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By Consuelo Mack
Consuelo Mack has a long and distinguished career in business journalism. In 2005 she struck out on her own to launch her dream program, a weekly half-hour program on public television devoted to helping Americans build and protect their wealth over the long-term. Now in its sixteeth season, CONSUELO MACK WEALTHTRACK has been dubbed the “Cramer Antidote” by the press and Money Magazine named Mack “The Best Money TV Host.” WEALTHTRACK is the only program on television devoted to long-term diversified investing in all of the investments people care about.
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Investment Risks Warranting Protective Strategies
Part 2 of 2 What does history have to teach us about the current geopolitical, economic, and investment environment?  A great deal according to renowned historian Niall Ferguson.    His thesis is that applying the lessons of history to contemporary events can result in better investment outcomes.  One of the biggest, most consequential debates among economists, investors, and policymakers is over inflation. Is the recent global surge in prices a temporary blip from economies reopening from pandemic shutdowns, or is it a more lasting development with serious consequences? In this week’s program we pick up on that point - I asked Ferguson about the opposite view, that the pandemic shock and burden of record amounts of debt could actually impede growth and be disinflationary.  Ferguson shares his views on this, along with his thoughts on China, cryptocurrencies, and the new world of decentralized finance. WEALTHTRACK # 1804 broadcast on July 23, 2021 More Info: Bookshelf: Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe - Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire - The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West - The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World - The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook -
July 23, 2021
Inflation: Understand the History
If there is one adjective we have heard repeatedly in the last year and a half it is “unprecedented”. It has been applied to describe the amount of monetary and fiscal stimulus that’s been poured into the economy. It has been used in relation to the pandemic lockdowns and reopenings, and the record-breaking runs in stock, bonds, real estate, and commodity markets. Is there no historical precedent for these events?  Who better to ask than this week’s WEALTHTRACK guest, Niall Ferguson? Ferguson has studied booms, busts, the rise and fall of empires, the power of social networks, and catastrophes of all sorts including plagues and pandemics?     He is one of the world's leading historians and an influential commentator on contemporary politics and economics. Ferguson is a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard, along with being the author of numerous articles, and a regular columnist for Bloomberg Opinion. His most recent book is Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe, which analyzes how societies have reacted to crises from the Roman response to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius to how various governments have handled Covid-19. According to Ferguson, experience has taught him that understanding history does help make us better investors. In this week’s interview, he explains why. WEALTHTRACK #1803 broadcast on 07-16-21 More info: Bookshelf: Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe - Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire - The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West - The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World - The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook -
July 17, 2021
ESG Investing: “The Race of Our Lives”
Part 2 of 2 When legendary value investor Jeremy Grantham turned 80 he made two resolutions: “to be prepared to write a cheque up to the limits of your ability”, and to “say what you think you should say to everybody”.  He is following through on both commitments. He is saying what he thinks he should say to everybody including us, to our benefit!  In the first of our two-part interview last week, Grantham warned we are in a bubble of “epic proportions” in the U.S. stock markets, bond market, and global real estate and commodity markets.  In this week’s show,  Grantham shares his views on climate change, why he calls it the “Race of Our Lives” and how he is investing to combat it.   WEALTHTRACK #1802 broadcast on 07-09-21 More Info:
July 10, 2021
The Bull Market: A Bubble of “Epic Proportions”
Part 1 od 2 We are celebrating the launch of WEALTHTRACK’s 18th season on public television this week! We feel so fortunate to serve you. When WEALTHTRACK launched in July of 2005 our mission was to help our audience and ourselves build financial security to last a lifetime through disciplined, long-term, diversified investing. We vowed to seek out the best minds in the financial business to guide us. This week’s guest is unquestionably one of them. We’ll be joined by legendary value investor Jeremy Grantham, Co-Founder of the global investment management firm, GMO, Grantham is known for his prescient calls about market extremes and game-changing turning points. I will add that being far out of consensus is never popular. He saw the tech stock bubble inflating in 1997, three years before it actually burst. It was an early call that cost GMO half of their asset allocation book of business at the time. In the late 2000’s he warned of the developing subprime mortgage and credit bubble and came close to calling the actual 2008 bull market peak. He then called the market bottom nearly to the day in March of 2009. When Grantham appeared on WEALTHTRACK in 2018 he was predicting a possible market melt-up, a powerful late-stage two to three-year-long market rally before an inevitable decline. He got the melt-up right, even when figuring in the brief, 2020 pandemic induced bear market. And of course, the bull continues to this day. The U.S. stock market had an impressive first half of the year. The S&P 500 gained 14.4% to close at 4297.5, it’s 34th record close for the year. Grantham will explain why he is calling this a bubble of epic proportions and suggest ways that investors can handle it. WEALTHTRACK # 1801 broadcast on July 02, 2021 More info:
July 3, 2021
Investing in a Speculative Market: Thoughts From “The Intelligent Investor”
For financial historians and serious market observers, the current era has all the signs of a developing market bubble.  Money is abundant, a wide range of financial assets have risen to record or near-record levels, and enormous amounts of money are flowing into stocks. Private equity funds are flourishing and bonds continue to attract huge sums.   Demand for residential real estate is soaring as are home prices. And despite recent dramatic declines, innovative products such as digital currencies have appreciated at breathtaking speed. Speculative trading by individual investors has also increased as a new growing community of online traders has emerged as a potent market-moving force.  The combination of all of these forces caused me to reach out to this week’s WEALTHTRACK guest.  We’ll be joined by Jason Zweig, a leading financial journalist who since 2008 has written the widely read The Intelligent Investor column for The Wall Street Journal. Zweig will share his analysis of the current market climate and advice for investors. WEALTHTRACK #1752 broadcast on June 25, 2021
June 26, 2021
Economic Recovery: Massive Problems Ahead [2021]
How strong and lasting is the current rebound we are seeing in the economy? What about the resurgence in inflation? Those are major debates raging on Wall Street right now.   This week’s WEALTHTRACK guest is looking beyond the current rebound and focusing on what he sees as massive problems which will act as drags on recovery.  Robert Kessler, Founder, and CEO of Kessler Investment Advisors, a manager of fixed-income portfolios with a specialty in U.S. treasuries. Even before COVID, Kessler has been warning about economic and stock market risk.   On the program this week, he will discuss why he believes those risks have been exacerbated and the market is in a danger zone.   WEALTHTRACK #1751 broadcast June 18, 2021 More info:
June 18, 2021
Inflation Is Temporary: Bullishness on the Economy & Markets Is Wrong
The consensus for the economy is bullish. After a 6.4% annualized increase in real GDP, that’s without inflation, in the first quarter, recent forecasts are for 10% GDP growth in the second quarter, 7.5% in the 3rd, and 5% in the fourth.  As for inflation expectations, they are up. Again the consensus is that the combination of a rapidly rebounding economy, supply shortages, and tight labor market will lead to a sustained rise in prices.  The most prominent skeptic on that front is Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and other Fed officials who believe the price increases we are seeing now are transitory.  This week’s guest, influential economist Dave Rosenberg is in the Powell camp on this one and believes the recent jump in inflation is temporary and that the overall bullishness on the economy and markets is wrong and will be challenged before the year ends.  Dave Rosenberg is the outspoken and often contrarian Chief Economist and Strategist at his independent economic consulting firm Rosenberg Research. I began the interview by asking Rosenberg why he is as convinced that the bullish consensus is wrong as he was when he went against the crowd at the height of the tech bubble in 2000 and the housing bubble in 2007. WEALTHTRACK #1750 broadcast on June 11, 2021 More Info: For more detail about the evidence behind Dave Rosenberg’s convictions, he is generously sharing a recent comprehensive report, “No New Era” with us.
June 11, 2021
New Opportunities and Challenges for Bond Investors
Times they are a-changin'…  With COVID vaccinations becoming widespread, savings rates high, and consumers ready to spend, the economy is reopening and rebounding with gusto.  All of these developments are creating new opportunities and challenges for bond investors.  Bond prices fall when interest rates rise and vice versa. After a 40-year bull market in bonds, with interest rates declining to record lows, has the bottom finally been reached after many false starts? How real is this uptick in rates and what does it mean for bond investors?  Our guest on WEALTHTRACK this week is Mary Ellen Stanek, Chief Investment Officer of Baird Advisors, and President of the Baird Funds, where she heads up the Fixed Income Team overseeing $91 billion dollars worth of bond investments.  Stanek discusses the rapidly changing conditions and her team's all-weather bond strategy in what she calls uncharted waters. WEALTHTRACK Episode #1747 broadcast on May 21, 2021 More Info:
May 22, 2021
Equity-Like Returns With Less Than Stock Market Risk
“Jack be nimble Jack be quick” isn't a concept one usually associates with long-term value investors but sometimes extraordinary times call for exceptional responses. The first quarter of 2020 was one such event for this week’s guest.  Steven Romick, who has appeared on WEALTHTRACK since our launch in 2005 rarely does television interviews which is one of the many reasons we are delighted to have him with us this week. For those of you not familiar with him, he is Co-Portfolio Manager of the FPA Crescent Fund which he founded in 1993 and ran for many years before bringing on his current team. Since its inception this go anywhere, invest in anything balanced fund has delivered better than 10% annualized returns besting the stock market and its balanced portfolio benchmarks by substantial margins.  WEALTHTRACK #1746 broadcast on  May 14, 2021 More Info:
May 15, 2021
An Embarrassment of Riches in the High Growth Stock Universe
There is a rule of thumb on Wall Street that when a fund knocks it out of the park in any given year or has an exceptional winning streak for a couple of years it is bound to fall to earth sooner rather than later and lag the market, its peers, or both for several years. It's called reversion to the mean. With few exceptions, this week’s guest has been in the winning streak category for a while. He is Michael Lippert, Head of Technology Research at Baron Capital and portfolio manager of the firm’s high-growth stock oriented Baron Opportunity Fund Morningstar’s one caveat about the fund’s performance has been its volatility, as it focuses entirely on companies with high rates of growth, not on the mitigating effects of returning capital to shareholders with stock buybacks or dividends. Volatility is a topic Lippert tackled in-depth in a recent quarterly letter to fund shareholders. I ask him to share his views with us. WEALTHTRACK #1745 broadcast on May 07,2021 More Info: “The Volatility of Stock Investor Returns” Ilia D. Dichev, Emory University, Xin Zheng, University of British Columbia, 1/22/2021
May 8, 2021
Quality Growth Companies Pay Off
The shift from COVID lockdown to COVID reopening has been stunning. Depending upon the stage of reopening economies around the world are rebounding. The markets’ response has been swift and dramatic particularly in the U.S. So what do you do if you are running a highly concentrated, large-cap growth fund? That is the challenge facing this week’s guest. Damon Ficklin is head of the Large Company Growth team at Polen Capital. In his first appearance on WEALTHTRACK I will begin with the basics. I will ask him to describe Polen’s high conviction, the low turnover strategy of focusing on the highest quality growth companies with margins of safety.  What does that actually mean? WEALTHTRACK #1544 broadcast on April 30, 2021 More info:
May 1, 2021
Cryptocurrencies Are Suddenly Going Mainstream
Beware the headline makers! According to Wall Street lore when a financial asset hits the front pages it can signal a turning point, either a recovery if negative, or a fall if positive. What’s making headlines today? Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency-related investments, including dogecoin, a meme-inspired cryptocurrency created as a joke in 2013. “This is absurd,” said Billy Markus, the co-creator of dogecoin. “I haven’t seen anything like it. It’s one of those things that once it starts going up, it might keep going up.”  Dogecoin however is not the real story. Bitcoin, the world’s first and largest digital currency is, as well as Ethereum, the second largest and the blockchain networks they support.  And there are other players emerging. Coinbase Global Inc, the largest market exchange for digital currencies went public on the Nasdaq this week and its $85 billion market value easily surpassed that of the Nasdaq itself and ICE, the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange.  The cryptocurrency world has gone from fringe to close to the mainstream since our last conversation a year ago. Hougan will explain what’s driving the transformation, who the key players are, where the industry is going and the implications for investors.  There is no question that Bitcoin and Coinbase and a few other cryptocurrency-related investments have arrived. As we write this Bitcoin’s market value is over one trillion dollars.  On Wall Street money talks. Major firms including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and BlackRock are now offering Bitcoin products to clients.  Our guest this week had the foresight and guts to get involved in ETFs in their early stages and more recently, in 2018 he threw his energy and career into cryptocurrencies believing they would become the next big, positive innovation for investors.    WEALTHTRACK #1743 originally broadcast on April 23, 2021 More info: Matt Hougan in April of 2020:
April 24, 2021
Successful Investing: Time Tested Strategies
Have you noticed how rampant speculation is? Random investors seem to be making money hand over fist in numerous assets: disruptive companies like Tesla, whose stock has soared 600% in the last 12 months. Old economy stocks like video retailer GameStop up nearly 6,000% propelled by traders on commission-free trading platforms like Robinhood.  These are not isolated events. The zeitgeist is becoming very bullish. Do you feel like you are missing out? Has the world moved on?  No, it has not according to this week’s guest. In part 2 of our interview with financial thought leader, Richard Bernstein he makes a compelling case for long-term fundamental investing.  Bernstein is Chief Executive and Chief Investment Officer of Richard Bernstein Advisors. Rich has also been a regular since WEALTHTRACK’s launch in 2005.  We’ve weathered our share of booms and busts over the years. He will discuss some time-tested strategies to invest successfully through both conditions.    WEALTHTRACK #1741 broadcast on April 9, 2021 More info and the “Boomer knows best” - RBA Insights, March 2021” available here: Navigate the Noise: Investing in the New Age of Media and Hype:
April 10, 2021
Protecting Portfolios While Participating in the Bull Market
We have been living through an extraordinary period. It was a year ago that COVID was recognized as a global pandemic and since then over 100 million people have been stricken and more than 2 million have died.  Economies were locked down causing severe recessions. Central banks and governments responded with unprecedented amounts of monetary and fiscal stimulus. A worldwide effort by pharmaceutical companies to develop effective vaccines did so in record time. Millions are now in the process of being vaccinated. Global economies are now recovering with China and the U.S. recovering at a rapid pace.  Is the worst behind us? Are world economies and markets on a sustained path of recovery as many believe or are there serious hidden risks?  Risks are the concern of this week’s guest whose top priority as a money manager is capital preservation. He is Matthew McLennan, Head of the Global Value team at First Eagle Investment Managemen. Long before the pandemic, McLennan had been monitoring emerging geopolitical and financial risks globally, which he says were exacerbated by COVID. He’ll discuss specifics and how he is protecting his portfolios while still participating in aspects of the bull market. WEALTHTRACK #1740 broadcast on April 2, 2021 More info:
April 3, 2021
Financial Thought Leader Paul McCulley Says Both Fiscal & Monetary Helicopter Money Are Essential
When a fringe economic theory goes mainstream and is actually implemented by policymakers you better pay attention. The once-fringe theory in question is called Modern Monetary Theory, or MMT for short.  The assumption behind MMT is that massive government spending helps the economy grow to its full potential, including full employment, and also finance major programs like universal healthcare, free college tuition, and green energy initiatives. Sound familiar?  What about the burgeoning federal debt? Not an issue according to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. In an interview on National Public Radio this week Powell   said: “Given the low level of interest rates, there’s no issue about the United States being able to service its debt at this time or in the foreseeable future.”  Enter today’s guest, Paul McCulley, who wrote an academic paperback in 2013 titled: “Helicopter Money, Or How I Stopped Worrying and Love Fiscal-Monetary Cooperation.”    McCulley is currently an adjunct professor at Georgetown business school where he teaches a very timely multi-disciplinary course combining law, economics, monetary policy, global finance, and behavioral finance.   I asked McCulley to explain why he believes helicopter money and the unprecedented fiscal and monetary cooperation we are seeing today is so essential, and not an issue.    WEALTHTRACK # 1739 broadcast on March 26, 2021 More info:…ey-are-essential/ “Helicopter Money, Or How I Stopped Worrying and Love Fiscal-Monetary Cooperation” available
March 26, 2021
Cyclical & Value Stocks Shift is Durable
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that 2021 is a year of significant political and macroeconomic change. Meanwhile, the rollout of COVID vaccines is starting to unleash a year’s worth of pent-up consumer and business demand.  That demand is also putting upward pressure on prices and inflation expectations. Those pressures are showing up in the bond market where yields on long-term bonds, the most sensitive to rising inflation expectations are rising. The price of 30-year Treasurys has fallen 15.6% in just three months.  This is a huge change and could signal the end of the 40-year bull market in bonds that many Wall Street pros have been predicting for years. Perhaps they will now be proven right.  This week’s guest has been telling clients that inflation will probably be higher than many believe, that a significant cyclical recovery is in the works and is bringing with it a major change in market leadership.    He is a noted investment strategist known for his macro analysis and thematic investing. He is Richard Bernstein, Chief Executive and Chief Investment Officer of Richard Bernstein Advisors,  Bernstein explains why the shift in market leadership from stable growth stocks to cyclical value ones is normal and durable, and how to participate.  WEALTHTRACK #1738 broadcast on March 19, 2021 More Info:…tocks-is-durable/ In this week’s WEB EXTRA feature, Bernstein reflects on how the COVID experience has changed his professional and personal life.
March 20, 2021
ETFs Will Surpass Mutual Funds as the Industry Standard
Part 2 of 2 John Rekenthaler has been tracking mutual funds at Morningstar since 1988.  He correctly predicted early on that index funds would surpass actively managed funds. Now he sees a similar trend for ETFs as they attract record amounts of cash and mutual funds suffer outflows.  WEALTHTRACK #1737 published on March 11, 2021 More info:
March 11, 2021
Online Investor: Social Media Effect from Robinhood to GameStop
John Rekenthaler, Vice President of Research at Morningstar and author of the twice-weekly “Rekenthaler Report” analyzes the influence of the online investment communities that have driven GameStop’s meteoric rise and stunning declines. Rekenthaler says their influence is here to stay, at least until regulators get involved.  WEALTHTRACK #1736 published on March 05, 2021 More info:
March 6, 2021
Financial Bubbles of Historic Proportions
The balance sheet of the Federal Reserve continues to surge at an unprecedented rate, up 83% y/y to a historic level, $7.59 trillion at the latest count. According to our WEALTHTRACK podcast guest, financial historian, and long-time market observer James Grant, interest rates, the “central pricing mechanism for financial markets” have been pushed to artificially low levels by the Fed’s policies which have created numerous market bubbles. He cites Bitcoin as one of the most extreme examples. WEALTHTRACK #1735 published on February 26, 2021 More info: Common Sense: The Investor’s Guide to Equality, Opportunity, and Growth:
February 26, 2021
Which Investments Are Poised To Do Well In 2021?
Part 2 of 2 Old fashioned asset allocation used to be a fairly simple exercise: 60% individual stocks, usually U.S. large-caps and 40% bonds, mostly investment-grade corporates, some Treasury securities for liquidity, and a smattering of municipal bonds for higher tax bracket individuals.    Today it's a whole different ball game, juggling multiple global asset classes, using complex computer modeling, algorithms, pricing formulas, and intensive analysis.   This is the realm of Sébastien Page, head of T. Rowe Price’s Global Multi-Asset division where he oversees $350 billion in assets. Last week on WEALTHTRACK we discussed the concepts in his new book, Beyond Diversification: What Every Investor Needs to Know About Asset Allocation.   This week we will address the current investment environment and how he and his team are positioning clients’ portfolios. What does Page think of these alternative asset classes? We’ll find out.  WEALTHTRACK Episode #1734 broadcast on February 19, 2021 More info: AGAINST THE GODS: THE REMARKABLE STORY OF RISK: Beyond Diversification: What Every Investor Needs to Know About Asset Allocation:
February 20, 2021
Portfolio Diversification’s Failure: Bear Markets Calls for a New Strategy
Part 1 of 2:  Talk to most investment professionals and they will tell you that portfolio diversification is the key to successful investing and that asset allocation among multiple asset classes, not individual security selection, accounts for as much as 100% of investment returns. Being broadly diversified among different asset classes is supposed to give you strong exposure to market rallies and protection in down markets as non-correlated assets zig when others zag and soften the downside impact. However, there are times when diversification doesn’t seem to work. Take the huge sell-off in the spring of 2020, the shortest bear market in history when asset classes plunged pretty much across the board, even gold and Treasuries took a hit.  What are the lessons to be learned about the usefulness of diversification from 2020’s experience? Is there a better way?  Our guest today is a financial thought leader in asset allocation at T. Rowe Price. Sébastien Page, Head of Global Multi-Asset at the firm. Page is also the author of a new book titled Beyond Diversification: What Every Investor Needs to Know About Asset Allocation. Page says diversification did fail in 2020’s bear market but that shouldn't surprise us, and yes, there is a better diversification strategy. We’ll find out what it is.  WEALTHTRACK #1733 broadcast on February 12, 2021 More info:   Beyond Diversification: What Every Investor Needs to Know About Asset Allocation:
February 13, 2021
Dreifus: Build Focused Portfolios That Beat The Market
One of the most notable characteristics of the last decade was the wide divergence in market performance. We have reported many times on the narrow group of superstars, mainly large-cap U.S. tech stocks and the much wider universe of laggards, value and small-cap stocks in particular.  In 2020 that divergence blew up.  Small-cap went from worst to first. The year began disastrously.   Small-caps ended the year with their best quarterly gain ever, a stunning 31% advance in the index, handily beating large-caps for the quarter.  When it was all over the Russell 2000 had gained 101.3% from its March 18th low to year-end, although it lagged large-cap and tech for the entire year.   We have a WEALTHTRACK exclusive this week with an investment legend whose specialty is in-depth financial analysis in the small-cap universe. He is Charlie Dreifus, lead portfolio manager of the Royce Special Equity Fund  Before delving into small-caps I asked Dreifus to share his perspective on current market conditions based on his half-century of managing money. A hint: he told me “I've seen this movie before, and it doesn't end well.”      WEALTHTRACK #1732 broadcast on February 05, 2021 More info:
February 6, 2021
Financial To-Do List For A New Year [2021]
Blast off! Stock markets are setting records, with tech stocks leading the charge once again. “Don’t fight the Fed” should now encompass “don’t fight the Treasury, fiscal stimulus, vaccinations and investor demand for ‘real’ (after inflation) returns.” The Wall Street Journal reports that the “S&P 500 rose 14.3% from Election Day through Inauguration Day, its best performance on record for that period.” (The Wall Street Journal “Stocks Climb To Records, Led By Tech Sector” 1/21/21)    In retrospect, 2020 was an entire year for the record books:  - A once in a century global pandemic; - Unprecedented, massive monetary and fiscal stimulus; - A brief deep recession and the shortest bear market in U.S. history; - A record-breaking stock market rally; - The continuation of near record-low interest rates - And the election of a new president with a very different policy agenda.  Portfolio rebalancing is just one of the actions on Christine Benz’ financial to-do list this year. In part 2 of our interview with Morningstar's Director of Personal Finance, she helps us get in personal financial shape for the year ahead.   WEALTHTRACK #1730 broadcast on January 22, 2021 More info: Books mentioned in  the episode: 30-Minute Money Solutions: A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Your Finances: Morningstar Guide to Mutual Funds: Five-Star Strategies for Success:
January 23, 2021
Financial Plans: Pandemic Era Rethink
COVID-19 has affected just about every aspect of our professional and personal lives, including the state of our finances. Whether you or a loved one are among the more than 20 million Americans who lost their jobs in the spring of 2020 in the depths of the lockdowns, or one of the millions of Americans who saw their retirement portfolios plunge in the shortest bear market on record in February and March, (and if you stayed invested have benefitted from the markets rebound), or if you or a loved one are among the 20 million Americans who have been stricken by COVID your finances have been affected. Financial services firm Morningstar has also been paying attention. In a recent article, “What the Coronavirus Means for the Future of Financial Planning,” its Director of Personal Finance, Christine Benz addressed the issue and we have asked her to enlighten us. WEALTHTRACK # 1729 broadcast on January 15, 2021 More info: Books mentioned in  the episode: 30-Minute Money Solutions: A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Your Finances : Morningstar Guide to Mutual Funds: Five-Star Strategies for Success:
January 16, 2021
The Narratives Driving Stock & Real Estate Prices [2021]
We have a special treat for you. Robert Shiller, a Nobel Prize-winning economist, a pioneer in the field of behavioral finance, long-time Yale professor, financial innovator, and prolific author. Shiller is also the co-creator of the widely cited gauge of U.S. housing prices, the Case-Shiller Home Price Index, and creator of the cyclically adjusted PE ratio known as the Cape Ratio which is a price-earnings ratio for the S&P 500 based on average inflation-adjusted earnings from the previous ten years. Because it includes ten years of earnings many consider it to be a more reliable gauge of market value. His presence could not be more timely. He is known for identifying the tech and housing bubbles long before anyone else did, and here we are in the midst of an economy crushing pandemic with home prices booming and stock prices hitting new records.  We started with the stock market, his analysis of the record-setting performance. WEALTHTRACK # 1728 broadcast on January 08,2021 More info: Links to Books mentioned: Narrative Economics: How Stories Go Viral and Drive Major Economic Events: Irrational Exuberance: Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism:
January 9, 2021
Economic Perspective on the Extraordinary Events of 2020
This week, in part 2 he will share his fifty years of economic perspective on the extraordinary events of 2020 and how the pandemic has changed the economy and markets. It will be a fascinating conversation with one of the best business cycle analysts of our era.      Every year at around this time we sit down for an in-depth interview with legendary economist Ed Hyman.  Hyman has been voted Wall Street’s number one economist in Institutional Investor magazine’s prestigious annual survey of institutional investors for an unprecedented forty years.     WEALTHTRACK #1726 originally broadcast on December 18, 2020 More Info: Part 1: Suggested Reading:  CREATORS: FROM CHAUCER TO WALT DISNEY, by Paul Johnson
December 19, 2020
Record Monetary Stimulus + Vaccines = Economic Growth [2021]
It's an annual tradition on WEALTHTRACK to sit down for a rare in-depth interview with Ed Hyman, Wall Street’s number one-ranked economist for an unrivaled forty years!  Hyman is a Wall Street legend. His ability to gather reams of economic data, including proprietary information from many sources including his weekly company surveys of industries ranging from retailers to restaurants, to homebuilders, truckers, and even Christmas tree vendors gives him an ability to take the current pulse of the many players in our huge and diverse economy.   This year we have even more to discuss than usual. We have extended our conversation into an exclusive two-part series. This week Hyman will share his outlook for the economy in 2021. He’ll explain why he expects a “blowout” in the second half but also why there are considerable challenges to get from here to there. Next week we’ll get his perspective on the extraordinary events of 2020 and what he learned from the experience.  This week we start with the present: the state of the economy and the markets now.  I asked him to bring us up to speed on the economy’s rebound from its freefall in the spring.  How solid is the recovery?  More Info:
December 12, 2020
Medicare & Lockdown: Better than Ever? (U.S.)
According to Medicare benefits expert, Dr. Katy Votava COVID-19 has altered several aspects of Medicare coverage and procedures. She will tell us what’s different and how to take advantage of the changes. She will also help us meet the deadline for Medicare’s annual enrollment period which ends on December 7th and allows medicare beneficiaries to evaluate their Medicare Advantage Plans and part D, prescription drug plans, and shift to different providers if it makes sense.  Votava is a Medicare expert who advises individuals, small businesses, and financial planners from her healthcare consulting business, She is also the author of Making The Most Of Medicare: A Guide For Baby Boomers, now in its 7th edition and an Amazon bestseller. It is a straightforward, easy to navigate guide to Medicare which is a very complex multi-part system that frequently does warrant annual updating by its beneficiaries. An estimated 90 percent of Americans pay too much for their Medicare coverage.  WEALTHTRACK # 1722 published on November 27, 2020 More info: – The official U.S. Government site for Medicare 1-800-MEDICARE – The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) site that directs consumers to free Medicare counseling and assistance - Eldercare locator, a public service of the U.S. Administration of Aging, connecting you to services for older adults and their families. 1-800-677-1116    Making The Most Of Medicare: A Guide For Baby Boomers:
November 28, 2020
Successful Investing: Timeless Advice
Can investing be simple? Can we stop worrying about what’s happening on Wall Street, in Washington, with Fed policy, inflation, corporate earnings, and numerous other headline-making concerns? Can we just get on with our lives and still invest successfully?  According to this week’s guest, the answer is yes, and we shouldn’t even care what the market is doing.   What should we care about? How should we invest? That is the focus of this week’s exclusive WEALTHTRACK interview.   Our guest is Charles Ellis, the author of the investment classic WINNING THE LOSER’S GAME, available now in its 2017 7th edition. Ellis is the author of 16 other books including the recently published 10th-anniversary edition of THE ELEMENTS OF INVESTING, co-written with his good friend, Princeton economics professor Burton Malkiel.    Ellis is a globally recognized financial thought leader, investment consultant, and advisor to governments, institutions, and endowments. He also cares deeply about helping investors succeed, as he puts it “winning the loser’s game.” He will help us do that this week.  WEALTHTRACK #1721 broadcast on November 20, 2020 More info: WINNING THE LOSER’S GAME (2017 edition): THE ELEMENTS OF INVESTING:
November 21, 2020
China’s Economic Comeback Offers Specific Investment Opportunities
It’s been a roller coaster of emotions for investors this week.  Our focus is China. China of course is where COVID-19 originated in late 2019. It felt the impact first. It shut down vast swathes of its economy in response and it is now coming out of it, first.  All indications are that the world’s second-largest economy, by some measures occasionally the largest, is making a comeback. It looks like an impressive one.   The International Monetary Fund is predicting China’s economy will expand 1.9% this year, and estimates it will be the only major world economy to show any growth. This week’s guest says that China’s economy is well on its way back to normal and that there are multiple opportunities for investors in the world’s second-largest stock market.   Robert Horrocks, Ph.D. and Chief Investment Officer of Matthews Asia on how back to normal is China? We will find out.   WEALTHTRACK #1720 broadcast on November 13, 2020 More info: IMF: China’s economy will expand by 1.9% this year:
November 14, 2020
Massive Stimulus, Big Government, Low-interest Rates: 3 Megatrends Moving Markets
What a week! The widely predicted blue wave of Democrats sweeping into the White House, taking over the Senate majority, and increasing their dominance in Congress has failed to materialize.  As far as the stock market is concerned, a divided government is a plus because not a lot will change in the way of tax policy and regulations.  Investor optimism is not shared by Federal Reserve officials who expressed ongoing concern about the economy and the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases in today’s Federal Open Market Committee policy announcement.  “The COVID-19 pandemic is causing tremendous human and economic hardship across the United States and around the world. Economic activity and employment have continued to recover but remain well below their levels at the beginning of the year... “ “The path of the economy will depend significantly on the course of the virus. The ongoing public health crisis will continue to weigh on economic activity, employment, and inflation in the near term, and poses considerable risks to the economic outlook over the medium term.” Ongoing Fed stimulus is another reason Wall Street is bullish.  At WEALTHTRACK we realize that we do not invest in a vacuum. What is happening in the world around us affects the markets and companies we invest in, which is why macro matters. This week, in part 2 of our interview with financial thought leader, Jason Trennert we are going to identify some of the biggest trends that have been forming around us and are gaining momentum.  Massive stimulus, big government, low-interest rates are three of the megatrends moving markets. Jason Trennert lists their winners and losers.     WEALTHTRACK #1719 broadcast on November 06, 2020 More info: Federal Open Market Committee policy announcement:
November 7, 2020
Election Portfolio Changes From Leading Strategist Jason Trennert
One of the most striking financial characteristics of the pandemic experience has been the seeming disconnect between the economy and the stock market. The economy was severely damaged by the lockdown of business and sheltering in place policies put in effect earlier this year, but until this week the market has been rising with more stocks  The unemployment rate which had fallen to 3.5% last year, the lowest level since 1969, skyrocketed with the lockdowns, reaching 14.7% in April, a level not seen since the Great Depression. Since then it’s fallen, to a still elevated 7.9 % in September, the last report before the election.  How sound are the economy and markets going into the election? What could change? Joining us with some answers this week will be financial thought leader, Jason Trennert. Trennert is co-founder, Chairman, CEO, and Chief Investment Strategist of Strategas, He says the wide policy differences between Biden and Trump call for different portfolio strategies post-election.  WEALTHTRACK #1718 broadcast on October 30, 2020 More info:
October 30, 2020
“Black Swan” Advice
COVID-19 reminded us that life-changing “Black Swan” events don’t just happen once in a century. They are an ongoing reality.  In the last twenty years, we have lived through 9/11, the global financial crisis, and now a global pandemic with the unintended consequence of rolling economic lockdowns.  On an investment level, all of these events have delivered a sharp hit to financial markets from which they have recovered. Such is the resilience and strength of the U.S. capital markets and the underlying economy.  But on a personal finance level, the impact of these events can be much more damaging and long-lasting, particularly for individuals nearing retirement or in it,  which is why we asked this week’s guest to join us. Clients in those vulnerable years are his focus.  Our guest this week is Mark Cortazzo, a certified financial planner, Founder, and Senior Partner of MACRO Consulting Group an independent wealth management firm. We asked Cortazzo to walk us through the conversations he has been having with clients about preparing for these “Black Swan” events.  WEALTHTRACK #1717 broadcast on October 23, 2020 More info at:
October 24, 2020
New Economic Expansion & Secular Bull Market
Are we in the midst of a new economic expansion and secular bull market? Those are the signals from ClearBridge Investments’ Recovery Dashboard. Investment Strategist Jeff Schulze takes us through the indicators flashing green.  WEALTHTRACK #1716A published on October 21, 2020. More info:
October 22, 2020
Deep Value Opportunities
One extraordinary characteristic of this pandemic period has been stock market performance. A recent Wall Street Journal headline captures it perfectly: “Turbocharged stocks blast off.”  In its third-quarter market’s review, the Journal points out that “more stocks skyrocketed at least 400% in the first three quarters of the year than in any comparable period since 2000.” This is not a tide that is lifting all boats, anything but. The overwhelming majority of the winners are tech or biotech-related.  Whether value’s short-lived outperformance will continue is of particular interest to this week’s guest. She is Sarah Ketterer, Chief Executive Officer of Causeway Capital Management. The combination of its deep value and international focus has proven to be challenging in this era of high performing tech and U.S. centric stocks, but Ketterer and her colleagues now call this a value investor’s dream market as more high quality, financially strong companies sell at “shockingly” cheap valuations.  Ketterer will discuss which ones, in particular, have caught her eye.   WEALTHTRACK # 1716 broadcast on October 16, 2020 More info: WSJ-THird Quater Review:
October 16, 2020
4 Forces Driving The Economy: Powerful And Sustainable
How surprised have you been by the market’s supercharged recovery from the March lows and the economy’s rebound from the COVID trough? By any measure, the snapback has been extraordinary. The shortest bear market in U.S. history, a mere 33 weeks from late February to late March, and a much faster recovery than expected.   As this week’s guest, Nancy Lazar told clients recently: “In the last expansion it took almost 9 years (until 2018) for unemployment to fall to 4.0%. Today the Fed expects (more likely wishes) to see 4.0% just 4 years into this expansion. And since this cycle’s Drivers are leveraged to the Fed’s main policy tool - interest rates - the Fed’s in a good position to make it happen.”   We will discuss why she is optimistic about the economy’s progress based on some unappreciated and under-reported trends she and her team have been tracking both pre-pandemic and now. Be prepared for a fascinating and different analysis of the U.S. economy and why its recovery powers are so strong. WEALTHTRACK #1715 broadcast on October 09,2020 More Info:
October 9, 2020
The Feds Importance in Predicting the Markets
“Don’t fight the Fed” has become an accepted Wall Street adage. It’s a phrase coined by Martin Zweig, a legendary technical analyst, and investor who predicted the 1987 market crash to the day and was the author of the 1970 investment classic Winning On Wall Street.  Zweig wrote that “The monetary climate - primarily the trend in interest rates and Federal Reserve policy - is the dominant factor in determining the stock market’s major direction.” Fast forward 50 years and “Don’t fight the Fed” is very much alive. This week’s guest has been following that dictum during his 40-year investment career.  He says we are in the midst of a Fed-induced market melt-up right now. He is Ed Yardeni, a respected Ph.D. economist, strategist, and Fed watcher who leads  Yardeni Research, a global investment strategy firm he founded in 2007. A prolific writer, publishing a detailed daily Morning Briefing and comprehensive What I am Reading list, he is also the author of a new book,  Fed Watching for Fun and Profit: A Primer for Investors. He’ll discuss why the Fed has become even more important in predicting the markets and what its current policies mean for investors. WEALTHTRACK #1714 originally broadcast on October 02, 2020 More info:…-market-behavior/ Fed Watching for Fun and Profit: A Primer for Investors: Winning On Wall Street:
October 3, 2020
Shaking Up A Legendary Fund
How do you successfully take over and run a legendary fund with a 60-year track record of excellence? We are about to find out this week in a rare interview with a fund manager who is doing just that.  The fund is the T. Rowe Price New Horizons Fund.  The small-cap growth fund has 34 billion dollars in assets and carries a Five-Star, Silver Analyst rating from Morningstar. Prior to taking over the fund, Spencer established his own record of excellence with the T. Rowe Price Global Technology Fund which he ran from 2012 until early in 2019. During his tenure the fund delivered nearly 22% annualized returns, far outdistancing its benchmark and peer group. What does New Horizons’ legacy mean to Spencer? How is he changing it? We’ll find out.  WEALTHTRACK #1713 originally broadcast on September 25, 2020. More info:
September 25, 2020
Social Security Benefits: More Valuable Than Ever [2020]
COVID-19 has thrown a monkey wrench into many retirement plans as millions of Americans were thrown out of work and many were forced to tap into retirement accounts to pay the bills.   The experience has made Social Security benefits even more valuable to potential and current retirees.  According to Social Security expert Mary Beth Franklin, they account for half or more of total income for 50% of married couples and 70% of unmarried individuals.  They are the only source of guaranteed income for life for most Americans, and they have the added bonus of adjusting for inflation, thus protecting purchasing power.  Mary Beth Franklin joins us to discuss how to make the most of Social Security benefits.  Franklin is an acknowledged expert on this topic.      She has written that deciding when and how to claim Social Security benefits is one of the most important decisions that retirees will ever make. In this week’s show, I asked her how the pandemic is affecting those decisions.    WEALTHTRACK #1712 originally broadcast on September 18, 2020 More information: Maximizing Social Security Retirement Benefits:
September 18, 2020
Retirement Benefits: Stress & Hurt
COVID-19 has affected just about every aspect of our lives:  our jobs, our health, our family and social interactions, children’s education, and leisure time.  But what has it done to retirement prospects? Not surprisingly, it has hurt them.  According to a survey of American workers with qualified retirement savings accounts, “...almost half (49%)  had experienced a reduction in work income through job loss, or decrease in hours and/or a pay cut”. Also, “...workers who lost their jobs or experienced a drop in income due to the COVID-19 pandemic were at least twice as likely to take money from their qualified retirement savings accounts as those who weren’t impacted.”    Retirement plans for older workers are particularly stressed. Not only do they have less time to make up any shortfalls, but seniors are more at risk from COVID-19 than younger people, so returning to work is more problematic.   According to the Urban Institute, the combined rate of unemployment and underemployment for workers over 65 was 26% recently, much higher than for those between 25 and 54, and the largest gap on record.     How can we improve our retirement plans to withstand the current shock of this pandemic and future crises, which will inevitably occur?    This week we’ll be joined by one of WEALTHTRACK’s long-standing and most popular guests,  retirement expert Mary Beth Franklin.  Franklin is a Certified Financial Planner, award-winning personal finance journalist, Contributing Editor at InvestmentNews, and Author of “Maximizing Social Security Retirement Benefits.”  Franklin explains what the pandemic has revealed about the state of retirement planning in the U.S., and how to best manage your own retirement in the current situation. WEALTHTRACK # 1711 originally broadcast on September 11, 2020 More Info: Maximizing Social Security Retirement Benefits: Surveys & Articles: 17
September 11, 2020
Rising Markets: All The Reasons To Be Bullish
All The Reasons To Be Bullish - This Week on WEALTHTRACKRemember the discussions about the shape of the economic recovery? Would it be a “V”, a “W”, or maybe even a hockey stick? The jury might still be out about the economy, but as far as the markets are concerned there is no question. V’s abound. The top five S&P 500 companies by market capitalization - Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Google’s parent Alphabet, and Facebook - all but the last topping a trillion in market value, are sharply higher. It is no surprise to this week’s guest. Ed Yardeni turned bullish nearly to the day of the market turnaround. He and his team are now calling this a Fed-led meltup. They say it could turn into the Mother of All Meltups, what they jokingly refer to as MAMU if it continues. They would feel a lot better about its sustainability if the market had some sort of correction or consolidation. So far it hasn’t complied. Yardeni is a Ph.D. economist, long time Fed watcher, and investment strategist who is widely followed by institutional investors.  He founded his own global investment strategy and asset allocation firm Yardeni Research in 2007, having held top investment positions at several major firms. He is also the author of a new book, Fed Watching for Fun and Profit: A Primer for Investors, which will be the focus of another WEALTHTRACK. This week, we’ll discover how bullish he still is and gets his advice for investors. WEALTHTRACK #1710 broadcast on September 04, 2020 More info here: Fed Watching for Fun and Profit: A Primer for Investors:
September 10, 2020
Economic Opportunity = Common Sense - Some Revolutionary Ideas
One of the biggest issues to emerge from the pandemic is income inequality. It has become even more pronounced as millions of low-income workers lose their jobs and the much smaller number of high-income workers keep theirs and benefit from a powerful bull market. This week’s guest is on a crusade to change this dynamic, by giving opportunities to lower-income individuals and their families to achieve economic success. He is Great Value Investor and Financial Thought Leader Joel Greenblatt. He has a new book Common Sense: The Investor’s Guide To Equality, Opportunity, and Growth and like Thomas Paine who successfully campaigned against the monarchical and tyrannical rule of Great Britain over the 13 colonies in 1776 with his widely-read pamphlet Common Sense, Greenblatt is on a crusade to disrupt the established order in a few key areas including education, corporate hiring, taxation, and immigration. One area ripe for disruption is the education system which he says is “unfair, unequal and doesn’t make sense for those most in need.” Greenblatt has tackled these inequities personally by co-founding and supporting the top-performing Success Academy Charter Network in New York. He has other real-world solutions to address these gaps. Greenblatt’s investment bona fides are also impressive. He is Managing Principal and Co-Chief Investment Officer of Gotham Asset Management. Normally investment strategy would be the focus of our entire conversation, but in today's pandemic pivot we are starting with an essential prerequisite for a successful capitalist democracy, economic opportunity for all. In a wide-ranging discussion, Greenblatt explains why he, a professional money manager, felt compelled to write his version of Common Sense. WEALTHTRACK # 1706 originally broadcast on August 07, 2020 More info: Get the book “Common Sense”:
August 7, 2020
Crisis Investing: How To Handle The Extremes
We are in a rolling economic crisis right now, subject to the vagaries of the advance or retreat of the COVID-19 virus.  It is an ever-changing scenario with stark winners and losers. The economy contracted at an annualized rate of 32.9% in the second quarter, the sharpest decline in the 70 plus years of GDP tracking. After several weeks of improvement, jobless claims for first-time unemployment benefits rose for the second week in a row. 17 million Americans are now collecting unemployment benefits. So far, the markets have been betting on COVID’s retreat and global economic recovery with big tech leading the way. How to handle these extremes as investors? As we have so many times in the past, on this week’s WEALTHTRACK we are calling upon a veteran investor to give us perspective and investment advice. We’ll hear from great investor Hersh Cohen, Co-Chief Investment Officer of Clearbridge Investments. With more than 50 years of managing money under his belt, Cohen edged out the S&P 500 with much less risk and volatility than the market. WEALTHTRACK #1705 originally broadcast on July 31, 2020 More info: "Hersh's Dividend Compounders" list is available here:
August 1, 2020
Safe Haven Investing in the Bond Market
Safe haven investments are hard to find these days, which is why we need them more than ever. We are faced with risks we haven’t experienced in living memory. A truly global and spreading pandemic, rolling government lockdowns, unprecedented involvement in securities markets by the Federal Reserve and other central banks, and massive stimulus from governments with payments to individuals and businesses. Normally when corporate and government debt soars to record levels bond markets get nervous, bond prices fall and interest rates rise as investors worry about getting paid back. Not in today's environment. The Fed has essentially pledged to keep short-term interest rates near zero and backstop numerous types of loans to prevent businesses from going bust and laying off workers. That assurance and the “don’t fight the Fed” adage seem to be enough for most fixed-income investors who continue to chase yield, driving bond prices up and interest rates down. Not this week’s guest. Tom Atteberry is a Portfolio Manager of the flagship FPA New Income fund. Atteberry brings us up to speed on conditions in the bond market, and how they have changed since Covid-19. Atteberry will also share his One Investment recommendation with us – it might surprise you! WEALTHTRACK #1704 originally broadcast on July 24, 2020 More Info:
July 25, 2020
Gold as a Long Term Substitute for Cash: Pandemic Uncertainty Risks
There are a few moments in one’s lifetime when the geopolitical and economic backdrop truly changes. COVID-19 and its aftermath are one of those moments. I call it “The Pandemic Pivot”. The combined shocks of a highly contagious and in some cases deadly virus, global economic shutdown, rising populism, and global unrest are upending the old world order and introducing new disruptive dynamics yet to be fully realized. In the meantime each of us has to live our lives, do our work and plan and invest for the future as best we can. This week’s guest is one of them.  He is Matthew McLennan, a noted global manager, Head of the Global Value Team at First Eagle Investment Management Long before this crisis McLennan has been talking about emerging global geopolitical and financial risks. He says the pandemic has exposed a number of vulnerabilities that we will discuss, as well as how he is managing through them. One particularly interesting aspect of his strategy is a renewed emphasis on gold as a long term substitute for cash. WEALTHTRACK #1703 originally broadcast on July 17, 2020 More Info:
July 18, 2020
Great Investor Bill Miller’s Bullish Case
Part Two: We are living in extraordinary times. We are calling it the Pandemic Pivot: the changes that have occurred or accelerated because of COVID-19 and the dramatic response to it, from economic shutdown to massive life support.  The stock market performance has been largely driven by a small group of well-known mega-cap tech stocks which explains the NASDAQ and S&P 500’s stellar performance and the lagging broader markets. Apple, Microsoft, Google’s parent Alphabet, Amazon, and Facebook make up 40% of the NASDAQ’s market capitalization and 20% of the S&P 500’s.   Is the stunning rally off of the recent March lows durable? Are stock prices running on anything other than Fed fumes?  Yes, says legendary value investor Bill Miller! He will explain why he joins us for the second of our two-part interview with him.   WEALTHTRACK Episode #1702 originally broadcast on July 10, 2020   More info:   Watch Part One:
July 10, 2020
What The Pandemic Has & Has Not Changed
We are marking the start of this season with the introduction of a new series. What we are calling the “Pandemic Pivot” - the rapid economic, market, and geopolitical shifts we are experiencing during the global health crisis. Through lockdowns and re-openings, the changes have been dramatic and swift. The huge, largely government-induced shutdown of global commerce ended the record-breaking economic recovery and the bull market in the U.S. The massive monetary and fiscal stimulus in response led to the shortest bear market in history and what could turn out to be the briefest recession ever - the jury is still out on this. To make sense of these changes, we are turning to a great investor Bill Miller, Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Miller Value Partners. This week, in the first of a two-part interview, Miller and I discuss how the world has and has not changed since the pandemic struck. WEALTHTRACK Episode #1701 broadcast on July 03, 2020 More Info:
July 4, 2020
This is a Bear-Market Rally, Life Has Changed & “Homebody” Investments Will Flourish
One of the striking financial characteristics of this pandemic stricken world has been the extreme divergence between the sickening economic reality on the ground and the out of this world exuberance in the stock market, which started long before now when businesses are slowly and sporadically being allowed to reopen. This week’s guest’s interpretation of the data is the polar opposite. He has widely followed economist, David Rosenberg, President, Chief Economist and Strategist at Rosenberg Research & Associates, Last week, in Part I of our interview, he told us the economy was already going into a recession when the pandemic hit, that it has dramatically deepened, and that unless there is a vaccine soon, which he doubts will happen, that the damage will be lasting. This week, in Part 2 of our interview with Rosenberg, he focuses on the markets. He says it is impossible to reconcile one of the highest unemployment rates since the Great Depression with the recent biggest 50-day post bear market rally in the S&P 500’s history and that something has to give. Despite the market’s impressive performance since the March lows, he remains bearish, calling the experience a classic bear market rally. In this week’s interview, we discuss what has led him to this conclusion. Rosenberg will also explain why he believes the pandemic has brought about a fundamental shift to what he calls a “Homebody Economy”, and what that means for investors. He agreed to share his list of “How to invest in the Post-Crisis ‘Homebody’ Economy” with us on our website. WEALTHTRACK #1651 broadcast on June 29, 2020 More info: Letter from the “Non-Bearish” Chief Economist:
June 20, 2020
Why Nothing Will Be Normal
In the first of a two-part interview, Influential economist David Rosenberg explains why “nothing is normal” after the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a picture that Rosenberg has been painting ever since the pandemic hit. And well before that he was deeply concerned about the economy’s weakness and the stock market’s vulnerability. Dave Rosenberg is President, Chief Economist and Strategist at his independent economic consulting firm Rosenberg Research & Associates which he launched early this year with the stated priority of “…providing investors with analysis and insights to help them make well-informed investment decisions.” He is known for his tell-it-like-it-is commentary, independence of thought, and high conviction calls which are frequently far out of the consensus. He will not disappoint in this interview as we discuss why “nothing is normal.” More Info: Churchill: Walking With Destiny, By Andrew Roberts:
June 12, 2020
Financial Impact of Past Pandemics – Important Lessons for Today
The impact of past pandemics on the U.S. economy and markets has important lessons for today says financial historian Richard Sylla, as does the record growth in both monetary and fiscal stimulus. More info: Reading List: “Pandemics and Epidemics: Financial and Economic Effects” : Alexander Hamilton on Finance, Credit, and Debt: Alexander Hamilton: The Illustrated Biography: A History of Interest Rates:
June 6, 2020
Influential Economist Paul McCulley on the Lasting Necessity of Record Monetary & Fiscal Stimulus
Central banks and governments around the world are pulling out all the stops to replace income lost from COVID-19 shutdowns, including as we have seen in the United States direct payments to individuals. We are devoting a WEALTHTRACK podcast this week to “Helicopter Money”, a concept coined by Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman who theorized that as a last resort in a deflationary depression the government could drop dollar bills from a helicopter for people to pick up and spend to “shock it out of a deep slump” with the “aim of boosting demand and inflation.” That theory has now become reality and our financial thought leader guest, Paul McCulley believes it signals a new era whose time has finally come. McCulley will discuss the far-reaching policy changes now occurring and why he believes many will become permanent. McCulley has been a WEALTHTRACK regular since the beginning, starting when he was Senior Partner at PIMCO where he was Founding Member of its Investment Policy Committee, author of the influential monthly “Global Central Bank Focus” and manager of its huge short-term trading desk overseeing an estimated $400 billion. Since retiring from PIMCO in 2010 he has been busy writing, speaking, and teaching. He is currently adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and Senior Fellow at Cornell Law School. Influential economist and Fed analyst Paul McCulley says the concept of “Helicopter Money” from the government is here to stay and we are in a new era where monetary policy will play a subordinate role to fiscal actions. More Info: McCulley from the  WEALTHTRACK Archives:
June 2, 2020
Really Cheap Markets and the Pandemic’s Hidden Toll With Financial Thought Leader Rob Arnott
Can investing be simple? With the 20/20 vision of hindsight it sure looks that way.  Had investors just decided to stay in the U.S., invest in growth stocks, especially mega-cap tech stocks they would have hit the trifecta over the last decade or more. Has the COVID-19 pandemic changed that formula for success? It has not. If anything it seems to have accelerated and accentuated it. The extended FAANG family known by the acronym FAANGM for Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Google’s parent Alphabet, and Microsoft recently comprised close to 24% of the total market cap of the S&P 500, topping what dot com stocks reached at the height of the tech bubble. Left in the dust by this juggernaut combination of U.S mega-cap tech are other stock market sectors including value stocks, small company stocks, and international markets, particularly emerging markets. It just so happens that those are the very areas that this week’s guest believes we should be focusing on now. He is financial thought leader, innovator, and investor Robert Arnott, Chairman of the Board of Research Affiliates, which he founded in 2002 as a self-described “research-intensive asset management firm that focuses on innovative products.” Among the innovations that he has pioneered is fundamental indexation - building indexes with stocks based on the size of their fundamentals, such as sales, profits, cash flow, book value, and dividends, not their stock price. The firm just published its new forecast for various smart beta strategies. Here are the highlights: Before getting into these contrarian assumptions I will ask Arnott how the pandemic and the policy responses to it have changed his investment views. WEALTHTRACK #1647 broadcast on May 22, 2020 More info here: Research Affiliates smart beta strategies:!/strategies
May 26, 2020
Bad Economy Getting Better but Fears a Damaging 2nd Wave
No doubt about it. The stream of economic news is terrible. The pandemic induced shutdown of much of the U.S. economy, Europe and other countries has resulted in stunning declines in employment, income, sales, earnings, government revenues, and overall economic output. This week’s guest has been following and cataloging all of the economic and policy developments since the beginning of the pandemic and joins us with a summary and update on what it means for the overall economy, businesses, consumers, and investors. We are delighted to welcome Ed Hyman back to WEALTHTRACK to share his current outlook with us. Hyman has been voted Wall Street’s Number One Economist for an unprecedented 39 years in Institutional Investor’s annual survey. No one else comes even close to that record. He is Vice Chairman of Evercore, a leading independent investment banking and advisory firm, and the Founder and Chairman of its Evercore ISI division where he leads its economic research team. For months now Hyman’s must-read daily reports have described the condition of the global economy as being in “free fall” and the policy response as “massive”. Just recently however he noticed a slight change.  As he described it the economic data was still “really bad,” but it was also, “better.” He will describe both the “really bad” and the “better” for us. More info:…amaging-2nd-wave/
May 15, 2020
Covid-19 Is Changing Economic & Investment Behavior in Profound & Lasting Ways
How different will our world be as the nation slowly returns to work on a state by state, city by city, business by business basis? In part II of our interview with financial thought leader, Jason Trennert, the Co-Founder, Managing Partner, and Chief Investment Strategist of leading macro research firm Strategas Research Partners he addresses the profound changes ahead. Trennert believes the COVID-19 experience and its economic aftermath will alter the behavior of countries, individuals, businesses, and investors for many years to come. He shares his assessment of the pandemic’s potential long-term winners and losers with us. If you missed his discussion last week, debating the merits of both the bullish and bearish case for the market and where he comes out. WEALTHTRACK Episode 1645 broadcast on May 08, 2020 More info: Leading investment strategist, Jason Trennert periodically sends out thoughtful and insightful thematic essays to his clients.  He believes the pandemic and its economic consequences mean profound changes ahead for individuals, businesses, and investors. He was kind enough to share his viewpoints with us. FREEDOM IN A FRACTIONAL RESERVE SOCIETY I and II Long-Term Losers From the Pandemic: Long-Term Winners From the Pandemic:
May 8, 2020
The Bullish vs. Bearish Cases Mid Shutdown: Investment Strategist Jason Trennert
This week’s guest was concerned about high market valuations before the global pandemic hit and was recommending clients raise some cash.  It’s a call he and his team have reiterated since. He is Jason Trennert, Co-Founder, Managing Partner and Chief Investment Strategist of Strategas Research Partners, Trennert and his team have been busier than ever assessing the macro effects of the pandemic shutdown including policy, the public, and private sectors of the economy and the markets. In a recent report to clients, Trennert laid out the main arguments in the bull vs. bear debate and where he and his team stand now.  As he put it, “In times of acute stress in the markets, I find myself doing less modeling and more thinking.” We asked him to share his investment thoughts. WEALTHTRACK #1644 broadcast on May 01, 2020 More info:
May 1, 2020
Will the Massive Policy Response Halt the Global Economic Freefall?
We are witnessing massive policy responses of historic proportions. The fiscal and monetary reaction to the COVID-19 shut down of economies around the world has been unprecedented in its size and speed. How effective will it be and who stands to benefit from the stimulus? Who is at most risk of being left behind? We have measured answers from a major player in resolving the Global Financial Crisis a decade ago.  John Lipsky, who was the First Deputy Managing Director at the IMF from 2006-2011 during the height of the crisis joins us with his in-depth analysis of the policy response then and now and perspective on current risks. He raises serious concerns about the economic health of southern Europe, Italy in particular and emerging market countries as well.  It’s a heads up for the international exposure of our portfolios. John Lipsky Former Acting Managing Director, International Monetary Fund Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies: - Distinguished Scholar at the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs - Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Institute WEALTHTRACK #1643 published April 24, 2020
April 25, 2020
Expect More Economic & Market Damage as Pandemic Repercussions Multiply Says Investment Veteran
When economies started shutting down in various parts of the world we all knew that the economic numbers would be bad. How could they not be? We are just now getting some measure of the initial damage in terms of unemployment, business activity, and earnings. For some longer-term perspective on the economic and financial damage we are experiencing and some investment guidance I reached out to a trusted source for some advice. Nick Sargen, now Senior Economic Advisor at Fort Washington Investment Advisors, who has 50 years of experience as an international economist and global money manager. He is also the author of two timely books, Global Shocks: An Investment Guide for Turbulent Markets and Investing in the Trump Era: How Economic Policies Impact Financial Markets.  A student of financial crises, Nick’s thoughtful and knowledgeable assessment of the state of the economy and markets and his advice for investors is definitely worth hearing.  WEALTHTRACK #1642 published on April 17, 2020 More info:
April 18, 2020
Surprising Retirement Planning Essentials From Diet to Advisor Credentials From Two Retirement Pros
Retirees and near-retirees have suffered a punch to the gut and their portfolios with the coronavirus induced shutdown of the economy and the massive and precipitous market decline. After a decade which resulted in longevity records being set by both the economic recovery and bull market this black swan event was a stunner which requires a reassessment and regrouping of life plans, particularly for seniors.   The most important actions we can take are to have a plan to protect what we have, live within our means and limit the drawdowns from already battered portfolios. How do we find the right financial advisor to help us do that? That is one of the questions we will answer in this week’s WEALTHTRACK.   One lesson we learned from the last financial crisis and recession was panic selling resulted in permanent losses. Investors who kept their targeted stock allocation benefitted from the eventual market recovery.   Another lesson learned was the value of Social Security. No matter what happens in the market it is the one guaranteed, an inflation-adjusted annuity that most working Americans are entitled to. The longer Americans can delay collecting that benefit, until age 70 if possible, the bigger the lifetime payout is.   That is a point upon which our two guests heartily agree. Teresa Ghilarducci is a Professor of Economics at the New School for Social Research where she is Director of the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA), and the Retirement Equity Lab (ReLab), which researches the causes and consequences of the retirement crisis. Ghilarducci is co-author with former WEALTHTRACK guest, Tony James of Rescuing Retirement: A Plan to Guarantee Retirement Security for All Americans.   Jamie Hopkins is Director of Retirement Research at Carson Wealth, and Finance Professor of Practice at Creighton University College of Business. Hopkins, a frequent WEALTHTRACK guest is an expert on retirement income and author of Rewirement: Rewiring the Way You Think About Retirement.    WEALTHTRACK #1642 broadcast on April 10, 2020 More info: Books: Rewirement: Rewiring the Way You Think About Retirement:  Rescuing Retirement: A Plan to Guarantee Retirement Security for All Americans:
April 10, 2020
Staggering Numbers
One of the biggest trends in investing in recent years has been the migration of investment dollars into exchange-traded funds and out of traditional mutual funds. The numbers are staggering.  This week’s guest had the foresight and guts to get involved in ETFs in their early stages and more recently cryptocurrencies which are still in their development phase. We are going to get his update on both.  He is Matt Hougan, Global Head of Research at Bitwise Asset Management, a cryptocurrency asset manager. Hougan describes it as the “crypto equivalent of an S&P 500 fund.”  He also is Chairman of Inside ETFs where he was CEO until joining Bitwise. Inside ETFs is the world’s largest ETF education and events company.  He will give us advice on investing dos and don’ts in both investment vehicles.   WEALTHTRACK #1640 broadcast on April 3, 2020. More info:
April 3, 2020
Crisis Investment Perspective
Life can change in a New York minute, and it has. The world is going through a terrible experience right now.  As President Trump has said we are at war with an invisible enemy.  I would add it’s an enemy that can strike anyone, anywhere which makes it so unsettling. The coronavirus is upending lives and societies.  The steps we are taking to combat it are harsh, isolating, and damaging psychologically, emotionally, and financially. Everyone is affected.  Many Americans are losing their paychecks and jobs for an indeterminate amount of time. Some are in danger of losing their businesses.   The cynic’s definition of a recession is when your neighbor loses her job.  A depression is when you lose your job.  Until we get a handle on the length and scope of COVID-19 we won’t be able to define its impact.  This week’s guest comes from a family of investors who take the long view. He is third generation value investor Christopher Davis, Chairman and Portfolio Manager of Davis Advisors an independent investment management firm. Davis will provide some welcome perspective on how the firm has managed through crisis conditions for more than half a century. WEALTHTRACK #1639 broadcast on March 27, 2020 More info:
March 27, 2020
This is bigger than the financial crisis & it’s wise to raise cash says T- bond guru Robert Kessler
The markets will fluctuate said J.P. Morgan.  We will add they can fluctuate dramatically and quickly. We are now living that reality daily. The longest bull market in U.S. history, which began in March of 2009 saw stocks reach new highs in February only to plummet this month at historic speeds and magnitudes. The bull market officially ended on March 11th and the bear market began with a 20% plus decline in major markets from their previous highs. Since then the bear market has been deepening. The longest economic recovery in U.S. history is also at risk.  What seemed highly unlikely to most economists just a few weeks ago, namely a U.S. recession is now becoming a consensus view.  All it would take is two consecutive quarters of contracting growth and it looks like the second and third quarters of 2020 will qualify. Wall Street’s number one economist and WEALTHTRACK guest Ed Hyman issued his U.S. recession forecast on March 7th citing the triple whammies of oil price collapse, coronavirus economic impacts, and China-related supply chain disruptions. Meanwhile, the bond markets are setting their own records. Yields on U.S. Treasury securities the 10-year Treasury note and the 30-year Treasury bond have both been reaching historic lows. When bond prices rise yields fall so Treasuries have once again proven to be safe havens as well as excellent investments in the face of stock market declines. None of this is a surprise to this week’s guest who has been warning of economic and stock market risks for years on WEALTHTRACK and the value of owning U.S. Treasury securities and cash. He is Robert Kessler, founder, and CEO of Kessler Investment Advisors, a manager of fixed-income portfolios with a specialty in U.S. Treasuries for institutions and high net worth individuals around the globe. When Kessler was on WEALTHTRACK a year ago he warned there was a recession dead ahead. He said it’s all about debt. WEALTHTRACK # 1638 broadcast on March 20, 2020
March 20, 2020
Bullish on China
Before the coronavirus crisis, Matthews Asia’s Robert Horrocks was bullish on China’s investment prospects. He believes China’s stock markets are getting back on track to outperform in the years ahead. WEALTHTRACK #1636 published on March 04, 2020. More info: "Current Conditions Call For a Long-Term Focus" :
March 5, 2020
Coronavirus & The Markets (February 2020)
Fears of a coronavirus induced hit to the global economy and corporate earnings drove stock markets into official correction territory today. It takes a 10% decline from the previous high to meet that definition and the Dow, S&P 500 and NASDAQ all exceeded that standard today after relentless selling this week. For institutional investors, who are frequently judged on quarterly performance the safest course of action from a short-term performance standpoint is to sell first and ask questions later.  Individuals are under no such pressure. As frequent WEALTHTRACK guests and The Wall Street Journal’s “The Intelligent Investor” columnist Jason Zweig wrote this week, “The Pros Have to Sell Stocks Now. You Don’t.” The article gives very compelling reasons why. How damaging will the coronavirus prove to be to business? In a WEALTHTRACK podcast, Nicholas Bohnsack, co-founder, and partner of top-rated macro research firm Strategas Research Partners assesses the evidence so far and why he and his team believe there are reasons for optimism longer term. WEALTHTRACK #1635 published on February 28, 2020 The Pros Have to Sell Stocks Now. You Don’t.: More info:
February 28, 2020
Filling in the Retirement Income Gap With Insurance Expert Kim Lankford
The reality is most Americans have not met their retirement goals. Here are some findings from a recent Fidelity Investments Retirement Mindset Study which surveyed adults of all ages, both male and female. Eighty-two percent of the general population don’t have a retirement plan in place. It’s not as if Americans aren’t worried about retirement. They are. Seventy-five percent feel only somewhat confident to not confident at all about their retirement finances. What worries people the most about retirement? Economic concerns that can’t be predicted and are out of their control. The next big unpredictable area of concern is Social Security benefits. The third is inflation. Needless to say, the biggest personal worry is outliving their assets. We want to change this dynamic starting right now. And we have the right guest to help us. Kim Lankford is an award-winning personal finance journalist, now working freelance. She was a long time contributing editor and columnist for Kiplinger’s. One of the first steps she recommends to plan for retirement or manage it is to understand our monthly cash flows. WEALTHTRACK #1634 broadcast on Feburary 21, 2020. Episode web page: Fidelity Investments Retirement Mindset Study: Investopedia – Guide to Annuities: Insured Retirement Institute - Glossary of Annuity Product Terms:
February 22, 2020
Non-consensus Value Investing With Ariel Investments’ Rupal Bhansali
In the current market cycle dating from 2009 coming out of the great financial crisis: - Equities dominated bonds and commodities. - The U.S. trumped international. - Growth outpaced value. - And large U.S. tech companies dominated just about every sector and security. As in previous bull market periods, money flows to the best performers and flees the laggards. This record-setting U.S. bull market has also accentuated the attraction of index investing, as mutual funds and ETFs based on the S&P 500, in particular, have been among the decade’s stars. It’s been a challenging period for active managers, especially those focused on value investing and international markets. This week’s guest checks off all of those boxes but remains a fierce advocate for all three approaches. She is Rupal Bhansali, Chief Investment Officer of International and Global Equities at Ariel Investments. Bhansali shows how to apply it to the world of investing to improve one’s odds of achieving above-average returns with below-average risks. Her upside-down investment approach focuses on avoiding losers instead of picking the winners WEALTHTRACK #1633 broadcast on February 14, 2020 More info: Book:   Non-Consensus Investing: Being Right When Everyone Else Is Wrong
February 15, 2020
Big Idea Companies Disrupting Industries Globally - Top Growth Manager Alex Umansky Focuses on Them
When you are hot you’re hot and this week’s WEALTHTRACK guest has been on a tear since launching his Baron Global Advantage Fund in 2012. Alex Umansky is new to WEALTHTRACK but he is a seasoned investor with an outstanding track record. Prior to joining Baron, Umansky spent 18 years at Morgan Stanley where he ran global and international funds as well as the firm’s Institutional Technology Strategy and Technology Fund. Umansky has a degree in finance, information systems and mathematics from NYU’s Stern School of Business and was a computer programmer early in his career. Very few money managers have the opportunity to create a new fund, and a tiny percentage deliver the outstanding results Umansky has.  We will discuss what he sees as his competitive advantage at Baron Global Advantage, as well as his views on the “big idea, disruptive companies” he defines as his specialty. WEALTHTRACK #1632 broadcast Feburary 07, 2020. More info:…ustries-globally/
February 8, 2020
A Game Changer for Market Leadership Creating New Winners and Losers – End of Globalization
Are we witnessing the end of globalization, the dominant trade and economic force of the last quarter-century? That is what financial thought leader Richard Bernstein is suggesting to clients. In a recent report, aptly titled: Investing for December 31, 2029 -The End of Globalization, he makes his case. And yes, he is talking about 2029! As he notes in his report: “Market leadership always changes decade by decade, and the leadership of the past decade, which are now lauded as ‘core investments,’ seem highly unlikely to be the leadership of the next decade.” If he is correct, which he has been frequently over the years, thinking about investing for 2029 is probably a healthy exercise. Richard Bernstein is Chief Executive and Chief Investment Officer of Richard Bernstein Advisors, which he founded in 2009. It now oversees or advises over 9 billion dollars in assets, largely in multi-asset allocation strategies using ETFs for financial advisors. WEALTHTRACK #1630 broadcast on January 24, 2020 More info: Investing for December 31, 2029 – The End of Globalization University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index
January 25, 2020
Mega investment trends influencing markets with Great Global Investor Bill Wilby
As we enter a new decade what are some of the major changes we face as investors? For answers, we are asking a global investor known not only for his past performance but also for identifying big themes that can have an outsized influence on the financial markets. He is great investor Bill Wilby who has appeared with us exclusively since his retirement from professional money management over a decade ago. He was the Portfolio Manager of the award-winning Oppenheimer Global Fund a graduate of West Point, Wilby also has a Ph.D. in International Monetary Economics and has held various international finance and investment positions at top financial institutions including the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Wilby wanted to discuss a couple of themes with us. One is the privatization of the public markets, the other theme influencing Wilby’s investment strategy is what he calls the global trade reset which we will also discuss. WEALTHTRACK #1629 broadcast on January 17, 2020.
January 18, 2020
Get Your Financial House in Order With Personal Finance Guru Christine Benz’ Financial To-Do List!
At the beginning of every new year or at tax time when I am under the IRS deadline gun, I vow this year is going to be different and I will finally get organized and make decisions over time instead of at the last minute. For the second year in a row, we have invited one of our favorite guests who is very knowledgeable and organized to join us. She is Christine Benz, Morningstar’s personal finance guru. She writes daily personal finance columns for Morningstar, does interviews and podcasts and is the author of several books including 30-Minute Money Solutions: A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Your Finances and the Morningstar Guide To Mutual Funds: 5-Star Strategies for Success.  She has also been a WEALTHTRACK regular since the beginning. We asked her to take us through her financial to-do list for 2020. It is detailed so get out your pens, papers or smartphones and prepare to take notes when you join us. WEALTHTRACK #1628 broadcast on January 10, 2020 More info:
January 11, 2020
Powerful Narratives: Stories Propelling Economies and Markets in 2020
Happy New Year and Happy New Decade! What will the 2020s bring? As J.P. Morgan famously said: “Stocks will fluctuate.”  In 2019 they fluctuated mostly higher and the U.S. was still the place to be. Tech giants such as FANG’s Facebook, up 56%, Google’s parent Alphabet, up 29% and up 23% propelled the NASDAQ 35% higher. The S&P 500 rose nearly 27% and the Dow Jones Industrials advanced over 22%, all trading in record territory. It was pretty much a year for stocks all over the world, which is, of course, bringing the doomsayers out in droves. An excellent article on the front page of The Wall Street Journal’s Year-end Review & Outlook section is a good example. It’s titled: “Japan’s Lost 30 Years Give Pause To Those Looking at The U.S.” What are the stories propelling economies and markets in 2020 and the decade going to be? It’s a podcast conversation we had with Nobel Laureate economist Robert Shiller about how important powerful narratives driving the economy are. WEALTHTRACK #1627 published on January 03, 2020. More info at:
January 4, 2020
Easy Money, China Slowdown & Brexit Are Transforming the Global Economy & Investment Choices
Since launching WEALTHTRACK in 2005 we have asked economic legend Ed Hyman to share his new year forecast with us, which he has done pretty much exclusively since the beginning. We also invite a leading portfolio manager to join him. For the fourth year in a row, First Eagle’s Matthew McLennan is doing the honors. This week we are presenting the second of our two-part series focused on the global economic and investment outlook. In case you missed it, we tackled the 2020 prospects for the U.S. economy and markets last week which you can see on or our YouTube channel.  In part one of our 2020 Outlook edition, Hyman predicted, as he did accurately for 2019, that the longest economic recovery on record in the U.S. would continue. He sees no signs of recession and believes that growth will actually pick up! He also forecasts that Wall Street will continue to climb a wall of worry, which he will describe in detail. Matt McLennan is not as optimistic. One of his main concerns is the record levels of government and corporate debt in the U.S. and the problems it poses to future growth and liquidity, especially in the event of a slowdown. After the record-setting bull market run he also believes the U.S. market is expensive. He is investing very selectively in super high quality, market-dominant companies. He has a stash of cash to take advantage of sizable market declines and a significant position in gold to offset market risk. We will start our global outlook discussion this week with one of the biggest headline events of 2019 - Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “Get Brexit Done” victory in the United Kingdom which Hyman thinks has worldwide significance.
December 28, 2019
Positive 2020 outlook for US economy says Wall Street’s #1 Economist Ed Hyman
Every year at this time we are delighted to welcome Wall Street’s long-reigning number one economist, Ed Hyman to share his outlook with us.  And we always pair him with a leading portfolio manager with a global investment view. For the fourth year in a row, our choice is First Eagle’s, Matthew McLennan. In the first of this two-part series on the Outlook for 2020, our focus is on the U.S. Last year Hyman correctly forecast the now record-breaking economic recovery would continue and that a recession was several years away. We’ll find out what his view is now and get McLennan’s assessment of the U.S. markets. Ed Hyman is a Wall Street legend. Vice-Chairman of Evercore, a leading independent investment banking and advisory firm, Hyman is the Founder and Chairman of its Evercore ISI division and leads its economic research team. He has been voted Wall Street’s Number One Economist for an unprecedented 39 years in Institutional Investor’s annual survey. No one else comes even close to that record. Matthew McLennan, a noted global value manager is Head of the Global Value Team at First Eagle Investment Management where he oversees more than ninety billion dollars in assets, including several funds. His flagship First Eagle Global Fund which he inherited from legendary value investor Jean-Marie Eveillard in 2008 carries Morningstar’s Five Star and Bronze Medalist Analyst ratings and has outperformed both its World Stock Index and World Allocation category since its 1979 inception. WEALTHTRACK #1625 broadcast on December 20, 2019 More info:
December 21, 2019
America’s Do-It-Yourself System Is Failing Many Retirees. Answers From Two Retirement Experts
There is a retirement crisis in this country. It is becoming more apparent as 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day. A recent Wells Fargo survey found that more than eight in ten current retirees fund their retirement primarily with Social Security, or a pension; just 5% do so from personal savings such as an IRA or 401(k). Seven in ten retirees say they would have “no idea what they would do” without Social Security. Contrast them with younger generations who expect savings to be the top source of their funding; 45% of millennials say they must rely on IRAs or 401(k)s and only 25% expect to rely on Social Security or a pension. No matter what income group you look at savings makes a huge difference. The top 10% of savers in all income groups, from the highest to the lowest consistently held 10-20 times the retirement wealth of the bottom 10% of savers. What has caused the retirement crisis and are there policy and personal solutions to fix it? Two retirement experts will join us with some answers. Teresa Ghilarducci is a Professor of Economics at the New School for Social Research where she is Director of the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA) and the Retirement Equity Lab (ReLab), which researches the causes and consequences of the retirement crisis. Ghilarducci is a co-author with former WEALTHTRACK guest, Tony James of Rescuing Retirement: A Plan to Guarantee Retirement Security for All Americans. Jamie Hopkins is Director of Retirement Research at Carson Wealth, and Finance Professor of Practice at Creighton University College of Business. Hopkins a frequent WEALTHTRACK guest is an expert on retirement income and author of Rewirement: Rewiring the Way You Think About Retirement.  WEALTHTRACK #1624 broadcast on December 13, 2019. More info at:
December 14, 2019
Slowing Economies & Record Levels of Debt Are a Dangerous Mix
Last week’s podcast with influential and outspoken economist David Rosenberg generated a tremendous amount of traffic and comment. We are running part 2 this weekend. Rosenberg had been predicting the end of both the record-breaking U.S. recovery and bull market this year. Needless-to-say it hasn’t happened, and he is the first to admit he missed this year’s impressive run in large-cap stocks as a result. However, his recommendation to own long-term Treasury bonds has paid off. Year-to-date the 30-year has delivered about a 20% return. Rosenberg who is known for seeing emerging economic patterns before most others do, sometimes a couple of years early, is sticking to his guns in forecasting that a U.S. recession is imminent and is very concerned about the damage the record-breaking load of U.S. and global debt, what he  calls “the mother of all credit bubbles on steroids” will have when it occurs.   What was intended as one session with us turned into two because he had so much evidence to share about global and domestic conditions and the state of the financial markets. Last week he made his case for recession. This week his focus extends to the markets and recession resilient investments.   As we mentioned last week, Rosenberg is launching his own macro research and strategy firm in January, Rosenberg Research and Associates. He explains why he decided to make that long-held dream a reality in our EXTRA feature on In the meantime, he remains as Chief Economist and Strategist at Toronto based wealth management firm, Gluskin Sheff. More info at:
December 7, 2019
Mounting Recession Signs: Prescient Economist David Rosenberg’s Warnings
Influential economist David Rosenberg lays out a persuasive case for the end of the record-breaking economic recovery in part one of a two-part WEALTHTRACK conversation. WEALTHTRACK # 1662 published on November 27, 2019.
November 30, 2019
Is Corporate America’s Focus On Profits The Problem With Capitalism? Two Entrepreneurs Respond
Do corporations need a new purpose? Does the free enterprise capitalist system need a major overhaul or a tune-up? We have two guests with strong views on the topic. Ken Langone is Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Invented Associates. He is Co-Founder of the Home Depot where he was Lead Director and a member of the executive committee of its board from its founding in 1978 until 2008. He is a noted philanthropist and the author of I Love Capitalism!: An American Story. He is joined By David Gardner, the Co-Founder, and Co-Chairman of The Motley Fool, a global online investing service launched with his brother Tom in 1993. Motley Fool’s purpose is to make the world smarter, happier and richer by helping individuals become better investors. WEALTHTRACK #1621 broadcast on November 22, 2019. More Info:
November 23, 2019
Recession & Bear Market Risks With Financial Thought Leader Jason Trennert
As the Dow and S&P 500 hit new records this week, there is much to contemplate and for the markets to digest in the final weeks of 2019. Time to consult Jason Trennert of Strategas Research Partners, a financial thought leader who has the scope to put it all together and tell us what it means. WEALTHTRACK #1620 broadcast on November 15, 2019. More info:
November 16, 2019
Interest Compounding Machines
We are always on the lookout for the exceptional on WEALTHTRACK.  It’s not easy to find among actively managed mutual fund managers. Only 23% of actively managed funds in all major categories, including stocks, bonds, and real estate outperformed their passive index fund rivals over the last ten years. And only about 8% of U.S. large-cap funds outperformed passive, the smallest margin among all active fund categories winners.  No wonder that active U.S. stock funds are experiencing substantial outflows and passive stock funds are gaining assets. In a historic shift, passive assets in U.S. equity funds recently surpassed those in actively managed ones for the first time ever. This week’s guests are bucking all of those trends. They are active managers in primarily large-cap U.S. stocks. They have been beating the market and peers by substantial margins over the last decade and they are attracting more assets. Joining us for a rare interview is Chuck Akre and John Neff of Akre Capital Management WEALTHTRACK #1619 broadcast on November 08, 2019. More info:
November 9, 2019
Bonds With Social Impact With Five-star Fund Manager Stephen Liberatore
Socially responsible investing has taken off and interest in it is accelerating.  As we’ve reported before on WEALTHTRACK, U.S assets invested in companies screened for ESG, or their environmental, social and governance policies grew 38% from 2016-2018 by more than $3 trillion to $12 trillion dollars.  According to U.S. SIF, or the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, which tracks these funds, that $12 trillion represents 26% or one in four dollars of the $46.6 trillion of U.S. assets under professional management. This week’s guest is a leader in the relatively recent field of fixed income ESG investing, as well as the new area of impact investing in public fixed income markets, where bond proceeds are directed to a specific project or goal and the results are measurable. He is Stephen Liberatore, lead portfolio manager at TIAA Investments for responsible investment fixed income mandates that incorporate ESG criteria. Liberatore will discuss what he looks for as a socially responsible bond investor in a field that has traditionally been dominated by equity investors. WEALTHTRACK #1618 broadcast on November 1, 2019 Learn more:
November 1, 2019
Political & Economic Pressures on Oil & Gas Stocks. Industry Veteran Tom Petrie’s Reality Check
If you were to follow legendary investor Sir John Templeton’s advice to buy where there is maximum pessimism it might lead you to energy stocks. The energy sector has lagged the S&P 500 since 2016 and has been one of the worst if not the worst-performing industry sectors over the last year. The fossil fuel industry has been hit with an almost perfect storm of headwinds and instability among major petroleum producers outside of the U.S. The ongoing trade wars between the U.S. and China have also started to take their toll on global economic growth, increasing the downward pressure on demand for fuel. What’s the outlook for traditional energy producers? Are they still viable investments or are they on their way to being phased out? Joining us to discuss the role fossil fuels continue to play in energy production and the state of the oil and gas industry, in particular, is Tom Petrie, a financial thought leader in the sector and chairman of Petrie Partners a leading investment banking and consulting boutique to the oil and gas industry. Petrie is the author of Following Oil: Four Decades of Cycle-Testing Experiences and What They Foretell about U.S. Energy Independence.  WEALTHTRACK #1617 broadcast on October 25, 2019 More info:
October 25, 2019
Growth Stocks With Downside Protection
The economy and markets are facing multiple headwinds. But the cumulative real growth of the economy, that’s excluding inflation, is far below other post World War II recoveries. That growth is now being challenged on several fronts - enough to derail the U.S. economy and the record-breaking bull market in large-cap stocks? In a slow-growth world, growth commands a premium. Large-cap growth stocks, particularly the largest U.S. ones known as mega-caps have dominated market performance, revenues, and earnings over the last decade with a few short-lived challenges from value stocks. Will they continue to do so? This week’s guest is a newcomer to WEALTHTRACK, but not to the investment business. She is Margaret Vitrano, Co-Portfolio Manager of the high performing ClearBridge Large Cap Growth Fund Vitrano and her Co-Portfolio Manager Peter Bourbeau also oversee ClearBridge’s All Cap Growth Strategies along with Large Cap Growth which adds up to nearly $50 billion under management. Of particular interest is the team's “three-bucket” approach strategy to large-cap growth which Vitrano believes has protected their portfolios in down markets. She will also discuss their treatment of the FAANGs in their portfolios and why they are currently overweighting Facebook. WEALTHTRACK # 1615 broadcast on October 11, 2019. More Info and Hersh Cohen “Dividend Compounders List” are available at:
October 11, 2019
Avoiding costly Medicare mistakes with Medicare expert Dr. Katy Votava
Medicare is a benefit that can’t start soon enough for many older adults. Health care costs are skyrocketing and they hit seniors particularly hard because many are on a fixed income and they utilize health care more. But Medicare is not a slam dunk, anything but.  It is a very complex, confusing multipart program that requires work to understand. And its benefits can vary widely depending upon how and when you apply, where you live, and what plans you enroll in.  And as your health changes, it can either help you or hurt you. You need to know how to make it work for you. A shocking statistic from Medicare guru Katy Votava is that “nearly 95% of people pay too much for their Medicare coverage… because they do not completely understand the full costs they will pay in addition to the premiums.”  With Medicare, the devil is in the details which is why we have asked benefits guru Votava to return to WEALTHTRACK and bring us up to speed. WEALTHTRACK # 1614 broadcast on October 04, 20219. More Info: MEDICARE RESOURCES – The official U.S. Government site for Medicare 1-800-MEDICARE – The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) site that directs consumers to free Medicare counseling and assistance
October 4, 2019
Small Company Executives Are Not Worried About Recession & Their Stocks Are Making a Comeback.
Two investment tenets have been upended in recent years: one that value stocks, considered cheap by traditional metrics outperform growth stocks, the other that small companies outperform large ones. Over the last decade, the opposite has been true. Growth stocks have dramatically outdistanced value stocks and large caps have significantly outperformed small company ones. If you happen to be a value-oriented, small-cap investor it’s been a tough combination which is why contrarian minded observers think now might be a good time to revisit the space. Chuck Royce, Founder, Chairman and Portfolio Manager of Royce & Associates joins us to discuss how some of his funds have outperformed benchmarks for multiple periods, with below-average market volatility. WEALTHTRACK #1613 broadcast on September 27, 2019. LEARN MORE:
September 28, 2019
The Importance of Gold in De-Risking Portfolios
Financial risks are adding up.  Trade battles with China, the surprising vulnerability of Middle East oil supplies, the duration of Hong Kong protests, the drawn-out Brexit dilemma are all drags on business confidence and economic growth. In recognition, the Federal Reserve just cut interest rates for the second time this summer and remains on alert. Another largely unrecognized concern? In August, for the first time in history, assets in passive equity funds based in the U.S. surpassed holdings in actively managed funds. The most popular passive funds are overwhelmingly dominated by a small group of mega-cap stocks, especially the tech giants such as Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Alphabet (Google), and Facebook. The fate of many investors’ portfolios hinges on the performance of this small group of mega stocks that have already had a record-setting run. Global value investor Chuck de Lardemelle explains how he is de-risking his portfolios including the essential role gold is playing in the process. Learn More: How to explain the massive global outperformance of U.S. companies’ profitability and stocks over the last decade? GMO’s Head of Asset Allocation, Ben Inker dug deep and found some surprising answers in his “2Q 2019 GMO Quarterly Letter.” 
September 20, 2019
Alternative Strategies to Make Money in Down Markets: What’s Bob Doll Doing?
One dominant market observation of the last decade has been that we have been experiencing the least believed bull market in history. As of August of 2018 the market’s advance, in large-cap stocks at least, had indeed become the longest bull market in history. But the experience of investors has been anything but a straight shot. If you look at indexes outside the largest U.S. company stocks it has been a much more perilous ride with several major corrections along the way. The Russell 2000, which is used as a proxy for small company stocks is a case in point. It has experienced three major reversals in the last decade. This week’s guest operates in the sweet spot of the current market, large-company stocks, but he is advising caution to his clients. He is a widely followed market strategist and successful investor, Robert Doll, senior portfolio manager and chief equity strategist at Nuveen.  Doll is famous for his frequently accurate list of 10 annual predictions forecasting the market, economic, interest rate, and political trends among others With the economic recovery now the longest on record and slowing, how worried is he about a recession? WEALTHTRACK #1611 broadcast on September 13, 2019.
September 13, 2019
Trade War Impact: The Markets & Economy
Volatile U.S trade relations with China are immediately reflected in the financial markets but what about the economic impact? Could they push the U.S. into recession? Leading global economist and strategist Nick Sargen weighs in. SARGEN: "Number one is don't add to risk. That's the simple message. Number two is, is it a good time to d begin to do some reduction of risk in the portfolio? And I think the warning signs are Yes." SARGEN: "What I'm concerned with today is that I think there is no solution in sight. We are at a complete standoff. We are playing brinksmanship. And just today, the president makes a statement. I never thought I'd hear that U.S. businesses should stop doing business with China." SARGEN: "In my view, the upside for the stock market is limited because if the economy slowing, profits are slowing, they're not going to be robust as they have been. And then the real risk to the downside. I think the Fed tries to provide support. But if the trade war keeps going the wrong direction, I see the risk is basically a replay of what happened in the fourth quarter of last year." WEALTHTRACK #1609 published on August 25, 2019 NICHOLAS SARGEN Economic Advisor, Fort Washington Investment Advisors Books Authored by Nick Sargen: Global Shocks and Investment Guide for Turbulent Markets  Investing in the Trump Era 
August 26, 2019
China’s Leadership: The Competitive Threat to the U.S.
 China expert Jim McGregor gives us his candid assessment of the competitive threat that China’s leadership poses to the U.S.  It’s a fascinating conversation and a wakeup call for the U.S. It’s currently summer pledge season on Public Television, so WEALTHTRACK might not be airing on your local channel. Consequently, we are revisiting some recent interviews with some of our most popular Great Investor guests. We are revisiting an exclusive with value investor and financial thought leader Joel Greenblatt.  He is living proof that active management can still work really well. WEALTHTRACK #1608 published on August 23, 1019.
August 25, 2019
Social Security: Specific Benefit Advantages for Different Situations
Additional discussion about how Social Security rules are changing.  As benefits guru, Mary Beth Franklin told us on a recent WEALTHTRACK, there are nearly 3,000 rules governing this benefit and there are specific advantages for different situations. This week we look at three: Divorce, Retiring Single, and Medicare. WEALTHTRACK #1607 published on August, 16. 2019. It’s the start of the summer fund-raising season on Public Television, we'll be back with full episodes in a few weeks.
August 17, 2019
Social Security: The New Rules With Benefits Guru Mary Beth Franklin
Paying attention to Social Security benefits pays off and needs to be taken seriously from an earlier age than most people realize.  Many of us underestimate how important this benefit is.  - It is the single largest source of income for the majority of Americans age 65 and older.  - It accounts for half or more of total income for 53% of married couples and 74% of unmarried individuals. - It is one of the only sources of guaranteed income that retirees can count on for the rest of their lives. - Its cost of living adjustments helps maintain buying power over decades of retirement.  Mary Beth Franklin points out that Social Security isn’t static and there have been some major changes in recent years.  In addition to being the author of Maximizing Social Security Benefits and an acknowledged expert on the subject, she is Contributing Editor at InvestmentNews, a leading publication for financial advisors, and an award-winning personal finance journalist.      Order a copy of Maximizing Social Security Retirement Benefits WEALTHTRACK #1606 broadcast on August 09, 2019.
August 9, 2019
Bill Miller IV on How His Investment Style Differs From His Dad’s, Legendary Investor Bill Miller
Who is carrying on the traditions of today’s great investors? When you are investing in a fund with an impressive track record and distinctive philosophy and approach is there any guarantee that those qualities will continue with the next generation?   We recently launched a new series on “Next Generation Investors” on WEALTHTRACK to introduce the younger portfolio managers sharing management responsibilities with some legendary investors. This week we have another exclusive with Miller with the Co-Portfolio Manager of a very different and younger fund. This fund is a family affair. Miller’s Co-Portfolio Manager is his son, Bill Miller IV, known in the firm as “Bill Four”.  Our premiere episode was an exclusive with Bill Miller and Samantha McLemore, the Co-Portfolio Manager of his flagship Miller Opportunity Trust fund which has beaten the market and its mutual fund competitors since the market bottom in 2009.  You can watch the episode here: Finding high income at value prices is a team approach with legendary investor Bill Miller and portfolio manager son, Bill Miller IV. WEALTHTRACK #1506 broadcast on August 02, 2019. Finding high income at value prices is a team approach with legendary investor Bill Miller and portfolio manager son, Bill Miller IV. Premieres Friday on public television (check local listings) and on
August 2, 2019
Market-Beating Returns With Next-Generation Investor Samantha McLemore
 We have launched a new series on WEALTHTRACK, Next Generation Investors, to introduce ourselves and you to the younger portfolio managers working alongside today’s investment greats.  As part of that series, we are doing one on one podcasts with the less well known, but deserving partners.  Our guest this week is Samantha McLemore, Portfolio Manager at Miller Value Partners who has been working with legendary investor Bill Miller since graduating from college in 2002. WEALTHTRACK #1604 published on July 25, 2019.
July 26, 2019
The System Needs Dynamite! Bill Bernstein on the Role of Bonds, Market Hazards & Fixing the System
Influential investment advisor and author Bill Bernstein shares key insights with Morningstar’s “The Long View” podcast which they are sharing with us on WEALTHTRACK this week. Listen here: During this summer public television fundraising week we are revisiting a recent program about the greatest retirement fear – running out of money. Advice from Morningstar’s Christine Benz and Wells Fargo’s Fredrik Axsater on how to avoid it.
July 20, 2019
Municipal Bond Markets Are Attracting Record Amounts of Investor Money
Seismic shifts in the municipal bond markets and the portfolios of award-winning muni manager Robert DiMella.     The nearly $4 trillion dollar municipal bond market is attracting record amounts of investor money. Year-to-date more than $40 billion has poured into municipal bond funds, one of the highest inflows on record. One key factor for muni’s attractiveness is the higher taxes being paid by many individual taxpayers following the tax reform bill, which was passed in 2017 but took effect in 2018. The combination of higher tax rates and a dearth of income globally are adding to the allure of municipal bonds. On this week’s program, top muni fund manager Robert DiMella says there are other factors at work as well which are causing a seismic shift in the municipal bond market and a significant change in strategy at his firm.  WEALTHTRACK #1602 broadcast on July 12, 2019. More at:…f-investor-money/
July 12, 2019
Market Beating Value Investors: The Next Generation
Consuelo Mack WEALTHTRACK launches a new season with its “Next Generation Investors” series featuring an exclusive interview with legendary value investor Bill Miller, and Samantha McLemore, his Co-Portfolio Manager on the Miller Opportunity Trust fund.   We want you to meet the individuals that some top fund managers have chosen to manage money with them, for them and possibly succeed them. The investment horizon, even for people in retirement can stretch into decades. Plus, in this era of passive index investing, a firm’s culture, its independence of thought,  investment discipline, and integrity are going to matter even more. As Sir John Templeton said “If you want to have a better performance than the crowd, you must do things differently from the crowd.”   And that frequently means “To buy when others are despondently selling and sell when others are greedily buying…” which he said “…requires the greatest fortitude and pays the greatest reward. “ That approach takes a certain mindset and training which is why for this WEALTHTRACK exclusive we have asked great investor Bill Miller to join us with his Co-Portfolio Manager Samantha McLemore. WEALTHTRACK #1601 broadcast on July 5, 2019.
July 5, 2019
51% of Personal Wealth in the U.S. Is Controlled by Women
Better financial advice for women with Yie-Hsin Hung, one of the most powerful women in finance.  The economic might of women is large and growing. According to research put together by New York Life Investment Management, 51% of the personal wealth in the U.S. is controlled by women - an estimated $22 trillion worth.  That number is expected to jump by 30% percent to nearly $29 trillion over the next 40 years as intergenerational wealth is handed over. Women are the key financial decision makers: 96% of women have primary or shared responsibility for family financial decisions, yet there is a gap in how women view and handle money.  Women score lower than men on financial literacy tests, and women invest less - by one study, 40% less. Yie-Hsin Hung is determined to change this dynamic, and she is in a position to do that.  WEALTHTRACK #1554 broadcast on June 28, 2019.
June 29, 2019
Follow Buffett’s Investment Principles: Great Investor Tom Russo Continues To
Berkshire Hathaway stock has underperformed the S&P 500 for the past decade. By a recent calculation Berkshire’s stock has risen by nearly 260% versus the market’s more than 300% advance in the decade ended in 2018.   Despite Berkshire’s stunning record since 1965, 21% compounded annualized gains, this is not the first time that the company’s shares have underperformed the market for a decade. It’s happened several times in recent years.  This weeks guest: "The advice is stay put, and then you’ll get the returns from the S&P because 90 percent of the investors in the S&P 500 funds don’t earn the return for that fund because they’re out when the market is most cheap, and they’re overexposed when the market is too expensive." Are Berkshire Hathaway’s best years behind it? Great investor and long-time holder, Tom Russo responds.  WEALTHTRACK #1553 broadcast on June 21, 2019.
June 21, 2019
The Culture of Value Investing From Ben Graham’s & Warren Buffett’s Former Brokerage Firm
“It’s a marathon, not a sprint” describes the investment time horizon of Tweedy, Browne’s senior portfolio managers William Browne and John Spears.   Wall Street is haunted by the ghosts of brokerage firms past. Names such as Dean Witter, Kidder Peabody, PaineWebber, and Smith Barney were thriving independents. No more! Even the Merrill Lynch name is being gradually erased by parent company Bank of America.   There is one old-line firm still standing however with an impeccable investment pedigree that is carrying on its deep-rooted value traditions. It is Tweedy, Browne Company   Although they are both traditional long-term value investors there is nothing old fashioned about their performance.  Buffett’s partner Charlie Munger once described Tweedy Browne as “…absolute spiritual descendants of Ben Graham… they are like Buddhists or Tibetan monks who absolutely bought into the catechism.” Classic value investing – delivering modern outperformance.  In a WEALTHTRACK exclusive, Tweedy, Browne’s senior portfolio managers explain their Ben Graham/Warren Buffett approach. WEALTHTRACK #1552 broadcast on June 14, 2019.
June 15, 2019
Impact Investing Advice - This week on WEALTHTRACK
As it’s currently fundraising season on public television WEALTHTRACK might not be airing on your local station,  so we are revisiting a recent interview on the topic of impact investing.   NEW THIS WEEK:  In this week's extra feature we’ll share a link to a report about how you apply socially responsible investing principles to your portfolio from the forum for sustainable and responsible investment. It is a roadmap for professional investors which is also useful for individuals and anyone managing money. You can find it here:
June 7, 2019
Technological Innovation & Disruption - EXTRA this week.
It’s the first week of the spring fund raising season on Public Television we are revisiting a recent exclusive interview with Fund Manager of Year winner David Giroux on the growing secular risks in companies. NEW THIS WEEK: A large group of T. Rowe Price’s portfolio managers and analysts recently returned from the firm’s annual trip to Silicon Valley where they pick the brains of top executives of leading tech-oriented companies. The firm is sharing its findings with us in their recently published report, “Technological Innovation and Disruption.” It’s a fascinating read.…/
June 1, 2019
Sustainable Growth at Reasonable Prices: What in the World Is Great Investor Mark Yockey Finding?
 International investing star Mark Yockey joins us in a WealthTrack Exclusive to discuss his global stock picks. With episodic exceptions the U.S. has been the place to invest since the global financial crisis. There have been occasional bouts of outperformance by European and emerging markets, specific geographical locals and individual countries but overall, the U.S. markets trajectory has been higher, the U.S. economy stronger and the dollar dominant.  The past year is a case in point. No matter where you looked around the world currencies weakened against the dollar. From the Japanese yen and the Swiss franc, to the Indian rupee and the South Korean won, to the British pound and the Euro to the Chilean peso and Brazilian real.  It’s been a challenging time for global investors, especially those running international funds. This week’s guest is up to the challenge and has been investing overseas for nearly three decades. It’s been a challenging time for global investors, especially those running international funds. This week’s guest is up to the challenge and has been investing overseas for nearly three decades. International investing star Mark Yockey joins us in a WealthTrack Exclusive to discuss his global stock picks. WEALTHTRACK #1549 broadcast on May 24, 2019. More at WEALTHTRACK
May 24, 2019
Avoiding Disastrous Mistakes: The Danger of Portfolio Volatility in Retirement [2019]
Our focus this week: The challenge facing most of us! Nobel Prize-winning behavioral economist Richard Thaler recently called the drawing down of money in retirement “way harder” than the saving phase because of the uncertainty of how long we will live.  He is proposing adding 401(k) funds to social security to increase monthly payouts.  This week’s guest, Mark Cortazzo, wholeheartedly agrees with Thaler about the difficulty of the spend-down phase and says another largely unrecognized danger is portfolio volatility, which can mean the difference between solvency and insolvency at the end of life.  He has the research to prove it.  Cortazzo has done a number of studies showing how the accumulation phase of investing assets for retirement if done regularly and systematically over many years can make just about anyone feel like a genius.  However, once the withdrawals begin, what the pros call the decumulation phase, it’s a whole different ball game. What worked so well in building up a nest egg can be a disaster when taking it apart. WEALTHTRACK #1548 broadcast on May 17, 2019.
May 17, 2019
Record Government Debt & Low to Negative Interest Rates Challenge Global Financial Stability
Market volatility is back.  The roller coaster trade negotiations between the U.S. and China are lurching downward again causing a multi-day market sell-off rivaling declines in December of last year. The much bigger question is how stable is the world financial system?  A decade ago in the midst of the global financial crisis, it appeared to be on the brink of destruction.  Massive and unprecedented monetary stimulus by central banks and fiscal stimulus by governments stabilized financial markets and supported banks and businesses. There was a huge unwinding of debt in the financial, corporate and household sectors. Fast forward and the U.S. which was the epicenter of the financial crisis has led the world out of it. Since 2009, we have experienced the longest bull market in our history and are just weeks away from setting a record for the longest economic expansion. Why then is there a sense of unease? Two economic thought leaders assess the still challenged stability of the global financial system. WEALTHTRACK #1547 broadcast on May 10, 2019. Learn more at WEALTHTRACK
May 10, 2019
Late Cycle Growth Opportunities? GAMCO Growth Fund’s Market Beating Howard Ward Looks to the FAANGs
Short term interests remain steady. The Federal Reserve decided to keep its benchmark federal funds rate at the same 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 percent range it had since January when it put its previous series of rate hikes on hold. Two percent is of course the Fed’s target rate for inflation. Fed Chair Jerome Powell described the Fed’s view of price weakness as “transient” but said if it continued it would be “something we would be concerned about.”   As far as the stock market is concerned growth is back in a big way and it continues to outdistance value.  Tech is providing the leadership. According to Strategas Research Partners the S&P 500 technology sector has risen 27% so far this year versus the market’s 17.5% gain.  And the famous FANGs are part of that tech dominance.   Last year’s fourth quarter rout had decimated shares of the extended FAANG family.  Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google parent Alphabet all suffered significant declines. They have made up for much of that lost ground this year.   FAANG stock fever seems to be increasing globally as well.  Owning  the tech giant group was considered to be the second most crowded trade, i.e. most popular, in the financial markets along with their Chinese equivalents, known as the BATS: Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent.  Of note, shorting European stocks was voted the most crowded trade. The FAANGS will continue to flourish, even in a late cycle market says market-beating portfolio manager Howard Ward who owns them in his GAMCO Growth Fund.  WEALTHTRACK #1546 broadcast on May 03, 2019.
May 3, 2019
The “Story of The Decade”: Why U.S. Economy Strengthens While Setting Records for Longevity
This summer will mark the longest economic recovery in U.S. history. The bull market already made it into the record books for longevity in August of 2018. The S&P 500 and the NASDAQ reached new record highs just this Tuesday. Rather than a cause for celebration many economists, business leaders, consumers and investors have viewed these unparalleled achievements as cause for concern.  Their thinking: this must mean the end is near. This week’s guest is not in the end is near camp. Anything but!  She has been a believer in the U.S. economy’s recovery capabilities since it emerged from the global financial crisis.  Nancy Lazar is Co-Founding Partner and Head of the Economic Research team at Cornerstone Macro, a leading independent macroeconomic investment and policy research firm she launched in 2013.  Lazar was one of the first economists to recognize what she dubbed, “America’s Manufacturing Renaissance,” the re-emerging competitive advantage of the United States as a manufacturing base once again. And as China’s economy slowed and America’s strengthened, she saw the U.S. assuming a key role in driving global growth once again, a role ceded to what many concluded was China’s unstoppable ascent. WEALTHTRACK #1545 broadcast on April 16, 2019 More at: WEALTHTRACK
April 27, 2019
Environmental Impact Investing Is Attracting Dollars & Delivering Results. 2 Experts Share Strategies
  Remember the expression, “Follow the money” from the Deep Throat character in ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN? We are following the money for you. We also want to, “Show you the money,” Tom Cruise’s mantra in JERRY MAGUIRE. We can do both with one investment approach. Socially responsible investing, also known as ESG (for Environmental, Social and Governance), sustainable or impact investing. It is attracting massive amounts of investor dollars - follow the money - and is performing as well if not better than non-ESG investments - showing you the money! The latest evidence comes from Morningstar. In its most recent “Sustainable Funds U.S. Landscape Report” Morningstar found that the ESG fund group “attracted record net flows in 2018,” its sixth year of “ever higher annual net flows” while non- ESG U.S. funds “collected less than half their historic annual… average” of the last 10 years. And sustainable funds relative performance remained strong, even in the challenging environment of 2018.  Environmental impact investing is attracting dollars and delivering results. Two experts share their investment strategies. WEALTHTRACK #1544 broadcast on April 19. 2019. More at WEALTHTRACK
April 19, 2019
Financial Crisis Survival Lessons: Beats Market & Peers Since Bottom (Ariel Fund)
  Patience is usually considered to be a virtue except when it comes to investing. Investors are notoriously impatient when the funds they are in underperform the market for a few years. The magic number seems to be three.  There was an influential study of institutional investors done over a decade ago showing how poor their hiring and firing decisions were.  Institutional investors typically fired a manager after three years of subpar performance and hired a manager after three years of exceptional performance. The only problem was the newly hired funds tended to underperform for the next several years and the fired funds would outperform. Morningstar found that the same pattern holds true with mutual fund investors. Its conclusion: “Think twice before you ditch that laggard fund in your portfolio.” This week’s guest hails from a firm where patience is still considered a virtue and whose slogan is “Slow and Steady Wins the Race” with a tortoise as its logo. He is Charles Bobrinskoy, Vice Chairman and Head of the Investment Group at Ariel Investments where he manages their focused value strategy and spearheads its thought leadership efforts. WEALTHTRACK #1543 broadcast on April 12, 2019.
April 12, 2019
2 Secrets to Beating the Market. Great Value Investor Joel Greenblatt Explains
 Great value investor Joel Greenblatt reveals his two secrets to investment success. He is living proof that active management can still work really well. Greenblatt is Managing Principal and Co-Chief Investment Officer of Gotham Asset Management where he co-manages hedge funds and several hedge fund-like mutual funds utilizing long/short strategies. His behavioral insight that the best investment strategy is one that both makes sense and that you can stick with. The proposition that active management still works can be made on a case by case basis in the highly competitive stock mutual fund business, but it doesn’t hold up in general. In Greenblatt’s opinion: the investment flows to passive will continue, but there is a silver lining to this trend, which he will explain. In an exclusive interview, great value investor Joel Greenblatt reveals his two secrets to investment success. WEALTHTRACK #1542 broadcast on April 05, 2019. More at:
April 5, 2019
Treasury Bond Maven Robert Kessler Warns of Recession Ahead & Where to Take Shelter
Yields on government bonds are falling across the globe. The yields on the benchmark 10-year bond in both Germany and Japan are negative for the first time in a couple of years. The European Central Bank, already announced it would hold its short-term rates below zero at least through December.  Here in the U.S., where economic growth is stronger, the Fed reconfirmed that it is on hold. The futures markets, however, are betting on a change in policy toward more easing. The Federal-Funds futures were recently pricing in a 40% chance of one rate cut this year, an expectation several Fed officials were quick to dismiss.  The bond market is signaling possible trouble ahead. For the first time since 2007 long-term interest rates, as measured by the yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell below short-term rates, as measured by the yield on 3-month Treasury bills. Known as an inverted yield curve it is considered to be a reliable indicator of recession.  This week’s WEALTHTRACK exclusive guest has long been warning of subpar economic growth globally and the risks inherent in this recovery. He has spoken about them numerous times on WEALTHTRACK. Back by popular demand is Robert Kessler, Founder, and CEO of Kessler Investment Advisors, a manager of fixed-income portfolios with a specialty in U.S. Treasuries for institutions and high net worth individuals around the globe. Kessler is now telling clients that there is a recession dead ahead but his silver lining is that it provides an unusual investment opportunity. WEALTHTRACK #1541 broadcast March 29, 2019. More at:
March 29, 2019
Prescient Economist & Fed Expert Paul McCulley on No Recession Ahead & Fed’s Tightening Done
Former PIMCO strategist, portfolio manager, and Chief Economist Paul McCulley warned about the credit bubble years before it burst. What is he watching now? WEALTHTRACK #1540 broadcast on March 22, 2019. More info at WEALTHTRACK
March 22, 2019
Building Women’s Financial Health: Award-Winning Wealth Advisor Karen Altfest
Helping women become financially secure is a primary motivation for Karen Altfest. Altfest Personal Wealth Management’s Principal Advisor shares her women-centric approach. WEALTHTRACK #1539 published on March 15, 2019. More WEALTHTRACK WOMEN
March 15, 2019
The Do-It-Yourself Retirement System Isn’t Working. Retirement Pro Teresa Ghilarducci Has Solutions
 The retirement crisis is real. 40% of older, middle-class workers and their spouses will fall into poverty or near poverty in retirement. Economist and retirement expert Teresa Ghilarducci says the U.S.’ 40-year experiment with do-it-yourself retirement is seriously flawed, but there are ways to fix it.  More info at WEALTHTRACK   WEALTHTRACK WOMEN is featuring women who are making a difference in business and finance during Women’s History Month. Join us for career advice from three successful women entrepreneurs including S’well’s Sarah Kauss. Pension expert Teresa Ghilarducci provides timely retirement solutions. Award-winning wealth advisor Karen Altfest explains her women-centric approach. More WEALTHTRACK WOMEN here. While your local public television station holds its fundraising drives on weekends, WEALTHTRACK is focusing on new topics for our podcasts to help you improve your portfolios and finances.
March 8, 2019
Three Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs Share Their Unusual Routes to Success
 WEALTHTRACK WOMEN is featuring women who are making a difference in business and finance during Women’s History Month. Join us for career advice from three successful women entrepreneurs including S’well’s Sarah Kauss. Pension expert Teresa Ghilarducci provides timely retirement solutions. Award-winning wealth advisor Karen Altfest explains her women-centric approach. More WEALTHTRACK WOMEN here: While your local public television station holds its fundraising drives on weekends, WEALTHTRACK is focusing on new topics for our podcasts to help you improve your portfolios and finances. THIS WEEK: Running your own business is the definition of a dream job for increasing numbers of Americans, particularly women. I had the opportunity to interview a panel of women business founders recently at the Women of Leadership Summit hosted by the New York affiliate of ACG, the Association for Corporate Growth. Info at:
March 1, 2019
Purpose Matters. Philanthropy and Social Responsibility Experts Describe the New Civic Age
 Purpose matters, particularly to younger generations. In a recent survey of millennials by Deloitte, almost 87% of them said: The success of business should be measured in terms of more than just its financial performance, and when asked what the primary purpose of businesses should be - 63% more of them said improving society than said generating profit. Younger generations are putting their money where their beliefs are. In its report  “Impact Investing: at a Tipping Point? ” independent public charity, Fidelity Charitable found in its survey of affluent philanthropic individuals that 77% of millennials and 72% of Gen-Xers have made some sort of impact investments, that means in companies deemed socially responsible. Doing good has become a global movement. Philanthropy expert Pamela Norley and Corporate Social Responsibility consultant Toby Usnik describe the new civic age. WEALTHTRACK #1536 broadcast on February 22, 2019.
February 23, 2019
Invest Where Others Fear to Tread for Income and Appreciation: Eaton Vance’s Kathleen Gaffney
 If you were to name places in the world where you wouldn’t consider investing today what comes to mind? How about Venezuela where the economy is in ruins, the president discredited and the opposition mounting? Or a specific company in this country like Pacific Gas and Electric, PG&E for short, the California utility that filed for bankruptcy and bore the physical and legal brunt of the recent devastating California wild fires? Those are fertile ground for contrarian investors, or just traditional value investors who look for opportunities where others fear to tread.   Globe-trotting Eaton Vance bond manager Kathleen Gaffney looks where others are fleeing for higher total returns. WEALTHTRACK #1535 broadcast on February 15, 2018. More at:
February 16, 2019
Top-Rated Research Team Members Assess the Prospect for the Economic Expansion’s Longevity
2019 could be a year for the record books. The economic expansion turns ten this summer, which would make it the longest recovery ever. The bull market reached that milestone in August of 2018 and despite serious fits and starts has continued its run. The S&P clocked in its best January performance since 1987 with an 8% gain. Economic expansion and bull market longevity outlook with Don Rissmiller and Nick Bohnsack, members of Strategas’ top-rated research team. WEALTHTRACK #1543 broadcast on February 08, 2019. More at WEALTHTRACK
February 9, 2019
The Income Strategy Difference. An Exclusive With Next Generation Investor Bill Miller IV
In a WEALTHTRACK exclusive next-generation investor, Bill Miller IV describes the income strategy edge of finding higher yielding securities at value prices. Learn more at:  
February 7, 2019
Running Out of Money Is the Greatest Retirement Fear. How to Avoid It With Two Retirement Experts
Running out of money is the greatest retirement fear. Advice from Morningstar’s Christine Benz and Wells Fargo’s Fredrik Axsater on how to avoid it. WEALTHTRACK #1533 broadcast on February 01, 2019. More info at WEALTHTRACK
February 2, 2019
Socially responsible investing is booming with 26% of US assets under management. Experts explain
Two experts on socially responsible investing, Glenmede’s Laura LaRosa and U.S. SIF’s Lisa Woll explain why it’s booming. WEALTHTRACK # 1532 Broadcast on January 25, 2019. Details at WEALTHTRACK website.
January 26, 2019
David Giroux on Growing Secular Risks in Companies - Exclusive with Fund Manager of Year Winner
5-star manager David Giroux explains why more companies' businesses are at risk. WEALTHTRACK #1531 broadcast on January, 18, 2018. More info at
January 19, 2019
Current Market Dynamics and Strategy: An Exclusive Interview With Great Investor Hersh Cohen
 Great Investor Hersh Cohen has been investing for half a century, He shares his perspective on today’s challenging markets.  WEALTHTRACK #1530. Published on January 11, 2019
January 12, 2019
Unlocking China's Undiscovered Treasures With Matthews China Small Companies Fund's, Tiffany Hsiao
Chinese small company stocks are an undiscovered asset with enormous potential. Tiffany Hsiao, the lead portfolio manager of Matthews China Small Companies fund explains the attraction. WEALTHTRACK #1528 published on December 28, 2018. For more information visit
December 29, 2018
2019 Global Outlook: Synchronized Global Slowdown and Peaking Profits. A McLennan & Hyman Exclusive
Part II of our exclusive annual global outlook from Wall Street’s king of economists, Ed Hyman with global portfolio manager, Matthew McLennan. WEALTHTRACK #1527 broadcast on December 21, 2018.
December 22, 2018
U.S. Outlook From Top Economist Ed Hyman & Global Portfolio Manager Matthew McLennan
Part I of our exclusive annual U.S. outlook from Wall Street’s long-reigning king of economists, Ed Hyman with global portfolio manager, Matthew McLennan. WEALTHTRACK #1526 broadcast on December 14, 2018.
December 15, 2018
Morningstar’s Personal Finance Guru, Christine Benz With an Annual Financial Wellness Checkup
How fit is your retirement plan? Personal finance guru Christine Benz takes us through a financial wellness checkup. WEALTHTRACK #1525 broadcast on December 07, 2018.
December 8, 2018
Dr. Richard Sandor on Financial Futures & Carbon Trading Discusses His “Best Idea Yet”
Financial innovator Dr. Richard Sandor is known as the “father” of financial futures and carbon trading. He discusses the unheralded and significant environmental progress being made on the local level in the U.S., plus his latest innovation, an alternative to LIBOR, the troubled global interest rate benchmark. It’s the American Financial Exchange, an electronic exchange for direct interbank and financial institution lending and borrowing. It’s up and running and he considers it his “best idea yet.” WEALTHTRACK #1524 published on November 30, 2018. Explanation of acronyms used in this episode: LIBOR: the London Interbank Offered Rate U.S. AMERIBOR: a benchmark rate that reflects the actual market-determined cost of borrowing for U.S. financial institutions Federal Reserve’s SOFR (Secured Overnight Financing Rate): a broad measure of the cost of borrowing cash overnight collateralized by Treasury securities. SIFI: Systemically Important Financial Institution INTERCONTINENTAL EXCHANGE INC. (ICE): an American company that builds, operates and advances global financial and commodity markets CHICAGO CLIMATE EXCHANGE (CCX): founded by Richard Sandor in 2003 as a voluntary greenhouse gas (GHG) emission cap and trade scheme located in North America, and acquired by Intercontinental Exchange in 2010 EUROPEAN CLIMATE EXCHANGE (ECX): the leading marketplace for trading carbon dioxide emissions in Europe and internationally TIANJIN CLIMATE EXCHANGE CO, LTD: China’s first carbon market cap-and-trade exchange RGGI. Inc. (Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative): the first mandatory market based program in the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
December 1, 2018
What’s next as the world embraces a legal cannabis industry?
Canada’s legalization of marijuana use is the first major domino to fall as the world accepts a legitimate cannabis industry. History, opportunity, and challenges with David Kretzmann, analyst, and advisor to The Motley Fool’s “Marijuana Masters” and “Marijuana Mavericks”. WEALTHTRACK #1523 published on November 23, 2018.
November 24, 2018
Blackstone’s Tony James Discusses the Outlook for Private Equity and Other Alternative Investments
In Part Two: The outlook for private equity with financial thought leader Tony James, Executive Vice Chairman, Blackstone. WEALTHTRACK #1522, broadcast on November 16, 2018.
November 17, 2018
Blackstone’s Executive Vice Chairman Tony James Discusses His Passion for Rescuing Retirement
A rare interview on solving the retirement crisis with Blackstone’s Executive Vice Chairman, Tony James. WEALTHTRACK #1521 broadcast on November 9, 2018.
November 10, 2018
Western Asset Management’s Robert Amodeo Says Munis Can Still Provide a Safe Haven for Investors
Tax-free income opportunities with Western Asset Management’s veteran muni manager Robert Amodeo. WEALTHTRACK #1520 broadcast on November 2, 1018.
November 2, 2018
Could U.S. Trade Tensions With China Actually Create Investment Opportunities There?
An exclusive interview with Asia mutual fund pioneer Mark Headley on China’s potentially world-changing political and economic transformation. WEALTHTRACK #1519 broadcast on October 27, 2018.
October 26, 2018
Credit Market Maven and Historian James Grant on Why Interest Rates Matter
Why interest rates still matter with influential financial journalist and historian James Grant. WEALTHTRACK #1518 broadcast on October 19, 2018.
October 19, 2018
Value Investing Under Pressure and the Pressure to Go Passive
The investment sea change. Value is out, growth is in and passive keeps beating active. Financial thought leaders James Grant and Jason Zweig weigh in. WEALTHTRACK #1517 broadcast on October 12, 2018.
October 12, 2018
What’s the Biggest Risk in the Markets Today?
Top strategist Richard Bernstein says investors are looking for risk in all the wrong places.  He explains where he believes the biggest risk by far is in the bond market. WEALTHTRACK #1516 broadcast on October 05, 2018.
October 5, 2018
Exploring Overseas Opportunities With a Top Ranked Fund Manager
5-star fund manager Michael Testorf of ClearBridge International Growth fund makes the contrarian case for overseas growth stocks.  WEALTHTRACK #1515 broadcast on September 28, 2018.
September 28, 2018
Why Five Star Fund Manager Mary Ellen Stanek Is Proud to Be Boring
5-star fund manager Mary Ellen Stanek explains why she is proud to describe her Baird Core Plus Bond Fund as sleep insurance for investors. WEALTHTRACK #1514 broadcast on September 21, 2018.
September 22, 2018
Nuveen’s Veteran Chief Equity Strategist Bob Doll Shares His Views on the Markets and Strategy
Outlook and strategy with market beating portfolio manager and widely followed investment strategist, Bob Doll. WEALTHTRACK #1513 broadcast on September 14, 2018.
September 14, 2018
What Do Top Performing Investors and Recognized Financial Thought Leaders Think About Bitcoin?
Over the last several months, every time we did an interview we asked our guests for their views of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Everyone had an opinion! This week we decided to share a sampling from 17 of our top investors and financial thought leaders. Guests include Jeremy Grantham, Edward Yardeni, Jason Trennert, Joel Greenblatt, John Hathaway, Michael Testorf, Bill Miller, David Nadel, Andy Augenblick, Stuart Lucas, Randy Swan, Mark Cortazzo, Mary Ellen Stanek, David Giroux, David & Tom Gardner, and Bob Doll. WEALTHTRACK #1512 broadcast on September 7, 2018.
September 8, 2018
A Legendary Value Investor Mixes Passive With Active to Overcome Destructive Investor Behavior
An exclusive interview with legendary value investor Joel Greenblatt on overcoming destructive investor behavior by combining passive with active strategies. WEALTHTRACK #1444 broadcast on April 20, 2018.
April 20, 2018