Seven Great Surprises for Investors in 2018, Announced by The Beachwood Group

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Bitcoin, housing, and oil lead the list of surprises that could shake markets next year

Governments will crack down on the Bitcoin frenzy, warns The Beachwood Group.

"The rise of Uber and self-driving cars leads Generation Z to view automobiles as symbols of soot and vanity"

The Beachwood Group, a research and investment firm based in Los Angeles, has revealed Seven Great Investment Surprises for 2018. To create the list, The Beachwood Group and its global partners scour worldwide financial markets to identify political and economic events that could shake up conventional wisdom. In some cases, the events would be good news for stocks; in some cases they would be hurt. The Seven Great Surprises are not forecasts of highly likely events; instead they are aimed to keep investors vigilant as they head into the New Year.

Here are the Seven Great Surprises for 2018:
(1)    Congress and the European Parliament pressure the Federal Reserve Board and the European Central Bank to audit and regulate Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies. After watching Bitcoin prices catapult in 2017, central banks worry that too many small investors are vulnerable to manipulation and “secret mining” operations. The government assault scares Bitcoin investors, and gold prices jump as an alternative.
(2)    “Dead Malls” come back to life. After being nearly exterminated by Amazon and other online retailers, malls re-emerge as “experiential destinations.” Consumers rediscover town center “storefront” malls, where they can see live shows, take exercise classes, and try out eclectic restaurants.
(3)    Housing sputters in high tax states like California, New Jersey, and Massachusetts under the force of two factors: (1) The new Tax Act limits state and local tax deductions, and (2) rising interest rates squeeze new borrowers.
(4)    Oil prices leap before dropping down again. A stronger world economy pushes energy prices higher on fears of a shortage. Airline and chemical shares wobble. But then oil producers re-open previously capped wells, sending prices back down in the second half of the year.
(5)    Pro-western Middle East powers including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Israel form a tacit “alliance against barbarism” and conduct joint military exercises to prepare for any attacks by ISIS or Iran. Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia is hailed as a visionary, as women drive themselves to pro-government rallies before heading off to movie theaters.
(6)    A movement begins on college campuses to ban private automobiles and to shame automobile owners. The rise of Uber, Lyft, and self-driving cars leads Generation Z to view autos as unnecessary symbols and sources of soot and vanity.
(7)    A Wikileaks clone reveals secret deliberations of the Chinese Politburo and the embarrassing riches amassed by “princelings,” sons and daughters of high officials. Fearing a brutal purge reminiscent of the Cultural Revolution, Chinese billionaires and multi-millionaires dump Yuan onto the market, pushing down the value of the currency, and pushing up real estate prices in Vancouver and Melbourne.

About the Beachwood Group
The Beachwood Group is a private investment research firm headquartered in Los Angeles. The Beachwood Group is engaged in a spectrum of asset classes, including media, leisure, technology, and alternatives. Further information can be found at http://www.thebeachwoodgroup.com

The views expressed reflect the current opinion of The Beachwood Group on this date. These views are subject to change and The Beachwood Group is not engaged to advise you of any changes in the views expressed.

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Taylor Cassidy
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