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19 Investing Resolutions for 2018

Special notes: First, on behalf of everyone at AAII, have a happy, healthy and prosperous new year. Both the U.S. financial markets and our offices will be closed on Monday, January 1, in observance of New Year’s Day. Finally, we are in the process of updating our Tax Guide to reflect the new law. As we make changes, we will publish alerts on the AAII Blog, with a revised tax guide appearing in the March AAII Journal.

 

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Long-term readers know that I like to share my list of investing resolutions at the start of each year. The list started in 2012 and has grown since. This year, I’ve added two resolutions: one about using a checklist and one about protecting your identity. The checklist resolution was inspired by a book that resonated with me this past summer, “The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right,” by Atul Gawande (Metropolitan Books, 2009). For those of you with fitness or diet resolutions, I’ll suggest another book from the many I’ve read over the past 12 months: “The One-Minute Workout: Science Shows a Way to Get Fit That’s Smarter, Faster, Shorter,” by Martin Gibala (Avery, 2017). Despite the gimmicky-sounding title, the workouts are good. (I have a few of them programmed into my iPhone.)

If this is the first time you’re seeing my annual list of resolutions, I’ll share a bit of guidance. You don’t have to follow every resolution immediately. Read it through and decide what you want to address first. Some of these resolutions can be completed very quickly, some require thought and some won’t be applicable right now, but will be very relevant at some point in the future. The key is to stick to them (or any other resolutions you might make) throughout the year. One way to do so is to set up reminders that prompt you to go back and review this list throughout 2018. Positive change often requires a willingness to put yourself back on track whenever you drift away from the plan.

One thing you won’t notice in the list is anything related to expectations of what might happen in 2018. This is because the unexpected can and will happen. Just look at this year: Nobody was predicting the very low level of volatility, the large rise in the S&P 500 or the massive jump in the value of bitcoin. As we move into a new year, expectations are for economic growth to continue. While the new tax bill should provide stimulus, valuations are not cheap. It’s just a matter of time before volatility returns to the stock market (even though we don’t know exactly when). Internationally, Brexit looms with a March 2019 deadline, not to mention the various geopolitical events occurring. Plus, there will likely be events hardly anyone is focusing on currently or are complete surprises.
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AAII Members Receive Tax Guidance

The December AAII Journal features our popular tax guide. This annual guide helps investors stay up to date with the ever-changing tax regulations, includes last-minute reminders for 2017 and provides preliminary tax strategies for 2018.

It will help you understand your current tax liability and what you can do to potentially lower your tax bill this year and next year.

Start your AAII membership today to get The Individual Investor’s Guide to Personal Tax Planning 2017, and to benefit from everything AAII has to offer.


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 Highlights from this month’s AAII Journal


AAII Sentiment Survey

Optimism rose to its highest level in more than three years, while pessimism fell to its lowest level in more than two years. More about this week’s results.

This week’s results:
  • Bullish: 52.6%, up 2.1 points
  • Neutral: 26.7%, up 2.8 points
  • Bearish: 20.6%, down 5.0 points
Historical averages:
  • Bullish: 38.5%
  • Neutral: 31.0%
  • Bearish: 30.5%

Take the Sentiment Survey.


What’s Trending on AAII

  1. The Individual Investor’s Guide to Personal Tax Planning 2017
  2. William O’Neil’s CAN SLIM Approach to Selecting Growth Stocks Using Fundamental and Technical Data
  3. The Mathematics of Retirement Portfolios

The Week Ahead

As noted above, the U.S. financial markets will be closed on Monday in observance of New Year’s Day.

The earnings calendar includes three S&P 500 companies. Monsanto Co. (MON) and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (WBA) will report their results on Thursday, while Constellation Brands Inc. (STZ) will report on Friday.

The week’s first economic report will be the December PMI manufacturing index, released on Tuesday. Wednesday will feature December motor vehicle sales, the December ISM manufacturing index, November construction spending and the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) minutes from its December meeting. The December ADP employment report will be released on Thursday. Friday will feature December jobs data (including the change in nonfarm payrolls and the unemployment rate), November international trade, November factory orders and the December ISM non-manufacturing index.

Three Federal Reserve officials will make public appearances: St. Louis president James Bullard on Thursday, Philadelphia president Patrick Harker on Friday and Cleveland president Loretta Mester on Friday and Saturday.


Local Chapter Meetings

AAII Local Chapter Meetings offer you a variety of presentations from expert speakers who will give you their view on the world of investing. A bonus of attending a Chapter Meeting near you is the opportunity to meet other AAII members who share your interest and enthusiasm for investing. You can even share the Chapter experience with your family and friends by inviting them to attend Chapter Meetings with you! Upcoming Meetings »

 

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