Bailout For Spain, Spike In Oil Prices And Other Predictions For 2013

This article was written with Oliver Pursche, the Co-Portfolio Manager of GMG Defense Beta Fund. It was part of a series of articles developed under an agreement with to work with a variety of contributors and assist them in delivering actionable investment ideas each week. The site, is one of the top 500 sites in the world with nearly 10 million subscribers and nearly 100 million page views a month.

This time last year I made my final five (of ten) predictions for 2012. Here’s my report card on those predictions, followed by my final five predictions for 2013.

•Europe spends most of 2012 in Recession

•U.S. GDP growth falls to about 2%

•The 10-Year Treasury yield climbs to 3%

•Brazilian equities rally to be the strongest of the emerging markets

•More shoes will drop

While I was 4 for 5 in my first set of predictions for 2012, I didn’t do nearly as well with these five getting 3 of the 5 correct. Certainly, Brazil wasn’t anyone’s darling, and rates on Treasurys held stubbornly below 2%. I might add that, unfortunately, I was correct regarding my last prediction–more shoes will drop.

Certainly the conviction and jailing of Raj Rajaratnam, the conviction and jailing of former Goldman Sachs and Proctor & Gamble board member Rajat Gupta, the Barclay’s LIBOR scandal, the growing insider trading case linked to former employees of SAC Capital and multi-billion losses at J.P. Morgan Chase all shook the confidence of investors.

So, all in, my tally for 2012 predictions was 7 for 10, enough I hope for readers to take this year’s set of predictions moderately seriously.

Last week I said: 1) U.S. GDP growth accelerates to 3% in the second half of the year; 2) The S&P starts off bumpy but ultimately gains 6% for the year; 3) Gasoline prices climb to $4.50 by Memorial Day; 4) Europe remains in recession and 5) Housing drops as banks clear out a large portion of their foreclosure inventory.

Looking ahead into 2013, here are predictions 6 through 10, my final ones for 2013.

6. As a result of accelerating growth, the Fed will target an increase in interest rates of 25 basis points at some point during the fourth quarter

7. The U.S. unemployment rate drops below 7%

8. Italy and Spain receive bailouts

9. Israel attacks Iran, causing a spike in oil prices

10. More shoes will drop on Wall Street in the form of scandals.

My de facto 11th prediction is something very unexpected will happen in 2013. I wish I knew what. My “Spidey sense” tells me it’s a very volatile world, and in an environment where anything can happen, something that no one saw coming surely will.

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