With the year coming to an end, it’s interesting to look back and see how turbulent the last 12 months have been and how many crises we’ve survived.
The troubles in Europe and the US didn’t bring the financial system to its knees, our economy performed well, and our property markets didn’t collapse, as some doomsayers predicted. In fact, our markets finished the year in much better shape than they started.
While it looks like 2013 will be another “interesting” year and the media will continue with its barrage of negative messages, the good news is out there -- you just have to look for it.
In the spirit of optimism, here are 17 things you should feel good about.
- Biomedical gerontologist Aubrey de Grey thinks the first person to live to see his or her 150th birthday is already born. Medical technology is awesome.
- The International Monetary Fund reported that Australia is now the world’s 12th largest economy, steadily moving its way up the list and punching well above its weight for a nation of 23 million people.
- Swiss Banking giant Credit Suisse reported that Australians have the highest edian net worth in the world – $217,559 per person. By the way, that’s almost four times the net worth of each person in the U.S.
- A cancer-stricken man from Eritrea received an artificially grown trachea derived from his own cells. More awesome medical technology at work.
- Part of the reason our health system is a money pit is because we are living much longer than previously expected. I can think of worse problems.
- If you're reading this article, you're part of the 30% of the world with internet access. Some 70% of the planet would love to be in your shoes.
- Australia’s population is growing at around 1.4% per annum. Faster than almost every other developed nation.
- 94% of Australians who want a job are gainfully employed.
- Today's personal savings rate is higher than it has been for many, many years.
- Life expectancy for someone born today is eight years longer than someone born in 1960.
- Ten years ago, mobile phone technology consisted of a calculator and game called Snake. Today you can watch full-length movies, bank online and get driving directions on a phone half the size and a fraction of the price.
- Almost all news on the internet is free.
- You had to be rich to get on an aeroplane in 1950; today almost every Australian can afford to fly.
- In the U.S. and Europe, death by stroke has fallen 70% since the 1950s.
- In the early 1970s, an influential study predicted the world would exhaust all known supplies of oil and natural gas by 1992. “End of the world” predictions are nothing new.
- Interest rates are low, affordability is the best for a decade consumer sentiment is increasing, auction clearances are firm and prices are creeping up. Putting all this together, it looks like our property markets bottomed in the middle of 2012 and 2013 will be a better year for property.
- Around 0.3% of the world’s population live in Australia. Odds are, you're one of them.
Michael Yardney is a director of Metropole Property Strategists, which creates wealth for its clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He is best-selling author, one of Australia's leading experts in wealth creation through property and writes the Property Investment Update blog. Subscribe today and you'll receive a free video, The Golden Rules of Property Investment.