Global share market wrap-up for 2017

Last year was a very good year for most share markets around the world. It started off with many commentators expecting a Trump-caused crash because of his unorthodox policies and leadership style. So far, we’re still waiting on that one.

The ALL ORDINARIES (Index:^AXAO) (ASX:XAO) finished the year at 6,167.30, which represented a 7.8% rise, soundly beating the average Australian property return of 9.1% when also including dividends. Aussie investors have waited some time for the index to rise above the 6,000 level again and this year it managed it.

The S&P 500 Index completed the year by ending at 2,673.61, an impressive 19.4% rise, which was one of its best years in a while.

The NASDAQ Composite Index had an even stronger year, thanks to strong contributions from Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft. It rose by 28.2% in 2017.

The UK stock market, represented by the FTSE 250 Index, shrugged off the Brexit effect and rose by 14.7%.

The Nikkei 225 Index is the stock market index to represent Japan’s share market. Japan may finally be growing its economy thanks to Prime Minister Abe’s policies. The Nikkei 225 Index rose by 19.1% in 2017.

The Hang Seng Index, from Hong Kong, rose by an amazing 35.1%. This has been the best performing index of the ones I’ve mentioned and it has nearly reached its pre-GFC high.

Last year has shown that it can be financially dangerous to miss out on the growth of shares, whether it’s local shares or global shares.

I highly doubt that all of the above indexes will be able to post growth of even half the level of growth they generated in 2017. Rising interest rates and high price/earning ratios will make it hard to grow again this year. Donald Trump’s tax cuts are likely factored into the current market valuations already.

If I had to pick one index to beat the rest this year, I would choose the NASDAQ index because the tech giants have a great chance of continuing their strong growth this year. You can get exposure to this index by investing in BETANASDAQ ETF UNITS (ASX: NDQ).

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Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended BETANASDAQ ETF UNITS. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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