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A Look Back at the Year that Was - 2016

  • 1/10/2017 11:00:00 AM
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The following is a guest blog post from Simon Calton, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Carlton James (www.carltonjamesgroup.com), an investment firm that specializes in hospitality, property and technology.

As 2017 begins many of us will rejoice in the fact that it will be ‘the year!’ or ‘our year’. For as long as I can remember I have myself fallen into this standard thought process.


It’s easy to blame any issues in your life on a year. It is also easy to look back over 2016 as a horrendous one.

The disenfranchisement of societies across the world was a hot media topic through 2016. Throughout the middle east, Columbia, the UK and the U.S. we have seen different signs of the same issue. Societies feel let down by their governments and dictated to, whether in an official dictatorship or a dictatorship presented in the cloak of democracy.

Many other issues you could say were intertwined with these disconnects of societies from government. Immigration, the stock markets, and how religious sectors were perceived were all connected to feelings of being let down and wanting someone to blame. Unfortunately, many societies have had their disenfranchisement manipulated by the very people that caused the disenfranchisement in the first place. This is a story as old as time and one that will of course continue beyond our lifetimes I’m sure.

But 2016 wasn’t all bad and I am a true believer in all roads leading to now. It is unfortunate that we as humans are designed to memorise negative information more so than positive. This of course relates back to our basic instincts. For example, memorising what a predator looks like was more important that memorising what a flower was. It’s human nature. But it is important for us to fight through the shackles of human nature and remember the positive parts of 2016 and see it for what it is - a section of time where good and bad things happened. Let’s take a look at some of the positives from last year.

OPEC and other countries came to a deal toward the end of 2016 to freeze oil production which saw a stabilisation in oil prices. As oil is so intrinsic to our economies this was an important step. There is a long way to go with oil stability and I’m sure we will see further issues in the future, but for now this has helped confidence return in a turbulent market place. In addition to this, the UAE declared the age of oil over and has vowed to look ahead to new commerce for the Middle East. As technology has progressed we can see many areas of renewable energy advancement which has also come out of 2016. Solar energy is making a great impact and with many other technologies under development, renewable energy is hot topic for the future.

Additionally, world hunger was at its lowest in over 25 years, electric cars took a bigger part of the automotive industry, increasing by 41% in quarter one alone, the Americas were declared measles free, and a peace treaty was signed in Columbia ending a 50-year war. Much of these positives get overlooked because the death of a celebrity makes the year “terrible.”

So what does 2017 have in store for us? The world will continue to revolve. Donald Trump will be president of the United States, which will see some uncertainty, as even I myself don’t know the Donald Trump we will see come January 20th. It’s clear that his lack of experience has already shown signs of causing issues, along with his conflicts of interests with his businesses. On the positive side, perhaps his global business experience along with the power of the U.S. trade agreement can shake up some long needed changes in U.S. foreign policy, which will have a positive effect on the U.S. economy.

Article 50 will be invoked between the UK and Europe, in what has been affectionately called Brexit (remember ‘Brexit means Brexit’). This will cause some turmoil in the UK marketplace through 2017. What turmoil very much depends on how severe the split from Europe will be. This will of course see positive effects on market places like the U.S., where people move funds in preparation for the worse.

All in all, what is certain for 2017 is that there will be positive events and negative events. What you focus on and what guides you as a person will be dependent on you. Within every solution to every problem there is an opportunity for growth and development. Find the solution and discover the opportunity.

Simon

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