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Seven Months After The Financial Collapse â The First Investment Conference
Gaithersburg, MD (Vocus) May 20, 2009
âA shocking experience.â Thatâs the way C. Cameron Bell, MAS, CFP desribed the first investment conference heâs attended after the financial collapse of last fall. Bell is Executive Director of Wealth Management Institute, Ltd., a comprehensive financial planning and investment firm located in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
âI recently had the privilege of going to Boston for John Hancockâs Signature Board meetingâ Bell states.
A top conference for financial advisers, Hancock only invites a few dozen advisers to attend the forum from the thousands that do business with the firm. Bell has been going to such conferences for years. Normally, the audience is fortunate to listen to some very good money managers.
âThese forums are also great places to talk to other financial planners. This one was no different,â Bell says. âWhat was different this time is that this was the first investment forum Iâve attended since the financial collapse of last fallâ Bell continues. âThe whole tone of the meeting was completely different from anything else Iâve ever attended. It was like everybody in the room was suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.â
Bell said David Gergen, Senior Political Correspondent, CNN, was the highlight of the conference. With his many years of service in the executive branch of government Bell thinks he brought perspective and credibility to the political discussion in the room. âIâm paraphrasing here, but he spoke of a theory of which the politicians that we have now, starting with Bill Clinton in 1993, are children of the 60s and came of age in a time of splitting social values. Before Mr. Clinton, all of the Post World War II presidents came from an age of where great personal sacrifice was necessary for the survival of the nation.â
Bell did attend a conference in Florida at the beginning of the year, but that one was relativily unremarkable to him. âThe Obama administration hadnât yet been sworn in; we didnât know who the key players were going to be, so the system fixes were not set into motion.â he says. But now, seven months beyond the collapse, heâs gained some prospective and draws some conclusions:
We are truly in uncharted waters, economically speaking. Government intervention in the private sector has never been so large. Nobody in positions of power has ever experienced back to back quarters of such contraction. They are literally feeling their way through this; there is no blueprint to follow.
Government intervention was necessary to save us from complete collapse; otherwise we could have gone to our ATM machines and our debit cards may not have worked.
It was also lack of government regulation that caused this. Nobody in government saw the potential devastation in the repackaging and worldwide distribution of sub-prime loans, but they werenât looking either.
Full economic recovery may be three to four years away and the shape of that recovery is a matter of intense debate. Government deficits will be huge for years. Will we have runaway inflation like the late 70s; or will we, as a nation, default under all the weight of debt? Taxes, one would think, must surely go up but with the government being so heavily involved are we heading toward a more socialist, less capitalistic society?
âI always like to reflect and look for take-aways that will help me be a better financial planner, or investment advisor; something actionableâ Bell says. âAnd I have now started to employ some unique things in client portfolios.â Asked to identify those unique items, he says he will release those concrete, actionable items in the future. âBut for now, be flexible to your investment approach. The next few years should be fascinating to watch.â
About the Wealth Management Institute
Located in Gaithersburg, Maryland, Wealth Management Institute is a comprehensive financial planning and money management firm whose mission is to help clients realize their life goals through customized investment strategies. Led by Certified Financial Planner Cameron Bell, Wealth Management Institute has mastered a small but diverse array of investment strategies that provide clients with a strategic and effective approach to wealth management that increases opportunity while minimizing risk. Services include comprehensive financial planning, money management and retirement planning for individuals, as well as business plan design and contribution planning services for businesses. Cameron Bell may be reached at (301) 926-7276 or via e-mail at Cameron.Bell @ Wealthmanagementpro.com
Securities and investment advisory services offered through FSC Securities Corporation, Member FINRA/SIPC and a registered investment adviser. Branch address is 702 Russell Ave., Suite 405; Gaithersburg, MD 20877. 301.926.7276. Additional advisory services offered through Wealth Management Institute, Ltd., a registered investment advisor not affiliated with FSC Securities Corporation.
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