For years now the markets have charged higher and higher with very little in the way of a pullback. When was the last time the markets pulled back 5%? Go back and look at any index and try to find the last time the markets fell 5%. Not in one day, just over time. I'll give you a hint. Your computer monitor will not be large enough to see it all on one screen.
Now that 2017 is coming to an end, look at where the markets are now. They are at highs, and currently just a little extended. With tax reform making it's way smoothly (for now) through congress and ready for the President to sign, there is no reason for there to be a pullback this year. Aside from some down days here and there, almost no one expects the markets to fall into the end of the year since they would be paying 2017 tax rates on their gains.
Now to 2018. For many of you reading this you might have never seen the markets fall. If you are under the age of say 28 then you are not old enough to have been a part of a market decline. Well, be ready, and be careful because I am predicting that 2018 will be the year we all focus on risk, and the year of increased volatility.
With the building geopolitical events, tax reform, increasing interest rates, and this joke of a sector rotation game that everyone is figuring out, 2018 will be the year you have not experienced before.
I am in no way calling for a crash or collapse. But, you see how this year and years past how the markets just rally on good news, AND bad news? A North Korean missile hits off the coast of Japan and the markets hit new record highs as the news comes out. Or the market starts lower on the day for five days in a row, but finishes higher. Things like this will not be happening in 2018.
So, focus on your risk if you are a short term trader. If you are a long term investor then I think 2018 could be the year of the discounted prices for you so be ready. For years you have held and enjoyed double or triple digit gains. Just be ready.