With all the focus in the financial news these days on the looming "fiscal cliff," not to mention China's economic malaise, the debt crisis in Europe and Middle East brinksmanship, it is understandable that markets are growing increasingly volatile, and investors increasingly anxious. The truth is, though, that many prognosticators are saying that 2013 could actually be, at the very least, an okay year for investors. Maybe not a great year, but a positive one.

Mike Gibbs, co-head of the equity advisory group at Raymond James, sees the question as being whether 2013 turns out to be a pretty good year for investors — or a mediocre one. "A lot has to do with what Congress and the White House do about the fiscal cliff," he says. "If they kick the can down the road into next year and try to use 2013 to reach a 'grand bargain' sometime between June and September, then you have the S&P Index stuck in a trading range of 1350 to 1450. On the other hand, if they get something done, and cut federal spending, you get a 1.5% drop in GDP, but CEOs start spending again, and you could end up with back-end growth in GDP of 2% for the year."

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