The year at a glance

So this year was a surprise. Everyone including yours truly predicted a fallout from the rather unconventional elections and no such thing ever materialized. On the contrary, animal spirits were in full display as deregulation and unprecedented low volatility took shape.

2017 cannot be closed out with a tip of the hat to crypto currency and even though I did not participate in it, it is fascinating to see a bubble form. Everyone at work is talking coins and reading up on blockchain. Bitcoin rallied from $9000 on thanksgiving night to $20000 by end of December and back to 14000$ before the close of the year. Can't say there was a dull moment in that 45 days.

So what worked and what did not.....

Biggest failure... GE. Boy did that come from left field. If there was one stock that I did not expect volatility in that low volatility environment, it was GE. The cash flow collapsed and everything from a PR perspective that could go wrong went wrong. New CEO and a whole lot of mea culpa later, things are not looking good in the short term. I took my lumps and bought some more. Hopefully my kids can use the money some day.

Fitbit did not go anywhere, but I did buy it further. I still believe the brand has tremendous value for a big player that wants to roll in that space. UA, NKE, GRMN etc, to name a few. Given some time I think the company itself can thrive in a wider space. I like the CEO a lot. An unassuming guy who is not rushed to defend the company's performance and yet active on social media as needed. I like the risk reward here, but then I have been wrong about small caps before. (DDD is a lesson in humility)

TGT is the big test for 2018. Will have to see how that works out. A bit up for now and like what I see there, but it is a challenging environment and will have to see how the turnaround plays out. The dividend is a good reason to hold and see how it goes.

2018 is going to be a year of "I told you so". The bull or the bear will end up saying it out loud from top of the mountain. I for one have no idea where the markets are going.  But I do think both volatility and interest rates are going up and so is inflation thanks to the shocking tax bill that was passed.

So, "Whatever" is all I have to say for 2018. I am still all in and will be that way with my own version of some hedging with VXX, TBF and some GLD. I am holding tight to the handles as the roller coaster reaches the top.

Happy New Year!!


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