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So, the New Year is around the corner. Champagne, college bowl games and crystal balls abound. We always wonder what the new year has in store for us. The past year feels like its come and gone. The year ahead, though: who knows what's in store for us?
The year ahead of us can seem like a mystery. No one knows what will happen next. We can take note of clues the past year left behind. Hints of what fortune good or evil lies ahead. Sometimes those signs are lying in plain sight. Other times, those clues are almost impossible to spot. Much like ghosts of time past.
Why hunt for clues when they can be so elusive? We search for clues because we crave certainty. Everyone hates uncertainty. No one I know likes a mystery. Unless, of course, you're a fan of the late actor Robert Stack!
We predict to reduce the mysteries of our lives. We guess what will happen. Having those crucial clues helps improve our ability to predict with greater accuracy. Some predictions are far more like to occur than others. For example, saying the sun will shine tomorrow almost seems like a near certainty. Other predictions seem like little guesswork. Like telling the Cleveland Indians will win the World Series.
Hey, it could happen, right? Look how many times Chicago Cubs fans said the very same thing before their wish finally came true!
Last week, I wrote a post about being wrong. Many times, people make predictions that prove themselves wrong time and time again. When people make predictions that continue to be wrong, there is a problem with their process. The problem may be in how they gather clues. Or how they interpret the clues in front of them. Either way, something about their process is off. When someone fails to fix that process. , Predictions will continue to be terrible.
So, what is the point I'm making?
I'm taking this opportunity to make some predictions of my own. Yes, you read that right. I am going to make ten predictions right now in this very column. I hope that I will learn something about my process of making predictions. I also hope to be right on some of the predictions I make.
Thus, without further waiting, here are my top ten predictions for 2018:
1) President Donald Trump will not leave office by impeachment. Republican leadership in Congress will rally behind the President. Congress will thwart Special Counsel Robert Mueller from doing further damage to Trump. Two key members of his inner circle will leave the Administration. They will go because of their ties to Russian oligarchs. The two key staffers will resign upon the urging of the President's Chief of Staff John Kelly.
2) The United States will launch a pre-emptive military strike on North Korea. U.S. military intelligence will get signs of troop movements by North Korea. North Korean army movements will gather along the South Korean border. U.S. Naval warships will perform the airstrike. North Korea, in retaliation, will launch a missile strike against South Korea. The two countries will then come to the table for diplomatic negotiations. Both China and Japan will broker the diplomacy to re-stabilize the Pacific Rim region.
3) The GDP of Greece, Central Africa, and Romania will be greater than that of Japan, Germany, and the United States. The growth in emerging market economies like Greece will be due to increased trade. Strengthening currencies in countries like Central Africa will be attractive to foreign investment.
4) 2018 will be another banner year for hot weather trends. The summer will bring drought-like conditions out West in California and Arizona. Meanwhile, eastern states like Virginia and Florida will see Category 3 hurricanes. The hurricanes will cause irreparable property damage along the coasts. Winter in the Upper Midwest meanwhile will be less cold than in years past. The less cold temperatures are due to warming cold fronts from Northern Canada.
5) In business, Sears will finally declare bankruptcy. The company will find themselves out of cash. Vendors for Sears will no longer ship the company product when payment is not received. A Sears bankruptcy will spark a sharp sell-off in retail mall property stocks. The sell-off will be the shot across the bow for lower end retail mall property values. Those mall property values will be declining over the next two to three years.
6) Republican leadership in the U.S. Congress will pass a bill to rebuild aging infrastructure. Members of Congress see a wealth of job creation from the passage of an infrastructure bill. Stock markets will cheer the news of the bill's passage. Materials and infrastructure stocks will rally to the end of the year. The price rise will be in anticipation of increased government spending. The government spending is necessary to rebuild our nation's roads and bridges.
7) Later in 2018, three more states in America will legalize marijuana. Some American states will continue a trend that is months and years in the making. Americans are becoming more open to the possibility of authorizing the sale of weed. States will see potential tax revenues from sales of medical and recreational marijuana. Congress will see a path to legalizing marijuana sales. Congress will do so by reducing federal drug classification guidelines for marijuana.
8) At the movies, Avengers - Infinity War and Solo: A Star Wars Story will be the top two box office hits in 2018. Both the Marvel and Lucasfilm characters are properties of The Walt Disney Company. As for the Oscars, The Post will win Best Picture of the year, and Merill Streep will win Best Actress.
9) In baseball, the Nationals and the Indians will be in the 2018 World Series. In football, the Steelers and the Vikings will play in Super Bowl LII. The Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers will play in this year's NBA Finals.
10) For the first time in the history of the company, Apple's iPhone sales will slow from the previous year. Sales of iPhones will slow down because of satiated consumer demand. Apple's CEO Tim Cook will pay a one-time special cash dividend to prevent the stock from a complete free fall. Meanwhile, look for Apple to drop its iPad mini line as well as shift product focus to the iPad Pro line.
Those are my predictions for 2018, and I'm sticking with them! I'd love to hear what your forecast for 2018 is. Leave me a comment below, and I'll be sure to read them.
Thanks for reading @ellofinance today. You made my year a special one! I look forward to making your New Year a profitable one, too!