What Investors Can Expect In 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 forbes.com to work with a variety of contributors and assist them in delivering actionable investment ideas each week. The site, forbes.com is one of the top 500 sites in the world with nearly 10 million subscribers and nearly 100 million page views a month.

Last year, I made 10 predictions for 2012. Some were bolder than others. As I stated then, right or wrong, I would review these at the end of the year and give myself a score card. The first five predictions made on December 7, 2011 were:

1. The S&P 500 would rise by 10% or more

2. Greece would begin negotiations and discussions to exit the euro

3. President Obama would win reelection

4. China would loosen its currency controls

5. The commodity bull-run would resume

By my count, I’m four for five. The commodity bull-run certainly didn’t materialize. Weaker global growth kept a lid on commodity prices. The S&P 500 year-to-date is up some 13.4% including dividends.

Greece has had very public discussions and continues to negotiate being in and out of the euro. President Obama will be with us for another term. And, China did loosen its currency controls (although to the frustration of American politicians and business, their lower than expected growth has caused the Remnibi to fall, not rise).

Looking ahead into 2013, here are my first five predictions:

1.U.S. GDP growth will remain tepid in the first half of the year, before picking up to a near 3% rate during the second half of the year.

2.Stocks will be very volatile in January and through the first quarter, but thereafter should regain their upward momentum to allow the S&P 500 to gain about 6% in 2013.

3.Average gasoline prices in the U.S. will rise above $4.50 per gallon by Memorial Day.

4.Europe will remain in recession for most of the year, ultimately forcing a Greek exit from the currency zone.

5.Housing drops again, after banks release a large chunk of their foreclosure inventory onto the market. This should be temporary and is likely to prove beneficial in the long-run.

Stay tuned for my next five predictions; as I said last year, these are my predictions and do not represent what I think should happen or what I want to see happen, rather a reflection of my expectations.

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