Quote of the Day - Predicting the future is easy. It's trying to figure out what's going on now that's hard.
A friend of mine, Steve Kaplan, a lawyer at Hicks, Mims & Kaplan, offers these predictions for the coming year, posted here with his permission. If you have some you'd like to add or disagree with Steve, comments are open.
1. The price of crude oil will be volatile, and trend upward.
2. Crude oil will never get below $50 a barrel in 2006.
3. Any disruption will send oil prices above $70 a barrel.
4. The Dollar will slightly appreciate versus the Euro by the end of the year.
5. California, Las Vegas and Florida housing prices will decline by 10% in 2006.
6. Neither GM nor Ford will go bankrupt in 2006 (but GM may go bankrupt in 2007).
7. The Dow Jones industrial average will end the year at just above 11,000.
8. Canadian oil and gas trusts (e.g., symbols PWI and PTF) will return over 15% in 2006. (i.e., dividends plus appreciation will exceed 15%).
9. Altria will return over 15% in 2006.
10. Citigroup, Bank of America and Pfizer will return over 10% in 2006.
11. Emerging market ETF’s (e.g., EEM) will outperform the Dow, NASDAQ and S&P 500 in 2006.
12. Apple will release the “i-phone” cell phone in 2006.
13. Yahoo, Google, AOL or a phone company will buy TIVO.
14. Microsoft will release its new operating system, and new version of Office.
15. Microsoft X-Box will out-sell Sony Playstation in the U.S.
16. Moslems will again riot in Europe.
17. There will be another terrorist attack in Europe.
18. Republicans will maintain control of both houses of Congress after the mid-term 2006 elections.
19. Judge Alito will be confirmed as the next Supreme Court Justice.
20. At least one former U.S. president will die in 2006.
21. Tom DeLay will be found not guilty.
22. At least two former or current members of Congress will be indicted for bribery or taking illegal campaign contributions.
23. In the Enron trials, Ken Lay will be found not guilty, and Jeff Skilling will be convicted.
24. Congress will not pass major immigration or border legislation in 2006.
25. Congress will pass legislation in 2006 extending the 15% tax rate for dividends and capital gains.
26. Eliot Spitzer will be the next Governor of New York.
27. US troop levels in Iraq will decrease from approximately 160,000 today to fewer than 110,000 by the end of 2006.
28. Saddam Hussein will be found guilty and executed.
29. Assad will not last the year as Syria's President.
30. Europe will be unable to persuade Iran to submit to nuclear inspections.
31. The Iran nuclear situation will be referred to the UN security counsel.
32. Israel will complete the wall and cut all relations with the Palestinians.
33. France, Germany, Italy and Spain will fail by a wide margin to fulfill their Kyoto targets. These same countries will continue to rail against the United States for not signing the treaty that they signed and failed to enforce.
34. In some areas of the world it will be hot which will be blamed on global warming.
35. In other areas of the world it will be cold which will be blamed on global warming.
Best Wishes in 2006.