Experts & Economists Share Insights at Conference

Bitcoin, robo-advisors, overvalued equities and more … all were hot topics at January’s Conference. For the second year in a row, we sent our portfolio manager Angela Palacios. She reports back on her biggest insights.

After 2014’s Conference, I had high expectations. They were quickly exceeded.  With over 1,800 attendees, it was one of the world’s largest conferences focusing on exchange-traded funds and the agenda was jam-packed. Keynote speakers included JJeffrey Gundlach of DoubleLine Capital and RRob Arnott of Research Affiliates, two money managers we know well here at The Center. We have utilized Gundlach and Arnott for many years for our clients.  

In addition to the all-star speaking lineup, I had the chance to hear from a “Robo-advisor” … a topic of debate around our office, which we featured in our recent blog. I also heard from experts in Bitcoin as well as Mark Yusko who talked about endowment models and the way they manage money.

Here are the 3 questions everyone seemed to be talking about:

  1. Is deflation on the horizon?  I expected conflicting viewpoints, but there was some agreement. The majority of the experts think it is coming.
  2. Where is oil headed? Most say it will stay low and drift higher, only very slowly.  Gundlach made an interesting point that $100 per barrel of oil may not be where oil should be. Natural gas has been and stayed low for so long, he suggested oil could now be coming in line with where it should be.
  3. Are U.S. equities overvalued?  There were too many differing viewpoints here to count but everyone was talking about it!

In between listening to the experts and economists, I also enjoyed a sprinkling of some lighter material.  Terry Bradshaw gave his thoughts on life in general (including his unusual infatuation with Tom Brady) and James Carville and Karl Rove faced off in a political showdown. Both were excellent additions to the lineup this year.

Angela Palacios, CFP®is the Portfolio Manager at Center for Financial Planning, Inc. Angela specializes in Investment and Macro economic research. She is a frequent contributor to Money Centered as well as investment updates at The Center.

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