With just a few days left in 2012, I think it's appropriate to check on the list of 7 predictions which I had made at the beginning of the year. Let's see how everything turned out:
- President Obama will get re-elected – Got it right – I knew without a doubt that Obama would get elected when Romney's video explaining what he thought of ‘the 47%' was released. It proves that Romney, and really the Republican party, is very much out of touch with the voters. I don't know that they have a consolidated message and even when they do, they have done a very poor job at translating that into a message that the voters respond to. This win wasn't so much a victory for Obama as it was a fear of Romney.
- A downturn on strategic defaults and underwater mortgages – Got it right – I figured that the housing market had hit bottom. Last year it seemed that while things weren't on the upswing just yet, we had leveled off. This year did see an actual upswing in most areas of the country, and part of that included less strategic defaults and less underwater mortgages. I guess if home values rise, this naturally brings people at or above the ‘underwater' line, which would give people less reason to walk away. I'm very happy to see this and I hope that the housing recovery market is sustained moving forward!
- The Eurozone crisis will not be solved but will get less attention – Got it right – Was anything really accomplished in the European crisis? Not really. I think they did kick the can down the road a bit, but as far as actually solving anything, I don't think that happened to any real degree. However, the markets and the economy really didn't react in much of a negative fashion. There was a couple of months in the middle part of the year where the market did have some rough weeks, and they were tied to the European problems, but that was shrugged off relatively quickly and I don't think it played much of a factor overall.
- Blackberry will be history (or RIM will be out of business) – Not so much – Blackberry is still around, and I've heard that the next release (Blackberry 10) is thought to be very well designed, and if it is received well, could put Blackberry back on the map. I personally don't see much hope here. In the consumer electronics market, more often than not when customers abandon a particular company to the degree that has taken place with RIM, it's pretty hard to convince them to come back. The only big exception in history that I see here is Apple, but I've seen Apple, and I'm sorry RIM, you are no Apple.
- Apple will either provide a dividend or make a big purchase – Got it right – Apple instituted a dividend for the first time in 2012. No big purchases, but since it was an either/or type of statement, I got it right. The stock for Apple has been on somewhat of a roller coaster ride, rising all the way to $700 per share and dropping down to the low $500's. I think investors are finally starting to realize that while Apple is a great company that makes wildly popular products, the amount of growth potential may be slowing. Wall Street investors live and die by growth, so the perception that Apple may have finally hit a ceiling could make for a bumpy ride moving forward.
- Unemployment will fall, the economy will improve,businesses will get better, but consumer spending will lag – Got it right – The economy has definitely continued to improve, and business profits have improved, but not to the robust levels that would indicate a long term healthy economy.
- Oprah will lose her network – Not so much – She still has her TV network, but the fact that I had to look this up to see where this stood, well it's still not doing so well. I know Oprah said that she wanted to put more of her ‘presence' into the network this year, and I'm guessing she did that, but to what degree this matters, I really do wonder. Before she shut down her talk show, you used to hear about Oprah in some fashion all the time. Her opinion and voice was right up there in the cultural fabric. Now, I think her voice has lost a lot of luster, so while she still has her ‘own' network for now, I clearly think it's been a disaster.
Five out of seven, or just over a 70% ‘success' rate was how it worked out for my predictions. That's not too bad!
How did 2012 turn out for you personally and how did things around the world play out from what you had thought would happen in 2012?
What topics do you think I should predict for 2013?