Financial Samurai 2010 Predictions And Resolutions

It's amazing how quickly time goes by and that I'm already writing my 2010 predictions and resolutions.  Usually, I get nostalgic this time of year, reminiscing about all the memories over the last 12 months.  Not this year.  Let us remember that we went through an economic blitzkrieg in 2009, and I am so glad it's over!

The one thing I am really hopeful for is a rebound in employment. Over the past 3 months, I've encountered so many positive job data points in my industry from friends and acquaintances on the job front, I'm absolutely hopeful those who are seeking jobs, or better opportunities will find them in 2010.  Companies always over fire during downturns, and therefore have to scramble to rehire in this upturn. Below are five more predictions you don't even have to think won't come true!


Here's a look at my 2010 predictions:

1) Inflation remains tame and therefore interest rates remain low. There's really only one figure I check frequently, and that's the US 10-year government treasury yield. The 10-year yield tells us so much: sentiment of the bond and stock market, inflation outlook, fear or greed, mortgage rate direction, and what foreigner's are getting in return for funding our debt.  The 10-yr yield will not breach 5% this year, and credit will therefore continue to be very cheap.

2) The US dollar strengthens. Literally nobody agreed with the post “A Weak Dollar Doesn't Matter Folks!” and that's fine by me.  Now you know why a weak dollar doesn't matter, because I'm bullish on the dollar, and the weakness is only temporary!  Look for the USD to strengthen against the Euro and the Yen in particular.  Given the Yen will weaken to 95-100, I'm bullish on Japan as a macro trade as well.  And no, I'm not biased because of the word Samurai!

3) The US markets do not double dip.  Instead, they continue to rebound. Specifically, look for the S&P 500 to rise 13% to 1,265 and the Dow to 12,000.  There is still hundreds of billions of dollars in money market funds which have missed this rally, and 2010 is when liquidity rushes into the markets.  You don't have to be too cute in this market recovery, since it is largely liquidity driven.

4) The most hyped IPO of the year will be Facebook, creating several new billionaires, and hundreds of new multi-millionaires in the San Francisco Bay Area.  SF-based Twitter doesn't go public, but instead, gets bought out with the richly valued stock of Facebook or another media titan.  There's no doubt once Facebook goes public, they will go on a buying spree, enriching even more innovative companies around the Bay Area.  SF-based LinkedIn is the dark horse, with a current perceived market valuation of $1 billion.  Seems pretty paltry compared to FB, and so I think they wait another year to ramp up more subscribers until analysts value the company closer to $2-3 billion.  SF property prices continue ticking higher as new wealth seeks multi-million dollar homes, and dollars fall from the sky!

5) The Samurai Fund outperforms the S&P 500 index by 300 basis points (3%)! The 15+ entries so far are wonderfully unique, and everybody has done a great job in putting their synopsis together.  With controlled randomness in picking names, each team member has a critical roll in keeping abreast of their names and providing opinions on whether to add to their positions or reduce.  Due to the outperformance, the Samurai Fund gets noticed by finance sites we never imagined would care about our tiny corner of the universe, and the team achieves fame!


1) Make a million bucks. Yes, it's a lofty goal that I've failed every year, but that doesn't stop me from trying!  The income can come from private equity investments, stock market, salary, rental income, and other, such as winning the World Series of Poker!  Setting lofty goals forces the mind to constantly think of new ways of surviving, while motivating me to work hard everyday.

2) Win a tennis tournament. I got beat by a 60 year old (!), ex Davis cup player in the semi-finals of a tournament this year due to a right calf cramp.  If I beat him, I would have won the tournament.  Disappointing, because my opponent was about to keel over at 5-5 in the 2nd set and give up.  It's not good enough to have skill, and mental fortitude if your body can't hold up.  So really, winning the tennis tournament is a physical health resolution of eating right, working out, and staying injury free.

3) Meet 36 new people, or 3 every month. It's really a joy meeting new people, be it in person or online and hear their story.  We can learn so much from others, no matter their background or age.  I will keep a log of who I meet, and write 3 things I've learned and admire about each new person.  The solution to “If I knew then, what I know now” is to simply seek people who've been where you are heading already and listen to them!

4) Try and always see the good in others. In “Everything Is Rational, The Answer To All Things Irrational”, I highlight a more peaceful way of thinking that soothes my raging soul.  It's important to stop taking slights/rejections personally, and just keep having fun.  It's very easy to be overly critical of others and act like a meanie, which is not the way I want to live my life.  We shouldn't try and impose our will on others.  Avoid associating with “black clouds,” those people who are naturally pessimistic and grumpy by nature!

5) Stay consistent, but not obsessive with this site. Any publisher will tell you that producing consistent content over the long run is hard.  This is why I really admire all of you who have started a website, no matter how big or small, as well as those who comment regularly!  It's also important not to get addicted to blogging to the detriment of family, friends, and work.  From 7am-7pm on weekdays my personal e-mail and Twitter account will continue to be off.

Guest post submissions are always welcome.  And even if they are declined, know that someone will accept it.  You can always publish on your own site too, like I plan to do for one of my rejected submissions from 3 months ago (too controversial they said)!  There are no subscriber, comments, revenue goals for the site.  The only thing I wish for is progress, my one word definition of happiness.

6) Put an acoustic album together of 10 songs I can play, sing and record. I've had my Martin Acoustic D-16 guitar for 10 years now, and it is in perfect shape because I don't practice enough!  Current songs on the list include: Black Bird by Paul McCartney, Every Rose Has Its Thorn by Poison, Five String Serenade and Fade Into You by Mazzy Star, First Day of My Life by Bright Eyes, Nothing Left to Lose by Matt Kearney, More Than Words by Extreme.  Need three more!

7) Learn to cook three delicious dishes for each meal of the day and put together a menu. Breakfast is easy.  Lunch a little bit harder, and dinner the hardest.  A resolution I talked with my wife about two years ago since she was so gung ho about cooking then.  Unfortunately, the enthusiasm sputtered out, so I'm going to do it on my own, and hopefully inspire her to make her own menu.

8) Save at least 50% of my 2010 gross income and build the “Freedom Fund” to at least $200,000 by year end. You can consider the Freedom Fund as my net worth barometer.  The traditional net worth calculation is an illusion. Cash and cash flow are the only things that matters!

2010 Predictions And Goals Wrap Up

Thanks everyone for coming to visit my small piece of cyberspace.  It's been extremely fun getting to know many of you.  The mutual knowledge sharing has been fantastic.  What are your 2010 predictions and goals?Please continue to challenge my thoughts until the blue fin tuna swims home, because without debate the mind will ossify.  May the majority of your goals come true in 2010!

Happy New Year!

Update – If you're curious how my 2010 predictions and goals turned out, check out my 2010 Year In Review. Thanks!

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Updated for 2021. Let the bull market continue with stocks at all-time highs!

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46 thoughts on “Financial Samurai 2010 Predictions And Resolutions”

  1. All very lofty and worthwhile goals, FS senpai. I’m somewhat on the opposite side of most of your predictions. That being said, I’m not bearish enough to be unhappy if the economy recovers: just extremely cautious.

    I especially liked Goal #6 as I have a D-18, and I know how to play most of the songs you had listed… the only exception is the outro to “More than Words” that they always cut out of the radio edit. Are you going to try for the legit version?
    .-= chubbuni13´s last blog ..The Bride of Frankenstein is Our Gardener =-.

    1. Hey Chubbuni13 – Sorry you are so bearish! It’s more fun being bullish. D-18, nice! The problem with playing, is not so much playing anymore, but singing well enough and playing. Need some voice work! lol. Yes, legi version.

  2. FS–I love the balance in your resolutions! The closer we move to a balanced life the happier we are, even if not all the components are in sync. You’re right not to put all of your goal eggs in one basket.

    The million dollar goal is the best one, not just because it’s monetary in nature. It’s one of those goals where even if you don’t hit your mark, you’re still heading in the right direction and will undoubtedly be better off for it by year end. A large bankroll–large being different for each person–is mostly about freedom and that’s always a worthwhile pursuit in a world where everyone wants a piece of our time and money.

    Good luck on all of your resolutions!
    .-= Kevin@OutOfYourRut´s last blog ..One Good Reason NOT to Cancel Your Collision Coverage =-.

  3. Bytta @151 Days Off

    Good on you, Sam! I do agree on some of your predictions but I’m not entirely sure about #2. When the market risk appetite increases, investors tend to put their money on risky, resources-based currencies such as AUD and NZD. Here in Australia, we’re talking about up to 2% interest rate increase in 2010. Normally this would have positive impact on the local currency. However, being the biggest economy in the world, everybody wants the US economy to recover and (obviously) it has bigger impact globally compared to our tiny economy. So, your prediction might come true. I might need to start buying USD now.

    Good luck with the Samurai Fund, the million bucks, the new friends, the tennis tournament, the gourmet dishes, the freedom fund and oh yes, the acoustic album. Are you going to record them and post them here? C’mon, you already put it out there, might as well do the whole she-bang :).

    .-= Bytta @151 Days Off´s last blog ..Day 2: Budget Review, Part Deux =-.

  4. JOhn DeFlumeri Jr

    I pray you are right on at least 4 of your 5 most certain predictions. The country need’s them to happen!

    John DeFlumeri Jr
    .-= JOhn DeFlumeri Jr´s last blog ..Podcast "President Obama, Anthrax, Biological Attacks" =-.

  5. @ Lean Life Coach

    In my own gym there was a small print out on the news board with a great quote

    “Doing only what is average keeps the average down”.

  6. You gave a bright predictions here and I can see that they will be as you predict. You do have a lofty goal, yet I believe you can achieve them. It’s all up to us to make things happen into our lives. :-)

    1. Hi Walter! Thanks for your thoughts. Yes, I’m a large majority of the time an optimist. Optimism is the only way to go! Thanks for visiting, I’ve gotta go check out your latest thoughts too. HNY!

  7. Hey good buddy! Nice post and great goals! One of my unspoken goals this year is to visit you over here more often than in 2009. (I know that’s not saying much, but on the bright side I am already tied with that number in 2010!)

    I love reading your work man! Keep up the great writing style and super content!
    .-= Brad´s last blog ..My 2010 Comprehensive List Of New Years Resolutions =-.

  8. LEN – Thanks for your thoughts. There’s NO DOUBT in my mind that at least 4 out of the 5 predictions will be correct! :)

    Regarding housing, prices are down about 10-15% in San Francisco, even after all this. There’s so much wealth here, and w/ Facebook, Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, Apple etc just killing it now, I don’t see the wealth dissapating anytime soon.

    2010 predictions don’t care about the long run. In the long run, nothing really matters!

    Lennar Corp to the moon!

    CHARLIE – That’s great about the 3 bags of stuff to giveaway! I may have to look in my closet and see what I can give away too.

    I’ve lived a pretty lean life so far, and don’t buy tons of stuff upon stuff, just what I need. My wife takes like 70% of the closet space, and we have a HUGE closet! :)


    .-= admin´s last blog ..Everything Is Rational – The Answer To All Things Irrational =-.

  9. Nice! I think all of those are very believable. And I would LOVE to see the dow get to 12000!! And also really hope the unemployment numbers go down down down. I’ve also heard buzz about more firms hiring in the last few months, so that’s a good sign.

    The new year snuck up on me very quickly this year so I didn’t make as many resolutions as I normally do, but one of them is simplifying my life and donating more to charity. I’m off to a good start already with a slightly late but successful boxing day today. Already have 3 bags of kitchen ware and linens ready to go to goodwill.

  10. I like your optimism, Sam! I hope your predictions turn out to be correct. :-)

    However, I have to say that I can see no reason to be bullish on the US Dollar when the Fed continues to destroy its value with its relentless and unprecedented money printing campaign.

    Maybe the dollar will rebound this year. Maybe inflation will be kept in check in 2010 – but the fundamentals will eventually catch up with both and then the fit will hit the shan, so to speak.

    Trust me. The fundamentals always win out in the end, just like they did at the end of the dot-com and housing bubbles.

    I preached this same story to anybody who would listen in 2006, 2007 and 2008 and for the most part it fell on deaf ears too.

    We now have a debt bubble that is waiting to go boom.

    Unless the Fed pulls a rabbit out of the hat and finds some way to effectively sop up the trillion-plus dollars they have printed up over the past 18 months, not to mention the trillions more they’ll need to print over the next 3 to 8 years to pay for the current Administration’s spending plans, things are going to end very badly for the US Dollar and we’re all going to the worse off for it.

    I hope you are right, my man. :-)

  11. #4 Is my favorite! Learning to be less judgemental in a culture that pretends perfection is achieveable, elitism is cool, and that money and it’s trappings are the key to happiness is a real challenge. My day job puts me in contact with some pretty rough operators, but unless you are dealing with a sociaopathic sadistic rage killer, most people in my experience have good in them, even if they are reluctant to show it. And compassion and kindness can actually make you healthier as well as happier.

  12. DON – Playing mixed doubles by June this year is one of our goals. Joining a tennis league is seriously one of the most fun things I’ve ever done. The camaraderie, competition, training, fun. It’s awesome! You guys will love it!

    btw, u getting a javacript: void(0) error too when trying to hit the “Reply” button? I gotta fix that.

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