these predictions could be no-brainers. Or I could get egg on my face with all of the other crystal ball gazers.
The first deals with the stock market, the second with interest rates and the third with oil.
PREDICTION #1: MARKET CORRECTION
I’ve said it constantly: the U.S. market is amazing but it’s been up for six years in a row without a major correction. It’s had near-corrections three times, according to Yardeni Research (Ed Yardeni is a prominent and respected economist). But it didn’t quite hit 10 percent down during those times.
A correction is a market drop of 10-20 percent. My definition of a “major” correction is 15% or more down. From 18,020, made by the Dow Jones last December, a fifteen percent drop would see the DJIA at about 15,300.
Six years up. No correction. Must be moving towards us soon…so that’s the time to buy hand over fist. Get your watch-lists ready and keep some cash in your accounts. Better yet, make sure your portfolio is paying high income and be flush with cash for this potential buying opportunity.
PREDICTION #2: FED RATES GO UP
Rates have been sooo low for sooo long that it seems overdue for them to rise. The economy is really moving and soon inflation should be revving up, too. This will typically make the Fed act, raising rates.
According to their September, 2014 projections, fourteen out of 17 Fed “participants” (only 12 are voting members) say that 2015 is the year to raise rates. Not 2014 (obviously) and not next year.
So brace yourselves a bit. Lower your bond maturities. Don’t buy long term CD’s. Lock in your debt rates now with fixed, low interest. Do not get variable debt.
PREDICTION #3: OIL WILL RISE 50%
There seems to be a battle between new technologies in exploration and extraction versus fossil fuel demand. The way I look at it is this: will China, and other emerging economies, ever stop using oil? For that matter, will the U.S. stop using oil? Probably not for a long time.
In the meantime, the U.S. is one of the leaders in better oil technology and we’re benefiting from that today at the pump. But other meaningful technologies, like electric cars, are pretty slow to be widely adopted. Which equals more oil use.
Plus, our population, both domestically and worldwide, is set to keep rising to at least 9 billion people. Which means even more oil use.
Of my three predictions, I think this one could blow up the easiest. You just never know with oil. I wouldn’t bet against it for too long, though. Whether there’s an increase this year or later, it seems to be a pretty solid asset.
The current price for WTI crude is $47.25. A fifty percent increase would be $70.88 a barrel. We’ll see….