At this time of the year, I'm often approached by journalists asking for my investment market forecasts.
I tell them the same thing each time; markets could go up, they could go down, they could remain unchanged.
Forecasting the future is notoriously difficult. As humans, we're not very good at it. There are some techniques we can use to become 'better than average' (read Superforecasters by Philip Tetlock to learn more about this), but nobody has a crystal ball.
This blog by Abraham Okusanya contains so many interesting and relevant points for investors.
He talks about how investment asset classes made money in 2016 because of volatility, how the media tended to report one side of the story (when markets fell) and how that attention grabbing predicting from RBS last January was proven so wrong.
If you are thinking about what investment markets might do in 2017, stop.
Instead, follow the steps Abraham suggests at the end of this blog; acknowledge your lack of insight, accept the pain of volatility, and diversify across major asset classes.
When you stick to these principles, investing really is pretty simple.
Several times during the year, the media reported that billions were wiped off the stock market. But we heard nothing when those billions were added back on.