Stick a fork it in. We are done. The DJIA finishes 2011 up about 5%, the small-caps finish down about 5% and the Nasdaq and S&P 500 are somewhere in between. It wasn't a particularly impressive performance, but even worse is that it doesn't even begin to take into account how challenging the trading was for most of the year.
Making money this year required much more work and effort than in the past.
2011 was a year when the trading was often dominated by news headlines, particularly about Europe, but the biggest difference this year had to do with the structural changes in the way that things traded. The tight correlation between individual stocks, the dominance of ETFs and computerized trading, the lack of leadership and the soft momentum required plenty of adaptation to stay a step ahead. It made many of us nostalgic for the days when we could just buy and trade good charts.
Although conditions are very likely to remain challenging in 2012, I'm extremely optimistic about our prospects for trading success. I'm sure there will be some new developments and plenty of surprises along the way, but not only can we handle them, we will be able to exploit them and make some money.
I am hopeful that we can prosper and grow as traders together in the year ahead. My goal is to help as much as I can to make it one of your best years ever. It is going to require some hard work, and we will stumble at times, but if we maintain a positive attitude and stay at it day after day, we will do well.
Happy new year. I'll see you next week.