Wealth Management

Something has shifted in the market following the softer than expected October CPI report. At one point this year, a recession in 2024 seemed like the consensus trade, especially following the failure of Silicon Valley Bank, stresses in the banking system, and fears that high rates would choke off growth. 


Now, the odds of a soft landing are rising. According to Robert Tipp, PGIM Fixed Income’s chief investment strategist, many seem to be aware of the historical context of previous soft landings. He cites 2018 and the mid-1990s as examples of rate hike cycles that didn’t result in a recession.


He believes that rising rates and tighter financial conditions are only recessionary, if economic growth is dependent on borrowing. He adds that “The excesses that would typically create a recession are simply not in existence. A lot of the expansions in the past were dependent on borrowing, but this time, it is a job growth driven organic expansion.” 


In contrast to previous borrowing-driven expansions, there is much less leverage. Financial institutions remain well-capitalized, household balance sheets are in solid standing, lending standards remain high, and there are no asset bubbles in sight. Adding to this is that the economy continues to add jobs while consumer spending remains firm on a real basis. 

Finsum: PGIM’s Robert Tipp believes that a soft landing outcome is likely. He points to the lack of leverage, historical instances, and firmness of the labor market and consumer spending as primary factors.


Building a powerful brand is necessary for financial advisors who want to differentiate themselves and boost their chance of attracting and retaining clients. Think of branding as the feeling that people get when they think of or see your name. 


Creating an effective online presence is an important element of branding. According to Maritza Lizama, the cofounder and chief marketing officer at Captiva Branding, “93% of buying decisions are influenced by what people see online. How can you improve your online presence? Start with your LinkedIn profile. Get rid of your old profile photo. Your photo needs to look like you. And it’s OK to show a little personality.”


It’s also necessary to figure out your ‘brand purpose’. This encapsulates your reasons for becoming a financial advisor that go beyond just monetary reasons. In addition to this, advisors need to develop a solid understanding of their target audience in terms of their demographics, career, pain points, motivations, constraints, and where they can be reached. 


Then, you can further refine your brand by creating complementary online content that showcases your personality. This can also mean talking about topics that are outside of the realm of finance in order to build a more authentic connection with your audience. 

Finsum: Building an effective brand is important for every financial advisor and can be invaluable in recruiting and retaining clients. Here are some tips to get started.  


Kevin Flanagan, WisdomTree’s Head of Fixed Income Strategy, and Scott Welch, the firm’s CIO of Model Portfolios, recently shared some insights on how model portfolios can be used to generate yield in the current environment. They see this as an opportune time to invest in fixed income especially given the differential between the S&P 500’s dividend yield and short and long-term rates. 


Currently, they see the Fed as wanting to remain hawkish, however the rise in long-term yields has also contributed to a tightening of monetary policy. In terms of inflation, they believe it has peaked but that the Fed is unlikely to begin cutting rates until the middle of 2024 due to ongoing tightness in the labor market. Additionally, they note that credit spreads have recently widened but nowhere near extreme levels.


Amid this environment, they recommend that investors stick to the short-end of the curve given the inverted yield curve and favor US Treasury floating rate notes which are the highest-yielding Treasuries. Within WisdomTree’s model portfolios, the firm has reduced its weight of high-yield debt while modestly boosting allocation to mortgage-backed securities.


Overall, they see fixed income as resuming its natural role - providing low-risk income and serving as a hedge against equities. 

Finsum: WisdomTree shared some insights on the current macro landscape, and how it’s positioning its model portfolio allocation to flourish in this environment. 


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