It’s maybe the most human question there is: What’s going to happen next?
We all want to know where we’re going, what bad will befall us, what good turns our lives may take.
When it comes to our money, these questions feel especially high-stakes. What if that investment decision backfires? Will I be richer or poorer next year? Can my savings last?
CNBC released this month its FA 100 list of the top 100 financial advisors in the U.S. — those professionals who are paid to answer tough financial questions from clients.
We interviewed some of them about what they see on the horizon, and what answers they’ve come up with so that their clients are prepared for it.
Mark Mirsberger, CEO of Dana Investment Advisors
Rank on FA 100 list: 1
“We don’t see rising inflation as completely transitory, and therefore we’re positioning portfolios accordingly,” said Mirsberger at Dana Investment Advisors. “This includes focusing on adjustable and floating rate bonds.
“FAANG and other high-flying tech stocks have driven the major indices the past few years and benefited from the pandemic,” added Mirsberger, referring to Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Alphabet (formerly known as Google). “While we think tech is much stronger than in 2000, we think value strategies with good growth rates will be rewarded.
“We also believe investors will continue to embrace ESG [environmental and social governance] investing, and that the SEC will help improve disclosure.”
Harlan Cadinha, chairman and chief strategist of Cadinha & Co.
Rank on FA 100 list: 90
“A post-pandemic bounce should be seen in the consumer stocks: Airlines, restaurants, hotels and resorts should see strong relative earnings compared to trough earnings caused by Covid,” said Cadinha at Cadinha & Co.
“Government interference such as price controls for pharmaceuticals, which is a goal of the proposed Biden legislation, will lower earning’s growth rates for the effected companies,” he added. “Government interference could also affect companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter and Apple.”
He said the firm is currently invested 47% in equities, 8% in short-term Treasurys and the rest in cash.
“The cash in portfolios is largely bond money that we are keeping away from bonds because of our present negative view on bonds,” Cadinha said.
Michael Bisaro, president of StraightLine Group
Rank on FA 100 list: 92
“Post-pandemic timeframes will be marked by rising interest rates, higher levels of inflation and continued challenges in various supply chains around the world,” said Bisaro at StraightLine Group. “Larger companies will likely outperform smaller as increased scale will lead to fewer problems securing inventory.
“While we are generally positive about the outlook for most equity markets, we are concerned about bonds,” he added.
“The headwinds that will be created by low and slowly rising interest rates will likely produce a time when much of the bond market will experience negative real returns, compared to inflation.”
Eric Leve, chief investment officer at Bailard
Rank on FA 100 list: 97
“The run-up in energy prices in 2021 has been extraordinary,” Bailard‘s Leve said. “This has been a combination of Covid- and post-Covid-related excess demand, strong discipline from OPEC+ and lingering disruptions from Hurricane Ida.
“With normalizing demand in 2022 and increased oil and gas production, earnings for the sector may come under pressure in 2022,” he added. “Our bias would be to sell this year’s rally.”
On the flipside, Leve said, “luxury goods performed well during the pandemic, and we expect them to do so again next year.”
“Chinese consumers are critical for European consumer goods makers and one-half of Chinese buying happens when they travel,” he added. “Once China again allows outbound travel, we expect this pent-up spending to provide a tailwind for these companies.”
Kent Kramer, chief investment officer at Foster Group
Rank on FA 100 list: 96
“It is still unclear to us what the economic sense of cryptocurrency really is and the long-term viability of these assets,” said Kramer at Foster Group.
“There is a strong probability that governments are behind the curve in regulating these new assets and future regulation, along with government sponsored digital currencies, are likely to change the landscape significantly.”