As we close the books on 2018 we are rudely reminded that stocks go down as well as up. The last quarter of the year was the worst since the fourth quarter of 2008 and was bad enough to produce negative returns for all the indices despite hitting new all-time highs earlier in the year. The positive spin is that in many ways it was a return to normality and that means opportunities will develop again.
It was rather fitting that we ended the year with some big swings as computer algorithms made their moves. There has been some spectacular moves recently that had nothing to do with news, fundamentals or anything else that is considered part of traditional investment orthodoxy. Stocks went up and down because the computer programmers believed they had an edge when they moved billions of dollars of stocks in a matter of minutes.
The good news is that although we have some wild, computer driven action it leads to pricing inefficiencies and therein are the opportunities for profit in 2019. We just have to keep on slogging away and, I guarantee you, that there will be some great trading opportunities.
2018 is history and 2019 is full of untapped potential. I hope you will join me in making 2019 the best year ever. Have a great New Years. I will see you on Wednesday.
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