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2012: Pundits and Prognosticators

At the beginning of each year, market analysts and economists publish their outlook for the future. It makes for an interesting mix of bulls, bears, and everything in between. Here’s a handful of these new reports.


Citigroup’s Equity Strategy team presents an upbeat picture for the next few years. It anticipates a number of major influential factors that should support a new secular bull market run. Among these: energy independence, a local manufacturing renaissance, technology-based transformational change, demographics, a housing sector bottom, and fiscal reform.


[CLICK HERE to read Citi’s special report, “The Raging Bull Thesis;” December 2011.]


Analysts from Merrill Lynch Wealth Management believe the key to regained prosperity lies with America’s banks. They assert that if/when there is positive news from the real estate and banking sectors, outperformance will evolve from emerging markets to developed markets, from growth to value securities, from the technology sector to banking, and money will flow from bonds to equities. The wealth manager sees a huge amount of cash on the sidelines that could easily take markets up to double-digit growth.


[CLICK HERE to view video Outlook 2012: Prospects for Growth in the Year Ahead at; January 2012.]


LPL Financial Research maintains that the 2012 elections could have major consequences for investors. It notes that while “the first three quarters of a presidential election year are usually pretty flat, the fourth quarter is not and tends to break out. This breakout was to the upside in 1992, 1996 and 2004 and to the downside in 2000 and 2008.”


[CLICK HERE to read “Outlook 2012;” LPL Financial Research; November 2011.]

Also, check out the USA Today article that corrals industry perspectives on everything from election year wisdom to an analysis that “if stocks follow their normal historical pattern of bottoming in years that end in 2, we could launch into a new cyclical bull market.”


[CLICK HERE to read “10 reasons stocks may rise in 2012” at; January 3, 2012.]


In its 2012 outlook report, Wells Fargo Advisors reflects cautious optimism for slow but steady economic improvement throughout the year. Here’s one of it observations: “Investors are more likely to be surprised in 2012 by better economic performance than continued weak economic activity. Apparently, American investors, consumers and the unemployed/marginally employed/dissatisfied employed are so downtrodden that we don’t even expect good news. Perhaps we would prefer to be pleasantly surprised.”


[CLICK HERE to request a free copy of, “Preparing for Better Days: 2012 Economic and Market Outlook”; Wells Fargo Advisors; January 2012.]


Such sentiments remind us that when it rains, it pours. But history – ranging from world, economic, market, and our personal experiences – also tends to show that when times are good…they’re very good. Between the hopefulness that is generally fueled by an election year and the pervasive feeling that enough is enough (or…it just can’t get much worse), it would appear that 2012 could be a better year for most folks.


If you’re feeling that old optimism rising in your gut, contact us. Let’s position your investment both defensively and offensively to take advantage of what lies ahead.