Numerous headlines during the past year caused many investors to fear catastrophes that never materialized. For example, a showdown looms in congress over raising the federal debt limit; nonetheless a plunge off the fiscal cliff has been averted for now. And though Europe hardly solved its problems, the euro zone did not break up. As for China’s economy and stock maket , they did not crash. And as for politics, Obama’s re-election did not sink the stock market.