5. With the majority of professional advisors (myself included) preaching the benefits of global diversification to their clients, 2014 looks more like a draw than an outright victory in the harsh light of December’s low winter sun. Consider the fact that, through last week, the MSCI World Index gained just 2% on the year, with nearly 5% drops for both the MSCI Emerging Markets index and the EAFE index of developed markets outside of the United States. Ironically, the single best-performing foreign market in the world, the Shanghai Composite of mainland Chinese equities (up 45%) is the only one that U.S. investors could not actually put their money into.
6. The parents of a number of stars have ended up with their Oscar-winning child’s awards. Angeline Jolie’s late mum, for a number of years, had the best supporting actress award her daughter won for her role as the troubled Lisa Rowe in Girl, Interrupted. Nicole Kidman’s best actress Oscar for The Hours now sits on her parents’ mantelpiece in Sydney, where neighbours apparently pass by for visits. Hollywood’s darling du jour, Jennifer Lawrence, keeps the award she won last year for her leading role in Silver Linings Playbook on top of her parents’ piano at home in Kentucky.