Investors had reason to celebrate, as last year U.S. stocks posted their best year since 1997.
Equities advanced 32.4 percent in 2013, said Mark Ennes, a wealth management adviser for the Merrill Lynch's Merrillville office. While growth should slow, 2014 is expected to be another good year.
Merrill Lynch estimates the stock market will return to low double-digit returns in 2014. Both large companies and small caps should do well, and Europe is expected to come out of its economic malaise.
The municipal bond market shrunk by 2.9 percent and there have been areas of concern, such as Detroit and Puerto Rico, Ennes said.
"They've done relatively well," he said. "The default rates remains one-third of 1 percent."