Anyone who invests regularly will inevitably spend a lot of time thinking about which nations and bourses are doing well, where the smart money is going, and which is likely to be the next index to soar or collapse.
But sometimes, and particularly at the start of a new year, it is worth stepping back, looking at the big picture, and asking some hard questions.
Over the last decade, fewer and fewer companies have been listing their shares at all. After 10 years, that decline looks too well-established to be dismissed as mere blip. It is going to carry on. Equity markets, at least as we have been familiar with them for the last 50 years, are dying on their feet.