It's the time of year when people think about what's going to happen next and what they should do about it.

Here are what I consider the 16 most important trends for 2016 -- depending on how you play them, they could be threats or opportunities for you in the next 12 months.

1. Tech IPOs are going into hibernation

Technology IPOs fell over 40% in 2015 -- the worst year for venture-backed IPOs since 2010.

That trend will get worse in 2016. I have talked with plenty of entrepreneurs who were bragging in 2014 that 2015 would be their IPO year.

Now they're telling me it won't happen in 2016 and they don't know when it will.

So what? Hoard your cash and cut back to a profitable core.

2. Drills and mines will tumble

If your business depends on drilling for oil and gas or mining commodities, you are in big trouble. Oil has plunged over 60% in the last 18 months and has further fall.

Parts of the world that depend on drills and mines -- think Texas, Oklahoma, many African and South American countries, parts of Canada, and Australia -- will suffer bankruptcies galore.

To do? If you live in these places, sell your house and move to a place with better prospects. If not, consider betting on the decline in stocks in these industries.

3. Dollar will dominate

The dollar is going to keep rising relative to other currencies. We are raising interest rates while the rest of the world will be adding liquidity to fend off a recession.

This is terrible news if you're in the U.S. and trying to export your products. It's great if you're going on vacation or you want to outsource work to Europe or other countries with weakening currencies.

4. Private equity will take out more companies

The biggest private equity firms are flush with cash. Even though they might have a harder time borrowing money for their deals, there is a keen appetite for slow-growing cash generating businesses.

If you run such a business, consider cashing it out to private equity -- the opportunity will be there in 2016.

5. Mergers will hit another record

Mergers hit an all time high in 2015 -- 10,000 of them were announced totaling $2 trillion in value. As cash rich companies seek growth, your company could be in their cross-hairs if it's growing faster than they are or if you can help them cut costs.

6. Leveraged loan bubble will burst

$4.6 trillion worth of loans have been made to help finance takeovers of companies that might not be able to repay the debt.

There's profit to be made in betting against companies that borrowed money when oil prices were above $100 and commodities prices were soaring. Betting against the lenders also leaves room for profit.

And if those loans are scarce, mergers could decline.

7. China will slow

For nearly a decade, China has been growing at a rate in excess of 10% -- at least according to official statistics.

That growth was a boon to oil producers, road and bridge builders, and real estate developers.

But now China seems to be slamming on the brakes -- as billionaires disappear from view a big investor expects it to grow 6%. Don't expect things to get better there soon.

8. Unicorns will lose their horns

There are 145 private companies valued at over $1 billion -- totaling $505 billion.

The ones that are losing money are going to have trouble raising more -- unless they are growing very quickly.

So what? If you thought you were going to become a unicorn in 2016, think again unless you are growing to over $100 million in revenue.

9. Money-making startups will reap capital

Some of these unicorns are big and profitable. There is still capital that wants to earn the high returns that come from taking startups public. And big piles of capital will be chasing your company if you fit the bill.

A case in point is SoFi, a marketplace lender in which I invested that raised $1.4 billion this fall.

10. Real estate will peak

Real estate prices have come way back from where they were at the bottom of the Great Recession.

But they are not going to keep going up. With interest rates rising, fewer people will be able to afford to take on mortgages.

The worst hit will be those who live in regions that depend on rising oil, gas and commodity prices.

On the other hand, there is still money to be made if you're selling $100 million penthouse apartments or houses to wealthy investors from China, Russia, and the Middle East.

11. Retail stores will shutter

People like to flood mall parking lots and cram into stores to buy things.

More people are seeing and touching the objects of their desire in stores and buying them online at a lower price.

As in-store purchases decline, the cost of operating those stores remains high.

Not all of them will survive.

12. Amazon will continue growing at 20%

And among the most successful of the online retailers is Amazon. Consider buying its stock.

13. Netflix will prevail over its rivals

Netflix is the world's model for technology reinvention. It pulled off the rare feat of transforming itself from a DVD-by-Mail company into an online streaming service.

The programming it creates is wildly popular and rivals can't seem to catch it. Hitch your wagon to its star in 2016.

14. Facebook will keep winning

When Facebook went public in 2012, I did not know whether it would be able to master the world of mobile advertising.

But Facebook set itself that challenge in its prospectus and three years later it has increased its mobile ad share to almost 20%. Bet on that trend to continue.

15. Twitter and Yahoo will fall further

Not all Silicon Valley companies work -- Twitter will keep searching for a business model and Yahoo will either struggle to find a growth strategy for another year or get taken out.

You may be able to profit by betting against these two.

16. Apple will enter its sixth year without innovation

Apple used to come with new products that took share from big markets. Think about how the iPhone changed the cell phone market when in it was launched in 2007.

Last time it did that was 2010 when it introduced the iPad. That one is going downhill and the much-touted Apple Watch has disappeared from view.

With Morgan Stanley expecting iPhone sales to fall in 2016, Apple could really use an iPhone-like innovation.

Figure out how you can profit from these 2016 trends before everyone else does.