Steve Willems November 1, 2019 Events

Not your typical trip to Orlando…

It was Benjamin Franklin who once famously quipped “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”  We’ve always believed that to be true, and so to hold ourselves accountable, we conducted our annual week-long set of due diligence meetings down in Florida last week.  Don’t be confused by the exotic locale… the mild humidity was effectively eliminated by 14-hour days in conference centre meeting rooms!

Over the course of four days, we engaged with industry experts, portfolio managers, thought leaders and our own colleagues.  So often, these meetings result in dozens of pages of hand strewn notes, which get consolidated down to three simple buckets:

  • Does this information align or contrast with the current strategies used by our clients?
  • Does this information represent something that is both meaningful and actionable?
  • What further research and analysis needs to be done based on this information?

Every note, every comment, every brief quote isn’t equally valuable. Too often these notes get transcribed into a notebook and placed in a dusty drawer. So, in an effort to close the loop on some of the big ideas from these sessions, we present the following:

“Ruminations for a Red-Eye”

  • What investment opportunities currently exist to help offset the drag of negative yielding debt? Some have suggested concentrated positions of gold could help.
  • The futility of negotiating trade agreements with a Chinese government when it can’t be enforced. More noise than substance!
  • Ultra-low interest rates suck the life, vitality and innovation out of the economy.
  • The performance of Trump’s presidency seems curiously interconnected with cheaper money. The worse he does, the cheaper money becomes.
  • A false historical bias can result in us thinking that the world is collapsing all around us. Yet by most accounts, the world is happier, healthier, and living longer than ever before.
  • The incremental benefits of globalization are being questioned daily. We are seeing a heightened degree of push back and divergence in ideology.
  • Do increasing government deficits actually matter?
  • Within this generation, fractures are emerging in the foundational institutions of daily life. (Family structure, religion, orientation, environment, etc). Our global society is going through a “reset” of its operating system. And interestingly, while this is distinct, this is not unique. The last occurrence took place at the turn of the 20th

These were just a few of the key ponderings and takeaways from the conference.  To hear more, you’re invited to join us at our upcoming State of the Markets Seminar Series, hosted by our team on November 5th at 8:30am and November 6th at 8:30am.  Contact our office for more information and to save a seat.  The food is complimentary, the information is hot off the press, but space is limited.  We look forward to seeing you soon!