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The Year in Review

The Parks Wealth Report is a short weekly newsletter that keeps you up-to-date on the market and other interesting non market-related info. Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC

 

2012 was a surprising year. Although many of the most notable events reflected ongoing economic and fiscal issues – including crises in the European Union, slowing growth in China, growing debt in the United States, government intervention in Brazil, and worries about fiscal cliff – investors remained optimistic and many global stock markets delivered rather attractive performance for the year. Here are a few of the headline events which caught our attention during 2012:

  • China became an economic power, officially
  • All debate about when China’s economic importance would rival that of the United States was put to rest when The Economist added a section devoted entirely to China. The last time the publication introduced a new country was 1942. It was devoted to The United States.

  • It’s all relative: the U.S. and global recovery
  • China’s growing importance did not diminish the role of the United States. U.S. economic growth may have been modest during 2012, but it was positively robust relative to that of other developed nations. In fact, the U.S. was called the sole bright spot in global economic recovery.

  • Greece? Really?
  • Greece’s ATHEX composite index was the top-performing stock market in Europe during 2012. Despite five years of recession and record unemployment, it closed about 33 percent higher at year’s end, beating Germany’s DAX. The ATHEX remained significantly below its previous highs.

  • “For Euro Crisis Relief Bang Head Here”
  • Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s tongue-in-cheek headline reflected ongoing frustration with events in Europe. While Europe faces complicated issues that are likely to take time to resolve, there are reasons for optimism including the region’s pursuit of a banking union.

  • The Supreme Court did what?
  • Offering headlines that rivaled the memorable ‘Dewey Beats Truman,’ both CNN and Fox News misreported the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act. The Act remains controversial.

  • Like a phoenix, Bank of America rose from the ashes
  • After delivering the worst performance in the Dow Jones Industrial Average during 2011, Bank of America became the best performer for 2012. One of the biggest beneficiaries was Warren Buffet who stepped in when no one else would. He invested $5 billion in preferred shares and received 700 million in warrants.

  • Not ready for prime time: NFL replacement officials
  • Early in the season, pundits tried to identify the biggest blunders made by the NFL’s temporary referees each week. It wasn’t easy. From cheap shots to reviews for teams that had no time outs to the infamous simultaneous catch call, the temporary refs made fans appreciate the real thing.
    • Australian police said Apple Maps can kill you
    • Apple maps were called a lot of things during 2012, but accurate was not one of them. San Francisco had a French Quarter, Stratford-on-Avon disappeared, and the town of Mildura moved to the middle of Australia’s

    Murray Sunset National Park. Since the park has no water supply, Australian police issued a warning.

    Weekly Focus – Think About It

    Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results. 

    --George S. Patton, U.S. Army general

     

    The rest of the report can be found here.

     

    Please be sure to visit the Parks Wealth Management website at www.parkswm.com

    Best regards,

    James T. Parks, CFP®, AEP, AIF
    President and Wealth Advisor

    Parks Wealth Management
    216 E. Ridgewood Ave., 2nd Floor

     

     

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