As we look back on a year filled with surprises (from its opening days onward), it’s natural to wonder what to expect in 2017. This is especially so, since most of those surprising events have yet to play out in full – from the political climate in the U.S., to the Brexit referendum in the U.K. to uncertainty in government bond and oil prices around the world.
I am reminded of a favorite quote from The Wall Street Journal personal financial columnist Jason Zweig, who once observed that “Wall Street often resembles a blindfolded person looking in a darkened closet for a pair of black shoes that isn’t there.” Interestingly, Zweig made his comment back in October 2008, when we had yet to see the light at the end of a very dark financial tunnel. I think the sentiment fits nearly any global market and any market climate, including whatever 2017 has in store for us.
Instead of getting too hung up on the forecasts from pundits, prognosticators or politicians, let’s take a moment to pause and celebrate the truly remarkable life force that has long driven our financial markets: human enterprise.
Our capital markets are, at heart, a place for people to participate in the business of being human. We express our humanity in the ways we choose to invest and the investments we choose to make. We keep the beat alive by positioning ourselves to make the most of a future we cannot see. As individuals, we may win or lose. But based on the millennia of evidence to date, whenever we come together to invest in buildings and businesses, sales and services, hopes and dreams – we have collectively come out ahead.
Will 2017 bring surging markets, scary tumbles or an eclectic mix? Time will tell. In the meantime, don’t forget what’s behind the data points and the drama. Remember the millionaires and entrepreneurs, the men and women, the energetic youth and experienced veterans among us. Think of the billions of souls and their trillions of dollars, coming together as we speak to build innovative new services, sales and solutions; to participate in our global capital markets; and to invest in humanity – just like you are.
Thank you so much for your business! As 2017 unfolds, I hope you’ll continue to focus on the durability of human enterprise. I also hope you’ll continue to turn to us for financial advice and personal inspiration. Last but not least, I hope you’ll remain invested in your own hopes and dreams – onward, into the future.