As 2017 draws to a close, stop for a moment and reflect on the year that has passed. It’s been a long year but an amazing one. ‘Tech disruption’ became the buzz word of 2017. It was the dawn of a new era. A new way of doing things driven by innovative technology that continues to uproot the old ways in which we think, behave and do business. Disruption is starting to displace and shake up existing markets. It’s creating a brand new world without boundaries. A world free of control. Some of the big disruptive winners this year have been Amazon, Apple, Alibaba, Tencent, Tesla, Facebook and Alphabet. Tesla changed the world with its electric vehicle, Uber with its transportation service and Bitcoin with its Blockchain technology. What next you ask? We think this is just the beginning of what’s about to come. We’ll look back on the year that was and share with you our predictions for 2018. Whilst we don’t have a crystal ball, we can bet our bottom dollar that the disruption theme will play big into 2018. Some of the themes under this banner include: Artificial Intelligence, Amazon Go’s Machine Learning, Bitcoin, Solar energy, Tesla cars, Uber’s driverless car fleet, NBN Co, 5G, IOT, social media regulations, green tech, streaming services, robotics and robo-advice. It was also the year that fund managers jumped on the disruption bandwagon. Funds such as the Nick Griffin’s Munro Fund, the Spaceship Fund and the Evans & Partners Tech Disruption fund have done remarkably well. Here are a list of disruption winners and losers of 2017: To top it off, there’s one disruptive theme that continues to break records almost daily. It’s Bitcoin. The world went Bitcoin mad in 2017. Over the year the Cryptocurrency started at US$1,000 and is now almost US$20,000. That’s a return in excess of 1000%. Whilst Bitcoin may be just a fad, it’s the Blockchain technology that really matters. As well as becoming a potential replacement for the traditional banking system, the technology will be used for a variety of applications such as real estate, voting and ASX stock trading. It’s happening. We’ll definitely be seeing more of Blockchain technology in 2018. But it wasn’t just tech disruption that made headlines, despite concerns of an impending property collapse, stock market correction and rocket man starting a nuclear war, it was all sunshine and lollipops. In-fact 2017 was one of the best years we’ve had in quite a while. Almost every asset class returned stellar figures. The US Nasdaq Composite Index topped the 7,000 point mark for the first time and the S&P 500 Index & Dow Jones Industrial Indices finished at record highs driven in part by a long-awaited tax bill that is seconds away from being passed together with three US Federal Reserve interest rate rises. US stocks have done well boosted by positive earnings, rising oil prices and to top it off the Santa Claus rally has delivered on point, as it has does time and time again. Most of the rally came in response to Trump’s push for deregulation and the impending passage of a tax bill will lift corporate earnings and smash taxes. The Dow Jones Index closed the year up almost 25%. Not a bad year after all. Australian markets followed suit with the ASX 200 Index recording one of its best years in stock market performance delivering healthy gains to investors in almost every asset class. The big four banks remain under pressure due to shady lending practices which eventually saw the introduction of a Royal Banking Commission, brought in to regain confidence and whip everyone inline. That will see our dodgy bankers address lending practices and money laundering scandals. Banks aside, we’re seeing a resurgence in the mining and resources sector with exploration, production and maintenance activity in resources set to expand significantly next year. This includes Adani’s $16 billion Carmichael coal project and all the work expected to come with it but it’s not just coal projects that are driving the sector. A surprise gold rush in the Pilbara together with a Lithium, Cobalt, Graphite and LNG boom will help steer a slew of new mining projects going forward. The mining downturn is nearly over. Retailers and landlords face incoming headwinds from the Amazon threat which is still yet to play out locally and the telco sector continues to struggle because of the $50bn NBN lemon that fails on…

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