In choosing a word to sum up 2016, "unexpected" might be near the top of many people's lists.
In a year of market volatility and political shocks, a feeling of uncertainty was the prevailing mood amongst investors.
But, despite this, the UK economy ended the year in surprisingly robust form.
Economic activity was certainly stronger than initially feared following the EU Referendum in June, helped by a combination of weaker sterling and looser monetary and fiscal policies.
This went a long way towards cushioning the impact of rising uncertainty for households and firms ahead of the UK's negotiations with the EU.
As we enter 2017, a number of factors are converging to ensure that the next 12 months will be just as unpredictable.
So, what should be the key considerations for investors this year and how should they navigate them to ensure success?
Outlook for the UK economy
At UBS Wealth Management, our view is that there is little reason why 2017 shouldn't mark the eighth consecutive year of expansion for the UK economy.
However, there are a number of undercurrents which may well prove to be sobering factors for investors over the next 12 months, not least the triggering of Article 50 and subsequent negotiations on Britain's exit from the EU.
At the time of writing, much remains unclear about what Britain's negotiating position will be.
However, the pressure on the Government to provide clarity ahead of the March deadline is intensifying.
Even with further clarity, the final outcome of the negotiations - which many expect to take longer than the allocated two years - is far from assured.
Investors will need to remain vigilant to the fluidity of the situation and its impact on the broader economy. One of the key indicators of sentiment will, of course, be sterling.
Despite a volatile start to this year, our view is that the windfall exporters received from the sharp fall in sterling is unlikely to be repeated.
Across a number of valuation measures, sterling already looks cheap and any further weakness is likely to prove temporary.
At the same time, household spending and business investment may also reduce.
Rising inflation will eat away at household incomes and a softer outlook for hiring is likely to hold back wage growth.
The upward trend of business investment will also likely fade away, at least until the shape of the UK's trading relationship with the EU becomes clearer.
At a monetary and fiscal policy level, restraint is also likely to be the watchword.
Current approaches to monetary policy appear to be reaching the end of the road and, while there is scope for further cuts, this is limited and appetite to do so may be tempered by the outlook for inflation.
The Government also made clear in last year's Autumn Statement that it is willing to consider easing fiscal policy to smooth the transition of the economy over the coming years.
Again the scope is limited.
Debt-to-Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (a measure of how much the country owes its creditors) is now set to exceed 90 per cent - some ten percentage points higher than before the EU referendum.
Further loosening could in fact undo some of the Bank of England's work by actually increasing borrowing costs for the UK.
Outlook for Europe
Looking further afield to Europe - which has a jam-packed calendar of elections this year - it is political events that are likely to be at the forefront of investors' minds.
And, with planned elections in the Netherlands, Germany and France, as well as a likely vote in Italy, it is easy to see why.
Collectively, these countries make up around 70 per cent of Eurozone GDP, and each has the potential to deliver some surprises.
Over the short term, investors may be reassured by the fact that equity markets have not - at least in recent times - reacted negatively to political surprises.
However, it is the longer term, structural impact of political surprises that can have a fundamental impact on the real economy and of which investors must take heed.
Fortunately, however, there are some indicators which investors can use to assess the impact of political events and their wider economic and market impact.
The first is GDP growth.
Our view is that the pace of growth will slow in the Eurozone economy this year but that the underlying growth in the economy should remain fairly solid.
The waning impact of European Central Bank stimulus and, of course, any anticipated drag due to Brexit uncertainty, will to some extent be countered by beneficial fiscal policy, falling unemployment and improving domestic demand.
Our current analysis is that the Eurozone economy will expand by 1.3 per cent versus the 1.6 per cent growth seen in 2016.
One concern for the European growth outlook is the rising populism across Europe.
Were this to translate into the election of a nationalist leader such as Marine Le Pen in France, concerns about the prospect of a Eurozone break up might rise.
This would clearly have an impact on markets but at this stage we believe such an outcome is unlikely.
While populist movements may gain greater political influence across Europe in the coming years, we expect any change on the continent would be gradual.
Secondly, uncertainty around elections can cause volatility in share prices, as we saw in the UK following the EU Referendum.
However, looking beyond headline share price movements the underlying trend in earnings for most sectors and industries shows that the impact has historically been less significant.
For the markets as a whole, elections don't seem to have meaningful short-term repercussions on overall corporate profitability.
Of course, individual sectors or countries might react to adjustments in tax rates, regulation or trade terms under new leadership but this tends to be relatively focused.
Investors will find that holding a well-diversified portfolio should significantly reduce specific earnings streams that may be exposed to a change of political guard.
In our view, the area investors should watch most closely is the possible impact of European political uncertainty on the banking sector.
In Italy, the current reforms and recapitalisation programme are crucial for restoring confidence in the sector. If the job isn't completed properly, fears of contagion to other parts of European banking may arise.
The Trump administration
Perhaps the biggest surprise of 2016 was the election of Donald Trump as US President but, like with Brexit, the economic implications will only start to take effect in 2017.
The first 100 days of any incoming administration are critically important in terms of setting the leadership tone and establishing the governing agenda for the ensuing four years.
Trump may prioritise tax reform and regulatory relief in the early days of his administration which could bolster growth.
However, this must be tempered against the other policy initiatives he has outlined, such as spending initiatives and trade barriers, which could increase inflation and temper growth.
How investors should respond
For investors, 2017 may well fell like the great unknown. The nature and impact of many factors, including Britain's relationship with the EU, the political make-up of Europe, and the direction and focus of the Trump administration, will not be fully understood for some time.
As a result, political uncertainty will certainly remain front of mind for investors and be a key discussion point with advisers.
However, political risk should not be the primary driver of investment decisions this year and in itself is not a reason to hold a neutral position in a region's equity markets.
Opportunities and risks will emerge across all markets this year.
Investors should react by seeking to understand how the development of issues at a macro level will impact different markets and areas of the economy, in order to cherry-pick the most appropriate investment opportunities for their long-term goals and objectives.
Once again, connecting the dots in an increasingly inter-connected world will be key to success. Your capital it at risk and the income derived from your investments may go down as well as up.
Johnny McGrath is a client advisor with UBS Wealth Management