My predictions for 2009
At the end of last year I made six predictions for 2009. Let's see how they're doing.
Last December I was still writing a blog over on The Motley Fool and as a bit of fun, I wrote six predictions for 2009. Some financial, some not.
So I thought it was about time to check how I'm doing. Am I a premier league clairvoyant? Or the world's worst fortune teller?
Let's go through them one-by-one:
1. House prices will continue to fall for the whole of 2009
Well, Nationwide said this week that house prices rose for the third month running in July. According to the building society, house prices are higher than they were at the beginning of the year.
So maybe I've been proven wrong on this one. However, markets don't move in straight lines and I still think there's a good chance that prices will fall further at some point within the next year. But as to where they'll be on December 31st, I'm really not sure.
2. The Footsie will end the year above 5000
With the FTSE 100 currently standing at 4,601, this prediction looks more solid.
My rationale for this prediction was that stock markets normally look ahead and try to guess where the economy will be in a year or so's time. I reckoned that an economic recovery would be in sight by December 31st 2009.
I still think we'll probably see a return to growth in 2010 but that will probably be followed by several years of sluggish, anaemic growth.
If the economy is growing slowly, I think one can easily argue that 5000 is a fair valuation for the Footsie. But if the outlook from 2010 is only slow growth, it'll be hard to argue that share prices should go much higher. So I think it'll be some time before the Footsie returns to the 6000 point level.
3. Shares in Avanti Communications will perform well
Avanti Communications is a small satellite company in which I own shares. At the end of last year, its share price was around £1.60. Now the share price is £3. I'm a happy bunny.......
4. England will win the Ashes
We're 1-0 up......
5. 'The Independent' will cease publication
There has been some speculation that Russian oligarch, Alexander Lebedev, wants to buy the Indy, but Roy Greenslade's blog at 'The Guardian' says that the speculation is unfounded.
I still wouldn't completely rule out a Lebedev purchase, but if that doesn't happen, things look pretty dicey for the Indy.
I hope I'm wrong because it's still my favourite paper and, on top of that, one of my oldest friends is a journo there.
6. There will be no UK general election in 2009
If Gordon Brown is deposed in a putsch in the autumn, I reckon his successor would probably go to the polls immediately. However, I think it's much more likely that Brown will remain as leader and will till next year before he calls the election.
He'll be hoping that the economic news will be a bit brighter by then....
So it looks like four or five of my predictions may prove to be correct. Maybe.