The Year Ahead: 10 Trends

Max Osbon - January 3, 2018

To kick off the year we’ve decided to publish our crystal ball list for 2018. From blockbuster IPOs to Blockchain billionaires, here are ten of our favorite emerging developments.

1. Blockbuster IPO. One of the big five goes public: Aramco, Airbnb, Dropbox, Uber, or WeWork.

2. Record dealmaking: $4T, or 20% more than any previous year.

3. Private deal access for retail investors. *This is one of my personal favorite trends*. New technology is making it easy for investors to gain access to small ticket ($50K minimums) private equity deals with attractive valuations and cash flows. The headaches of fund administration used to make this impossible, until now.

4. Cryptocurrency market making: A major bank like Goldman or JPMorgan will post a $1B+ profit from cryptocurrency market making. We already know that Goldman is slated to open its crypto trading desk in June of this year. As banks bring professional crypto services to retail investors we expect to see a bump in the bank’s bottom line.

5U.S airline safety: another perfect record in 2018. This is truly amazing given there are 1.5 million people in the sky at any given time. Cheap and safe air travel is a modern marvel that doesn’t get enough credit. It’s one of many examples of modern day accessibility that should not be taken for granted.

6. Investment education services will boom in 2018. Products like the Skimm are a perfect example. The Skimm is designed to appeal to young women readers, educating them on economics by mixing Bloomberg level quality information with colorful storytelling.

7. Republicans will lose the House, the Senate or both.

8. Amazon picks Boston for its HQ2. Plenty of top talent, easy airport access, a big enough space in Suffolk Downs and a dominant presence on the East Coast clinches the deal.

9. Bitcoin reaches $100K. That would put its market cap at $1.7T. For context, global banknotes and coins are worth $7T and the total global money supply is $90T. Gold is worth $8T. Despite its many known challenges, we’re giving Bitcoin first mover advantage.

10. No recession in 2018… or 2019.

Byron Wien, former CIO of Morgan Stanley has authored an annual list of investment surprises for 33 years running. John and Byron worked together at Morgan Stanley, and we credit Byron’s commitment to investment writing as the inspiration for our weekly Osbon Capital articles. Click here to see a list of Byron’s 2018 investment surprises.

– Max Osbon









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