- Kully Samra is UK Branch Director, Charles Schwab. The opinions expressed are his own.-
The last year was an unbelievable roller coaster ride in the financial world. In the U.S. we saw the S&P 500 plunge to 667, a 12-year low, in March, and then rise over 60 percent from that low as the economy moved away from the edge of the cliff and started to recover.
As a result tried-and-true lessons were brought to light for investors, including knowing your risk tolerance, understanding what "long term" really means, and the ongoing benefits of diversification and rebalancing.
At Charles Schwab we remain relatively optimistic on the prospects for the U.S. markets in 2010 as economic conditions continue to improve. The U.S. economy has bounced well off the bottom and continues to improve, although not in a straight line, and the growing question is whether growth can be sustained.
However, we are careful not to be too buoyant in our beliefs and do suspect that gains will be much more muted than they have been since the March lows. This has already started to become apparent in recent weeks with the market moving more sideways than upward. In general however, we do believe that the trend is likely to remain higher.