Who knows. But, as this is the time of year when lots of people who should know better start to make wild guesses, I might as well have a bit of fun and put on my Nostradamus hat (at least I have no reputation to tarnish):
- Although you ever know when the markets will tank, I'll stick with the herd and say that the total return for the Oz stock market won't be the 20% or so we've enjoyed for the past three years, but will manage a good 10% or so. This will help my retirement fund and geared stock portfolio to have another positive year (10-20% increase).
- I imagine that commodity prices will moderate slightly as Chinese growth is held to a more sustainable rate, and oil will stay mostly within a $50-65 a barrel band in '07.
- The Sydney housing market will remain subdued (0-5% gains), despite interest rates having peaked and possibly being dropped a notch or two during '07.
- The US stock market will gain a bit by the end of '07 (5-10%), so I wouldn't be surprised if my "little book" portfolio ends up with a slight profit by the end of '07.
- At this time I'm hopeful that my NW will increase by my target 10-12% (plus my $30K savings) during the year.
World events: Hmmmm, the crystal ball is a bit cloudy, but I'd guess that:
- Nth Korea is still resisting international pressures over it's nuclear program by the end of '07, and is trying to get financial and diplomatic concessions from the US.
- China continues to build up its military and holds some impressive military exercises to intimidate Taiwan. The US gets less and less supportive of Taiwan as it's economic ties with China increase.
- Fresh elections in Palestine by the end of the year see some progress towards an negotiated peace with Israel, but sporadic violence continues to make this a long-term proposition. [Unless Israel or the US bombs some nuclear facilities in Iran during the year].
- US, Oz, UK all increase troop numbers slightly in early '07, but it's not enough to improve matters in Iraq. By the end of '07 numbers are being reduced and coalition forces are fortifying green zones and bases for maintaining a long-term presence in Iraq "supporting" the Iraqi police and army. Monthly Coalition losses start to reduce towards the end of '07, but the de facto civil war continues with civilian deaths continuing to escalate.
- Lots of wars in Africa kill lots and lots of innocent people.
- Bird Flu and Mad Cow outbreaks make headlines a couple of times, but more people are killed on the roads each day in the US, Oz, and UK than die worldwide from these two in '07.
- After considerable debate and campaigning, regulations requiring labeling of cloned meat is enacted in the US. Meanwhile people continue drop like flies from smoking, alcohol and drug abuse.
I'll give myself a score out of 12 this time next year ;)