Welcome back folks. It’s been TOO long since the last post. We’re going to touch a couple hot political topics on the ballot shortly. First, we should feel wonderful today as ALL of us Americans are able to cast our opinions in how our future will be shaped. No matter who you’re voting for, you’re alright!

Now, digging right into it, let’s start big picture then go local. In my previous post, one of the 14 predictions for 2014 back in January was that the Republicans would take back full control of the Senate. It was a riskier proposition back in January, but today there’s a good chance it will happen. What exactly would a GOP sweep mean post-election day though?

Honestly, if the R’s don’t change their attitude a bit and if Mitch McConnell doesn't learn how to press the fast forward button on his time machine about 30 years, it won’t mean much. However, if the younger guard of the GOP (e.g., Marco Rubio) are able to ignite a new fiscally conservative / socially moderate coalition, they could put some major pressure on Obama to step up and pose a real threat with their Presidential candidates in 2016.       Prediction: R’s will own the Senate (barely).

Going local, let’s spotlight the IL Governor’s race. You may know that this one is close to my Orange and Blue blood. Anyone who lives in the state of Illinois knows that we have the worst budget gap in the country, save California. Locals know the details, so let’s spare most of it. But, essentially our current Governor Pat Quinn was Rob Blagojevich’s crony assistant and has done nothing but allow Chicago politics to flourish, along with the damn potholes on my street left unfilled! Most think he must go. We have, on the Republican side Bruce Rauner, who’s story is actually fairly intriguing if you actually read up on it. The guy has a clean record, has grown many businesses, has given millions to charity, employed thousands of people, and has a great family. He’s exactly the type of person we want to create an efficient & effective government. If you watch any advertisement for Pat Quinn all he does is bash Rauner as some 'billionaire' who’s going to cut his own taxes and take away your birth control. He's go no record to run on. I cant’t predict the results of this race though. The Democratic machine runs deep blue in IL and Rauner could face the same fate as Mitt Romney did with inabilities to connect with voters- this will be very close!

Briefly, around the country we have some other key races to watch:

Colorado Senate: Watch young gun GOP stud Garner take it down with ease

Senate: Iowa – Ernst (R), North Carolina- Hagan (D), New Hampshire – *Scott Brown (R) *UPSET

No matter who you vote for, please take the 15 minutes to do it. This is an amazing opportunity as Americans we must not forget. Remember that, it’s US as a nation who elect the teams who play the game in our nations capitols. If we’re unhappy with something, it’s up us to educate ourselves and make our voices heard to get the right people to fix it. We have to act, and we are all affected.

Thanks for taking the time and for your eyeballs. As always, appreciate all the individual comments and feedback that keep me honest!    #GameOn #Politics2014

Happy New Year to all and hope things have started off nice and smoothly as work and the weekly grind begin anew this year. Getting back into the swing of things, AIW is kicking off this month with fourteen predictions, of which I’m hoping some will actually come to full fruition, while hoping others don’t. Also, be on the lookout for further enhancements to the blog including a stock portfolio tracker in the coming weeks so you all can keep me honest with trade recommendations.

1.  The broader domestic U.S. stock markets will see at least a 10% correction from 1/1/2014 levels. I think the DJIA could go as low as 14k before possibly rebounding.

2.  The civil war in Syria will rage on. The United States will once again need to decide whether it will intervene or not.

3.  Both Gold #GLD and Natural Gas #UNG will end the year higher than their last tick 12/31/2014

4.  The Federal Reserve will keep interest rates at near 0% through 2014 with no increases occurring until at least 2015. This runs counter to #1 (above) but it could happen!

5.  Tesla Motors #TSLA will end the year above $200 / share- yes there’s still time to get in!

6.  The Obama administration will strike a full deal with Iran. It will remain to be seen how serious the regime is about peaceful use for nuclear material.

7.  Obamacare will face mounting pressure as bureaucracy and higher prices will test the law’s ability to stand permanently on its own feet.

8.  Republicans will maintain control of the House of Representatives. They may have a shot at retaking the Senate but that chamber will be very close right till election day.

9.  Emerging markets will continue to outperform their North American / Western European counterparts. Look to countries like Brazil #EWZ / India #TTM, and China feeders Japan #EWJ / Australia #EWA broader markets to hold up nicely.

10.  Privacy: after Target’s most recent breach will become a much larger issue as more individuals and enterprises experience hack attacks which often compromise important personal, financial and medical data. Look at companies like Symantec and Barracuda Networks #CUDA to gain traction.

11.  The health craze will continue and Whole Foods / Trader Joe’s imitators will begin to emerge. In other news, expect the debate on GMO food safety and labeling to heat up further still.

12.  Healthcare and biomedical science industries will continue to show strength in the US and abroad due to aging populations and searches for cures to new diseases.

13.  Watch out Colorado and Washington- there gonna be a high test of the new marijuana laws in these states. Stiff regulation and monitoring will help these infant industries grow safely.. so long as they don’t appear to cause harm to the population at large.

14.  China will overtake the United States in terms of GDP… Naw, that ain’t gonna to happen this year. Maybe in 2015+ though!