It was so tempting to start this final newsletter of the year with the same words I used last year: "we've got to the end of the year — a good year, a forgettable year, a year that for investors was not too different from the preceding two years". But that would have been altogether too bland, and a year-end newsletter should never be that (even if it is factually correct).
I was also tempted to summarise the year's economic drivers and major market themes — however, that also risked blandness, not to mention repetition. I went to my favourite weekly newsletter and reviewed the key topics from each of the last year’s issues and — you guessed it — they were virtually the same as the topics through the 2014 year. The year can essentially be summarised by: China's growth, impending interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve, bonds and interest rates, currency, commodity prices and the US economy. Yawn.
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