While it may not seem to be the case as far as the casual observer is concerned, 2018 is actually representing a period of some stability. We are two years on from the shock Presidential vote in the US and the surprise decision of the British electorate to leave the European Union.
The German election is another important factor to have been dealt with and while the ramifications of those results are still being felt, we are in relatively calm waters as a global economy.
Currency markets remain volatile but other investments have enjoyed steady growth and here are four to consider as the year draws to a close.
By the end of 2017, the price of crude oil stood at $52.51 per barrel but, as of October 2018, that figure has jumped to $69.42. The price is set to climb further before the end of the year and those numbers also show a healthy year-on-year increase from 2016’s price of $40.68.
Independent sources in the financial press have identified this as a key area for growth with some oil stocks having risen by 30% since the start of January. No investment is without risk but those media outlets also point to room for further increases between now and the end of 2018.
Various trading platforms are now making cryptocurrency easier to obtain so, while the blockchain may remain a mystery for some, there are now crypto cash machines and it is possible to transfer traditional currencies into Bitcoin via established eWallets.
In terms of investing, this is an area which has seen extreme peaks and troughs but now appears to be enjoying a period of steady growth. Figures on Bitcoin show that the cryptocurrency is now leveling out at around the $7000 US mark and experts predict that following the volatile period that saw a peak of $13,860 in December 2017, a more stable future is in store with plenty of room for additional growth.
Oil is on the increase as we have seen but so are commodities. Energy commodities are a strong area right now and one where steady growth was correctly predicted by The World Bank as early as April this year.
At one point in 2017, amidst an uncertain year, the Goldman Sachs commodities index dropped by 15% before recovering and ending with a rise of 5.8% from 2016. For this year, forecasts hint at a rise of a further 10% by the end of December.
The World Bank now suggests that potential investors should be targeting the energy sector as an area with strong potential for 2018 and beyond.
Another area of the financial world that has enjoyed steady growth in 2018 is that of stocks. They are recommended to investors primarily because of their potential for greater returns than a traditional bond and although this year may be ending in some uncertainty, there is the potential for increase.
In fact, while some investors will be wary after a dip in stocks took away the gains that had been made over the course of 2018, the October fall could make this the optimum time to get involved as the potential to claw those losses remains going into the end of the year.