Top Wealth Advisors Brian Pfeifler, Jeff Erdmann, Louise Gunderson, Kevin Myeroff and Raj Sharma (from left) JAMEL TOPPIN
In a roundtable meet-up on August 19 hosted by Forbes and Shook Research, assistant managing editor Matt Schifrin and I interviewed five of America’s Top Wealth Advisors who manage a combined $23 billion in assets. They shared their wisdom of working with America’s richest families. They are Brian Pfeifler, a lifer at Morgan Stanley in New York City; Raj Sharma, a Merrill advisor in Boston; Jeff Erdmann, with Merrill in Greenwich, Connecticut; Louise Gunderson, a UBS advisor in New York City; and Kevin Myeroff, founder of NCA Financial Planners in Cleveland, Ohio. In Part 1, below, they give advice on markets and big trends. (For advice on financial planning and wealth transfer strategies, see Part 2: Top Advisor Roundtable Part II: Why Robo-Investing Will Leave You Cold)
FORBES: Obviously, there’s a lot of concern about a recession coming. What’s your view on the markets and what are you advising clients at this point?
JEFF ERDMANN: At the end of the day, we’re all looking for good quality, long, cash-flow-positive investments. The world is enamored right now with an inverted yield curve and trade issues. I’m not sure either of those are going away any time soon.
When we look at the 10-year Treasury bond at 1.7%, and the 10-year German bond at -50 basis points and the Japanese bond at -30 basis points, you’re paying to park your money in bonds.
High-quality global equities are the best place to be. If the S&P 500 is yielding a little under 2% today and raising cash flow every year, that still looks like a pretty damn good place to be.
The market’s fairly valued. It’s not cheap. Our biggest challenge is finding cheap assets. I can’t point to any asset class today that appears cheap to us and a raging buy. The last five times we had an inverted yield curve, there was a recession. But that recession occurred 22 months later. So the media and everyone else wants us to believe we’re going into a recession tomorrow, because we have an inverted yield curve this week or last week.