Dylan B. Minor PhD, CFP®, ChFC, CLU, CIMA®
Chief Strategist and CIO
With the exciting beginning of the New Year (see my special commentary here), it is easy to forget about of all of the excitement that we had in 2015. In this spirit, I want to provide you with a recap of a few of the important and not so important events of 2015. Hopefully to aid in your enjoyment, I have presented them in a quiz fashion (the professor can’t help himself!), with answers available at the end of this commentary (ok, I don’t normally do this part).
Often the media will choose to zero in on a particular aspect of the economy or market and continue to report on the same item relentlessly for weeks, months or even all year. In this vein, we certainly heard a lot about oil throughout 2015. Brent Crude closed 2015 at $38.01 and it is even touching below $30 as I write this. What was the forecasted price of oil for December 2015 a year ago, as predicted by the price of oil futures?
What price was the average price of oil (using global spot ICE prices) for July 2008, just as the financial crisis got underway?
Once again, we were thus reminded this past year how difficult it is to predict asset prices, especially in the short term. It is also a reminder of how we are in a different economic situation today than at the start of the financial crisis in 2008. While oil was making the headlines, someone who used to always make the headlines, former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson was back in the news. The massive boxing machine hurt himself by doing what?
- Brushing his teeth
- Practicing ballet
- Riding a hoverboard
- Visiting the Omega office
To fully appreciate it, see it here.
Meanwhile, investments were going up and down a bunch. By the end of the year 2015, which was the best investment from the following list?
- High Yield
- Hedge Funds
- US Stocks
And plenty, if not most, investments ended down for the year, just like Mike Tyson. Which was the worst investment for 2015? (hint: it is often touted as a safe haven)
- High Yield
- Hedge Funds
- US Stocks
Ok, no more hints for the rest of the quiz. Although many movies were failures in 2015, it was shown that good movies can still make a lot of money, as evidenced by the blockbuster Star Wars: The Force Awakens. For this film, how old is the actor that played Chewbacca?
And how old is the actor Daisy Ridley that played Rey, the heroine, in Star Wars: The Force Awakens?
All the while, the economy continued to do relatively well; indeed, the FED even decided to raise interest rates. However, not all financial instruments were cooperating. Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) also grabbed some air time with mass selling during some market downturns. It turns out ETFs have been created for a while now and have successfully survived many downturns. What year was the first ETF created?
Also not cooperating were some particular animals. What type of animal created a social media-crazed, high-speed police chase through a popular Arizona retirement community?
If you haven’t had something like this you might want to consider moving to a more exciting community. However, in case you don’t want to move, you can still enjoy viewing the chase here.
Finally, baseball great Yogi Berra passed away in 2015 at the age of 90. He left us with a legacy of great baseball and even greater wisdom. Which of the following quotes is NOT attributed to him:
- A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.
- When you come to a fork in the road, take it.
- It ain’t over till it’s over.
- The secret of getting ahead is gettin’ going.
So there you have it: a recap of 2015. I hope your 2015 was a special one and truly wish you a healthy and happy 2016! As always, don’t hesitate to call or write with any questions or concerns, as we are here to serve you!
Answers (in order of question):
This commentary reflects the personal opinions, viewpoints and analyses of the Omega Financial Group, LLC employees providing such comments, and should not be regarded as a description of advisory services provided by Omega Financial Group, LLC or performance returns of any Omega Financial Group, LLC Investments client. The views reflected in the commentary are subject to change at any time without notice. Nothing in this commentary constitutes investment advice, performance data or any recommendation that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. Any mention of a particular security and related performance data is not a recommendation to buy or sell that security. Omega Financial Group, LLC manages its clients’ accounts using a variety of investment techniques and strategies, which are not necessarily discussed in the commentary. Investments in securities involve the risk of loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.