The Motley Fool

These 5 factors will decide if stock markets will make you rich in 2018

The content of this article was relevant at the time of publishing. Circumstances change continuously and caution should therefore be exercised when relying upon any content contained within this article.

Will be stock market make you rich this year? Nobody knows for sure, but a number of key indicators could give you a fairly good idea.

Interest rates, wages, inflation and the value of the pound will all affect UK markets this year, but online platform AJ Bell has produced five lesser-known signals that may also indicate whether share prices will continue to drive forwards, or come to an abrupt halt. 

5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!

According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…

And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential...

All five look encouraging right now, says investment director Russell Mould. “None of them is flashing danger, if anything all are flashing green for go.” 

Transportation indices.

If nothing is being shipped, nothing is being sold. The good news here is that both the FTSE All-Share Industrial Transportation and America’s Dow Jones Transports indices are currently powering higher, offering a ‘green’ light to global stocks. The rising oil price is maybe another positive indicator.

Dr Copper

Copper has a wide range of industrial uses which makes it a great barometer for global economic health. The price hit a six-year low of around $4,470 per metric ton during the January 2016 China sell-off, but has surged back to $7,087, according to Comex. If Dr Copper remains in sound health, markets should continue to show their mettle.


When investors are feeling bullish, they are more willing to take a chance on smaller companies. Market minnows tend to fly in the good times and fall faster during the bad. Blue-chip indices such as the FTSE 100 and Dow Jones Industrial are currently grabbing all the headlines, but AJ Bell reports that both the UK’s FTSE Small Cap and America’s Russell 2000 are also making solid progress. If this continues, expect more good news. Keep your eyes peeled.

Market volatility

Volatility can be the investor’s friend, as it gives you the chance to buy shares at a discount and sell them at a premium. However, history shows that share prices do best when making modest, steady gains, rather than swinging up and down. Last year was relatively smooth sailing on the FTSE 100, which posted the lowest level of volatility since 2005, with just 17 open-to-close movements of more than 1% throughout the whole year. As Mould points out, this does not suggest we are in the midst of a frenzied bubble that is simply itching to burst.

Dividend yields

Company management teams are reluctant to cut shareholder payouts, as this dents investor confidence and hammers the share price. Investors should therefore keep alert for signs of dividend stress but currently the outlook seems healthy, with the FTSE All-Share yielding 3.6%, against just 1.31% on a 10-year gilt, a premium of 230 basis points. The index has only topped 200 bps twice in the last decade, and on both occasions it promptly made healthy gains. The FTSE 100 has an even higher yield.

Naturally, a black swan event could smash all these indicators to pieces. However, these market signals may help you look beyond the current doom-mongering about an impending market crash.

5 Stocks For Trying To Build Wealth After 50

Markets around the world are reeling from the coronavirus pandemic…

And with so many great companies trading at what look to be ‘discount-bin’ prices, now could be the time for savvy investors to snap up some potential bargains.

But whether you’re a newbie investor or a seasoned pro, deciding which stocks to add to your shopping list can be daunting prospect during such unprecedented times.

Fortunately, The Motley Fool is here to help: our UK Chief Investment Officer and his analyst team have short-listed five companies that they believe STILL boast significant long-term growth prospects despite the global lock-down…

You see, here at The Motley Fool we don’t believe “over-trading” is the right path to financial freedom in retirement; instead, we advocate buying and holding (for AT LEAST three to five years) 15 or more quality companies, with shareholder-focused management teams at the helm.

That’s why we’re sharing the names of all five of these companies in a special investing report that you can download today for FREE. If you’re 50 or over, we believe these stocks could be a great fit for any well-diversified portfolio, and that you can consider building a position in all five right away.

Click here to claim your free copy of this special investing report now!

Harvey Jones has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

Our 6 'Best Buys Now' Shares

Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.

So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we're offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our 'no quibbles' 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee.

Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this.