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Meet the Masters – Linda Duessel, a Senior Equity Strategist with Federated Hermes. We discussed the impact the Fed has had in a the 2020 Pandemic, taking the long view when investing and how it can be dangerous to be a bear
We cover ESG Investing, the long-term impact of Millennials and Gen Z and why Modern Monetary Theory just may come to pass as Baby Boomer age. Lastly, we cover issues with China’s rise, the eternal energy of the American Consumer’s 17 Trillion-dollar wallet and emerging technology like 3D printing. Linda Duessel – thanks for the time!
Hey everybody. It’s Trevor Chambers with Olde Raleigh Financial Group once again. I’m pleased to have my partner here, Alex Mihajlov. Welcome, Alex. How are you?
ALEX MIHAJLOV: Good morning. Good morning.
CHAMBERS: What’s going on? We are really excited.
MIHAJLOV: Yes, we are.
CHAMBERS: We have with us Linda Duessel from Federated Hermes and Alex; you’ve been following her for a long time.
MIHAJLOV: She’s a phenomenal writer –
MIHAJLOV: — and she – she’s not afraid to put her opinions out there. I like that about her. So, we’re – we’re going to hear some strong talk from a strong woman. I’m excited about that.
CHAMBERS: So, welcome, Linda. How are you today?
LINDA DUESSEL: I’m just peachy. Thanks so much. I’m happy to be involved here with your podcast and I’m so sorry we can’t be visiting live and in person.
CHAMBERS: Yeah. We are too.
DUESSEL: But, soon, I’m sure. Soon. Someday soon.
MIHAJLOV: Do you think the world will ever get back to normal meetings again?
DUESSEL: Yeah, I do. I mean I’m – I’m shocked at how many people think that times have changed forever. I keep saying, come on this is just temporary. It’s just temporary. Definitely I think some things have accelerated in terms of our ability to meet remotely and such but nothing will replace the live-in person and, you know, I know I miss seeing people live and in person. I certainly making the best of this but come on guys, it’s temporary.
MIHAJLOV: So, so –
CHAMBERS: Go ahead.
MIHAJLOV: Linda, tell us about your background so we can have a little — we can set the table with your background and then we can talk about the economy and stuff.
DUESSEL: Well, I live now in the Pittsburgh area but I also did grow up in the Pittsburgh area. We are a Steel Mill town, historically. And my daddy was a, what we called a mill hunk back in the day. He worked at the mill. I think the most money he ever made at any year was 26 thousand dollars. That was a huge year for him. He usually made like in the teens. I’m telling you I grew up in the upper-lower class. So, we didn’t have much money at all and you know, not to get into politics, I suppose we should talk about politics a little bit here sometime but when it came time for me to decide what party I want to be in, I looked at my parents and my relatives and I said okay, we’re all poor. They’re all democrats. I think the rich people are republicans. I suppose I’ll be a republican. And so that’s what I did. I said you know what, I need to get out of this city. I need to get out of here and so I decided I’m going to go to the very best schools that there are. And, you know, and it’s interesting since we got into this lockdown, I’ve had the chance to share one of my many presentations called, Be Fearless, where I talk about my background and I just – I just tell people, you know, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Go out there and make mistakes and if it’s one thing that we are all in, it’s sales. Try to be a public speaker. So that’s what I focused on. Nose to the grindstone. None of this men versus women stuff. Just do your job and people will actually, you know, people will ask you – will ask for your help. So, it’s been great.
MIHAJLOV: So, how long have you been in the industry?
DUESSEL: I’ve been in the industry over 35 years now. I started in the high yield bond area, which was a great area and just studied companies inside and out and their footnotes. I used to manage our high yield bond fund here at Federated Hermes and my best trade ever was selling Exxon at the high. It wasn’t like I read all those footnotes and found – or Enron, excuse me. Enron at the high. It wasn’t like I read all those footnotes.
CHAMBERS: Aww, that’s awesome.
DUESSEL: And figured out that they were fraud but I said, oh my god the stock is getting really expensive. And – but it turned out to be one of my best ones. I used to when I was a young lady, I used to love to talk to the generally a lot of older – a lot of older gentlemen. They thought I was a – I was a meek and mild, cute little thing and I’d say, can you explain this and they’d give me the cursory explanation and I said I really don’t understand this. Loved to pull back the onion. Loved to see them sweat. I had so much fun to where at a moment I became known – they said on Wallstreet, if you have a high yield road show that you’re going to do, take it to Pittsburgh first because there’s a lady out there. She’s going to ask you every possible question that could ever be asked under the sun. And I –
CHAMBERS: That’s so awesome.
DUESSEL: — got that kind of a reputation. Yeah, so. So, started out in high yield bonds, yeah. And then I moved on to equities which, you know, I’ve been with bond people and I’ve been with the equity people and I tell you the bond people love them. They’re such curmudgeons. They’re always worried. I mean, life is short. Let’s be equity people. That’s my view.
CHAMBERS: We love you.
MIHAJLOV: Yes, we do love you.
CHAMBERS: This is great.
MIHAJLOV: We love you. You want to – go.
CHAMBERS: Yeah, so, all right, so just so – so Carnegie Mellon Tepper School. Fabulous. I think he just bought the football team down here. Mr. Tucker did. And then UPENN. That’s fabulous. I have a good friend go to UPENN so credentials are on the label. Well, that’s a great story.
MIHAJLOV: That is a great story.
CHAMBERS: I love it. Okay. Let’s jump right on. Let’s get right in. What, Linda is going on with the economy right now? What are the positives and negatives that you see? And what are the current, What Else’s? I read your stuff. I love your What Else’s.
DUESSEL: Well the economy right now is, I think arguably were in an economic recovery. It was the worst and deepest and shortest recession that we ever had. Some even called it a depression. And thanks to unprecedented stimulus – stimulus, I couldn’t have possibly dreamed would be possible but we’re able to look over and through the valley and as many jobs as we lost, I think we’ve gotten half of those back. I’m so happy to see that around the whole wide world you’re seeing a breadth of countries doing – doing better. I – I do every month I get a piece of information for one of our Wallstreet resources and it looks at the manufacturing economies which are – they’re the ones that are most sensitive to changes in the economy. Manufacturing economies around the globe are the expansion – in the expansion mode or contraction? Are they doing better this month than last month? Or worse? And what you’re seeing now is a vast majority of countries around this world are doing better than they were last month and they are in a growth mode and the same can be said for the United States, so. You know, we’re all – we’re all mired in the COVID and, you know, then the politics of the day. And, you know, and changes and oh my god are the changes forever? And as I think as we look into next year, it’s going to be very difficult not to see a stronger economy, potentially. A much stronger economy if the United States is going to go through fitz and starks. And if I could just say that – this about the United States. Our manufacturing economy did come back well but we are a huge economy and I think we need to appreciate that fact. It’s easy to have a V shaped recovery in the Stock Market. It’s forecasting mechanism that looks forward and says we’re going to get over this valley but it’s a lot easier to help manufacturing businesses than services businesses. And we’re service oriented economy and, you know, the PPP, the payroll protection program, etcetera has been a – has been a good thing but there are a lot of small companies out there that are still hurting. So, even if we continue to expect massive stimulus, regardless of who wins this election, I think we need to be prepared for the fact that we will be going through fitz and starks and it’ll give us some uncertainties into next year. But it’s good. Our leadership, whoever it is, on fiscal side, our monetary leadership has said we are not going to let you go into a recession. And that is such music to the ears of any equity, you know, of any equity manager. And, so we’re bullish on – on that score for the economy. Global synchronous – two and a half years it usually takes for people to get their jobs back. So, look for that. And lots of small businesses seeing temporary losses maybe being permanent. So, look for that. Did you want me to get into my What Else’s? My fun What Else’s?
MIHAJLOV: Yeah. Then I want to talk about cash. But yes, yes. Talk about your What Else’s
DUESSEL: First of all, I want to say as goes COVID, and as goes the human nature, the American population, the global population, I feel like, I’ve always felt like, you know, we can get used to anything. And I did – I did have to give up my heels and I’m sorry for that but, you know, I discovered something called Allbirds, and my feet are as happy as they’ve ever been. I walked five to seven miles a day and it’s like I’m walking on air. It’s absolutely too much fun. I, you know, we find what’s fun, it’s Christmas almost every day with Amazon. The mister and I were nesting. We’re getting along fabulously. I knew he was a good cook but it turns out he’s an unbelievable cook.
CHAMBERS: Love this guy.
DUESSEL: And god he’s my favorite subject to troll. I’ve been a naughty girl that way, trolling on him. But my puppy could not be happier so I’ve done a study and I’ve been privileged to give that to audiences on behavioral finance. You know, our human nature can get in the way of our portfolio and of our portfolio growing and our long-term and I brushed off my behavioral finance which I put together back at the global financial crisis for Corona virus style. All kinds of biases that can get us into trouble. Not just in life, but in our investing and I don’t want to bog our discussion down on this. I could never have dreamt, could you have ever dreamed that if we went into a lockdown, based on a global pandemic that the first thing we would decide to hoard is toilet paper. And I just – I just couldn’t believe it. I mean, I could understand food and the like but wow, toilet paper? And I just have to say that human nature, man, I mean I probably shouldn’t say this to the group. They might turn me off now for the rest of the discussion but I still am in a habit. I still count three squares. I won’t go beyond three squares. So, people are funny, aren’t they? People are funny. We’re just funny. Another What Else that I’d like to say is, about the future and the future being so bright and I spoke just about our economy and for next year, people are so shortsighted. People – people we need to take the long view and as investors we really need to ask ourselves, am I an investor or am I a trader? And this goes to my behavioral finance as well. I’ve talked to a lot of groups on lockdown with my behavioral finance presentation and a lot of the young people and the young people will say, well, you know, what should I do? What do you think I ought to do? And I say, you know, get that piece, we all know this piece of – of art, really, but it’s history. And it looks at the United States going back to the ‘20s. It looks at all of the troubles that our country has faced, you know. The war, the shutdown, 9/11, etcetera. People want to hide behind rocks for all these reasons and I would say to people, take this – tape this chart of the S&P 500, which is recently at record highs. Tape it anywhere you can see it every single day. And if you’re a long-term investor, you love the United States of America. I was – when I was a young, young lady, I remember – I remember where I was two times in my life. One when Elvis died. I was a huge Elvis fan. I was shocked. I almost crashed my car. I was driving at that time. The other time I was driving, as well, and that was during the market, the 1987 market crash. And I was shell shocked. I was too young to be so worried about this. I wanted to just have my tiny little whatever we had, two thousand dollars in cash and I wanted to put it into the bank and my husband, that same fabulous, fabulous cook, said to me – in the evening he said to me, how could the United States corporations be worth so much less in just one day?
DUESSEL: So, please take the long-term view. I think when we look back on this time, I’ve said this to my husband a million times in lockdown. We’re in lockdown. All right, we’re putting our masks on. We’re ordering from the store. We’re afraid to go in the store. Finally, he let me in. We survived it all. We can’t even catch a cold anymore because we’re so pristine. We’re going to look back on this time one day, this temporary time one day. We’re going to look back and we’re going to say to ourselves, what should I have done? My company has no clue where I am at this moment doing this virtual meeting. If I can find Wi-Fi, why am I not in Florida somewhere on the beach? Why am I hunkering down for the – for the winter here? Why didn’t the mister and I take this time to find our beach house, meanwhile, you know, we’re, oh, you know, we probably shouldn’t get out and about. And housing is on fire as you know. And the last What Else that I want to make sure I say is, I’m an aging baby boomer. I’m sorry about that. I’m trying to get used to the 60s here. I think – I think it’s cool I turned 60. People didn’t say, wow, you know, you look – you’re getting – starting look old from being in your 50’s. Maybe they can say I’m looking young for being in my 60’s. But the truth is the millennials are taking center stage. You know what, I guess I’m — I guess I’m happy for that. The millennial generation and the Gen Z’s behind them are two generations that are larger – much larger than my own. And they are the most well educated, the most tech savvy that we have ever had. Two things I want to say about the millennials, in particular, I’ve – I’ve said many times as I’ve traveled the country; I love the millennials and there’s a lot of boomers that growl at millennials. They know one or two that they’re – that they have a problem with. They’re moving into their peak earnings year. If I step back and look at investing in general here and I say ok, then the baby boomer generation, we’re getting older. You know, we’re retiring 10,000 a day. The millennials for the last ten years, they were still too young. Now they’re getting into that 35, 30, 35 to 48-year age span. That is the most productive years in our lives. The millennials will peak in 2038. So, the future is fabulous for the United States of America and if you wanted to follow where the money is, what do the millennials love? I love a lot of parts of the – of the stock market but technology is everywhere. Technology has made our lives great and I’m not saying this but one of my favorite resources out there has said that technology is probably going to grow to 50 percent of the S&P 500. So those are some of my What Else’s for our meeting this day.
MIHAJLOV: And let me ask you another What Else, while you’re on it. I’m sorry –
CHAMBERS: No, no. Go ahead.
MIHAJLOV: Since you got a puppy, you must see what’s going on with the whole pet industry stocks story. What are your thoughts on all those? Are they overpriced or is that – I kinda (sic) see that as a straight line too like technology. Seems like everybody wants a puppy and I’m – I’m the recipient of rescued Corgi, myself so I’m right there with you.
DUESSEL: Well, I, yeah, I know I noticed part of the lockdown, a lot of people did – did get pets and I saw – I saw something really fairly early on in the lockdown that showed that – that the rescue places for dogs were at a moment they were empty and they were celebrating the fact that they were empty. And I – and I hope the people fall in love with their pets and don’t give them up when we all get back and busy again. I – I know – I’m pretty sure – I believe in heaven – I hope everybody on the group does believe in heaven as well. The only thing I know for sure about heaven is that there ain’t no beer there. And I – which is fine with me. I don’t drink beer. I’m a wine lady, myself. But no one has ever said that our pets can’t join us on the other side and so, yeah, we’ll do whatever we have to do for our pets and that includes how very expensive they become at the end of their life span. Which I have seen with my dog. He’s still around. He’s an old man. But when you take your dog to a specialist like that and you see how much it cost, I say to the people in checkout, I said, you know, I wish – I wish I could get a piece of this action. I wish I could own a piece of this place because – because if I thought the best invention ever was bottling water. I think, I don’t know it might be this. And they are packed all the time. Yeah, we love our animals. That is – that is an area of our Kaufmann franchise where I know that they – that they’ve discussed some of these kinds of investments. You know, as an investment, that is a super niche investment. It’s – I think it definitely has legs to it, if I may, you know. Four legs to it. It has legs to it, for sure. If I may. But that’s very niche –
DUESSEL: — and I – I don’t like when people – when people ask me about should I buy cruise boats or should I buy, you know, the airlines, for example? Very niche here, you know. I mean, I’m all in on the pet industry but as stocks go, let the – let the experts pick those and check out valuation and the prospects. But what a goldmine.
CHAMBERS: Yeah. Hey, switching gears, cash. There’s so much cash on the sidelines. What is that telling you?
MIHAJLOV: And where is that cash going to end up and what’s going to be the emphasis on that?
DUESSEL: Well, you know, there is a ton of cash on the sidelines. Last I saw was four and a half trillion dollars of cash on the sidelines. And it has been this case for a while. I also early on in lockdown I saw a piece of information from Fidelity that said that very early on, 30 percent of their baby boomers’ clients sold everything and got into cash.
DUESSEL: And as much as when we were doing our calls, our advisor calls and our end client calls at the beginning of this crisis and we were saying to people, you know, history says waterfall declines, you know, they stop and they’ll turn themselves around and please don’t sell into this waterfall decline again. It is only temporary. People were selling everything. There were at least two panic days I remember. They were selling gold and treasury bonds which is kind of the things that they would buy. But then in April and May, the most common question I was getting in my end client calls was, do you think that we’ll have a pull back in the market because I have all this dry powder to spare. So, whenever I talk to groups now and I say to people, you know, I’ve said this for months and months. It is dangerous to be a bear. For me I was very worried. I was very bearish at the beginning but the moment that the central bank said, we will buy municipal bonds and unprecedented comment from them. We will buy high yield ETFs if we have to. I said, all right, that’s it. I’m going to the other side. I’m going with the bull. And it is very dangerous to be a bear in here. Cash doesn’t yield you anything so there’s – there is – there are a couple of problems with cash on the sidelines, money underneath your – your mattress is, and it depends upon who you are too. Eighty percent again of the money is in – is with the 55 years and older crowd. We’re very worried. We’re very nervous nellies. What we saw was not just a rush to cash but really since 2007, ’08 with the financial crisis and honestly ever since, we’ve seen this in the flows. The big money flows from people like me and older continue to go into government bonds. We think – we think that that’s a safe place to go but the yields are just not enough for us and then I’m sure you and other advisors have suffered this. Where, you know, your client doesn’t understand their bond math. I mean, bonds are exceedingly expensive. If there’s a bubble out there, it’s bonds. That’s not cash. It’s as close as cash as you can be. You see people like, you see the big monies that is, I should say, the boomers and older that have the monies to invest going into bonds, she has money under the blanket but then you see Robinhood. You see the Robinhood accounts. And they Robinhood accounts, I just saw a chart fairly recently, since July of this year, the Robinhood accounts going into S&P 500 ETF’s has skyrocketed kind of in a parabolic manner and dovetailing the M1 or the M2, money supply out there. So, people getting the 1200-dollar checks, we’ve seen this. We’ve seen evidence of this. Putting it directly into the stock market. You also see a generational switch of gold versus bitcoin. Gold for the older generation is being used as some sort of a safe haven. Gold doesn’t’ pay anything. Bitcoin for the younger groups. But this all comes into the kind of cash on the sidelines. So, let’s look ahead into next year. Let’s say we’re right. Next year the global synchronous economic recovery carries on around the world and people start to feel more comfortable. For sure getting mor comfortable with COVID. How to deal with it and how to live with it. Maybe we make – maybe we – maybe we have the most mild flu season in many years because we’re all being very careful. We’re all getting our flu shots. Maybe we’ll survive moving indoors and we’ll have smaller groups and we’ll look out into next year. Okay, where’s the puck going next year? I guess they say it was Gretzky, but it should have been the greatest hockey player ever, Mario Lemieux. I don’t know if you knew that. He was actually the greatest hockey player ever. Where’s the puck going next year? Where are we investing next year? With all this cash on the sidelines, people get tired of it. And so, consider the bubble. Is there a bubble going on in the stock market? I’ve seen a lot written and talked about that. The big bank stock. Or if you trade Netflix for Microsoft, (inaudible) whatever it is. Indeed, a lot of the cash on the side lines has gone into the big ETFs, the S&P 500 ETFs. The biggest names in the market place. And there’s concern about another bubble bursting. You know, I was there when the tech bubble burst. Since the time the tech bubble burst, it was – we were not counting earnings. We were lucky if there were revenues to count. Now we were counting eyeballs back then. Today the five largest companies in the S&P 500 represent about a quarter of the weight of the S&P 500. And people will think that’s very scary and that there’s a bubble going on as this cash just goes into a handful of names. But if I – if I am a student of history and I look at the valuation and I know that these companies are unbelievably profitable, the earning share of the largest companies in the S&P 500, with the exception of Amazon. He’s an outlier. He’s very expensive as he gobbles up industries in the name of Market share. The other ones are – they deserve their place in terms of the five that they are versus the rest – the rest of the market. So, I don’t see a bubble there yet. I see cash next year maybe going more – going into a mergy market. That’s possibly where international is possibly where you can see the puck going next year, if not Europe. So, record amounts of cash on the sidelines is bullish for the stock market. Dangerous to be a bear and very, very possibly we will see not just a rotation, but – but more money going into other areas of the market place to include some that I’ve just discussed.
CHAMBERS: Dangerous to be a bear. Very interesting. I know I have you for – go ahead.
MIHAJLOV: So, how much is Donald Trump going to win the election by? Tell me about politics. Tell me your thoughts about politics. Don’t hold back. Tell us the truth, now. Tell us what’s really going to happen.
DUESSEL: You know, I was traveling a year – I was traveling back in 2016 with – with one of our very best regional consultants, Landon Harper. And Landon was about to go vote and he said, I’m going to vote for the next president of the United States, Donald Trump. I was so angry with Landon, that day. And I said, why would you do that? You know, he’s never going to be the president and if he is the president, he’s going to start a trade war. And on the day of the election, we – we pay a lot of money for our Washington research in – at Federated Hermes and I remember on the day off the election, with an 80 percent certainty they knew that Hillary would win. By the way, Trump of course, we knew at that time lost my – my beloved husband likes to stay up and watch the election. I couldn’t. I had to go to Boston the next morning. I couldn’t stay up all night, like he did. And they were really cranky in Boston (inaudible) on election day. They were really cranky. I still remember that day. But anyway, my husband came to bed, I said, who won? He said – he said, Trump. I said wow. Can you believe that? And he was – he was growling. The market is down five percent. And I said, you know what, honey? I hope the markets still down when I get up in the morning because what a time – what a fabulous buying opportunity that will be – and you know which stocks did the best on the day – the day after the surprise election were the beleaguered cyclical sectors. The best performing sector that day was financial. Wouldn’t that be interesting if Trump, which right now is looked to be the underdog, and right now he – he reasonably should lose the, what is an extremely tight, what is moving to be an extremely tight election. Potentially or a landslide. We’ll see, but the day after he won, financials were the best performing sector. Materials, industrials were – and energy were the big sectors. Those who worry about sectors and I think that’s what is legitimate for us to worry about. Probably much more than the S&P 500. The expectations for S&P 500 earnings hits with Biden tax hikes are all over the map but it is the – it is the financial and the energy sector. Those are the two sectors that are most worried about reregulation. So – so that if indeed Trump pulls this one out, gosh you could potentially see just a really quick broadening of the stocks in the market. Anyway, I live in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is one of the big swing states. We’re all looking at the electoral votes of the big swing states. We know that if Trump can’t win Florida, he’s out. It’s just – it’s just paramount that he wins Florida. It’s tight in Florida. He has a decent chance over there. They can start counting their mail in ballots three weeks in advance. Pennsylvania doesn’t do that. Pennsylvania is – I heard an election law expert who was involved in the counting of the hanging chads back in 2000. And – and he said that Pennsylvania is the worst of all – of all the states in terms of our election laws on the books. Where in Pennsylvania, they can’t start counting until – until election day and so we’re going to have about half of – about half of the –
MIHAJLOV: Go ahead.
CHAMBERS: Go ahead.
DUESSEL: Okay, so what’s going to happen with the election? I live in Pennsylvania and we are one of the important big swing states in this election. We have 20 electoral votes and it’s looking to be tight here in Pennsylvania. Florida is the biggest prize at 29 votes in terms of the swing states. That’s what we’re all watching. Florida has to – Trump has to win Florida. If he loses Florida –
MIHAJLOV: It’s over.
DUESSEL: — that’s it. He cannot –
DUESSEL: — he cannot win the race if he loses Florida.
DUESSEL: Yeah. And – but we should know reasonably early if he wins in Florida because they’re starting to count three weeks in advance of the election. There are three important states that are big swing states including my own Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. We have – we do not start counting until election day and particularly for Pennsylvania, where I live, a half of the votes are likely to be mail in votes. The Brookings Institution did a review and it said that – it suggested that not – most of the states are not ready for the massive mail in voting that’s occurring. Ten times the historical average, so it could be a while. Something’s to concern ourselves with regard to the election and a contested election, it might not be as simple as it was last time around back in 2000. The market fell with the uncertainty by 13 percent while we were working through the contested election. But that was just a contested of Florida. This could be a number of other states. So unfortunately, this time around we’re much more politically polarized than we have ever been. Much more so than 2000. And we have social media which can exacerbate things. So, another one of the experts that I’ve listened to recently looking at surveys suggested that probably half of the American population will believe that their candidate was – that their candidate was robbed if their candidate doesn’t win. A quarter of them will believe on either side of the isle, will believe that they’re candidate doesn’t win that it was a rigged election and – and unfortunately a third on either side believes that some amount of violence might be legitimate. Might be okay. I don’t know that Trump is going to win. I would – I would believe that he probably doesn’t win even though it’s very, very tight. There may be a silent majority. I wonder if anybody in the silent majority is voting for Biden? But definitely I know there’s a silent majority for Trump. But with ten times the historical mail in voting, I would think that would definitely argue for the democratic side although early on right now, we’re seeing, so far, it’s been about 50/50 democrat/republican in terms of the voting by mail. But then the final comment that I want to make to you about who is going to win, maybe not the final one, is what – what’s interesting to me is, okay if this was a referendum on Trump. And you were in the voting population. We’re going to have the most votes ever in any election, we believe. Who’s going to get the most votes? The one – the one who people voted for or the one who is the beneficiary of voting against t the other guy. So that’s something that just kind of – it’s – it’s on the back of my mind. I would think that the one – that people who were voting for someone were more likely to vote. So, I don’t know – I don’t know who’s going to win. I bet you my buddy Landon knows who’s going to win this thing but right now, I would think it would be Biden. I hope that it’s – I would – I wish it would be a landslide. I hope there will be a landslide but I also as a stock market goes, I don’t care who wins this election. As the economy and stock market goes. And I emphasize that to people. I want to say this to you, if I may. Since 2015 I’ve been getting an ear full and I try – I used to travel every week on behalf our company. I used to – I’ve been hearing almost uninterrupted comments on a political – political nature about the unique personality in the white house and I would say to people, you know, we can talk about whatever you want to but – but I’m telling you, you’re putting too much stock in what’s going on in Washington D.C. as it relates to the economy and the markets. And that is in spades right now. No matter who wins this election, their debating about, I don’t know, a trillion or another trillion or another three trillion, numbers that we wouldn’t have dreamed of probably eight, ten months ago in terms of spending. All that spending is good news. We’ll kick that can down the road as to how we pay for this thing. All that spending plus the central bank that says, we are not thinking about thinking about thinking about raising interest rates anytime soon. That is just music to the ears of the stock market. I think that’s good news for growth. And if I may just say we are all populous now.
CHAMBERS: That’s — yeah. Along those lines, you know, we’re talking to our clients a lot about tax planning because of all this spending. I just want, you know, I’d like — Roth when we can, you know and all that. And I’m just wanted to know if you had any thoughts on that because clearly taxes at some point here are going up as per what you said earlier.
DUESSEL: Yeah. Tax planning is definitely a consideration. I mean, especially when you’ve seen some big gains and particularly in the technology area but also in some of the – some of the smaller cap areas. The big gains are – are something that’s worth considering if you believed that Biden would – is going to win this election and raise the taxes next year. And, you know, he may or he may not do that if he wins the election because of the fact that were likely to go through fits of starks. I saw an interesting statistic recently that said, in terms of the concern about dumping – dumping of stocks if you will, but selling your stocks. Maybe stocks that you really still like and believe in because you have large capital gains in them and you don’t want to pay them much higher capital gains tax, 70, I guess I saw something like 75 percent of the capital gains are within institutions that they are unlikely to sell. I don’t know how much this does in terms of hitting stocks. If – if I were, you know, well into the money on any particular name that had a big gain and I said, you know, I was going to sell it anyway. Or it’s getting to be too big of a piece of my portfolio or whatever, I might sell it after the election comes now in the name of saving on that – saving on those taxes but I don’t know that it’s going to move the markets that very very much. And if it does – if it does move individual names that much, winner names, names that are winners that much, then I would have dry powder at the ready and personally, you know, personally I kind of do, so in terms of tax planning, it’s so tough. You know, sometimes people ask about, you know, what should we do with estate planning or whatever. It’s – it’s so tough to say that because every time you get a new administration, they can change the whole thing around so, I hope that people will take a long view again. Be long term investors and say were you planning on selling this anyway? If you were, you know, you might –
MIHAJLOV: Let me — If you’re going to give me some more time, let me ask you kind of a bigger question. And that is, when you look at what is going on in the politics these days, we have on one side a guy that’s basically a hard core believer in America. Very capitalist. Very self-reliant, etcetera, etcetera. On the other side we have a much more big government looking for, you know, the government should help you make your decisions, etcetera, etcetera putting it lightly. Are you seeing in all your research, is there a generational shift in that thinking? So are the generations behind you and I, the boomers, you know, are they thinking no big government really is – should be helping us etcetera? Where is this coming from? I’m trying to figure it out because was I asleep during the Obama era and the country just shifted or what – where is this coming from in your opinion?
DUESSEL: Well, two things I want to say. One is – is that I learned – I heard when I was very, very much younger and I believe it’s to be the case is we’re generally just as human nature, human beings, much more liberal until we gain property and then they become much more conservative. I guess, the older we get we can very much likely become more conservative. That’s one piece of this. The other piece of this is something that has been nagging at me for many years and I’ll tell you if the last 15 years, if anybody ever said to me, what is your biggest fundamental concern for the United States and I would say, fundamentally my biggest concern is the chasm between the haves and the have nots. And so, I made my election presentation the most (inaudible) election ever. And it basically shows the political polarization in our country is as high as it has ever been. That dovetails with our gene index being amongst the worst in the whole wide world. The gene index measures the dispersion between incomes within a population and ours has been amongst the worst for a very long time. It really started to accelerate back in the 1970’s and you know when we had the big financial crisis and we came out of that. The rich got richer and then the richer are getting richer now. And half of the population doesn’t own a single stock. So, what happens in – when you have a bigger and bigger chasm between the haves and have nots, you know, you get angry people and they want – they want the – they want the other thing. So, we definitely were moving in this direction anyway and now as I spoke about in a bullish way, the millennial generation and the gen z’s behind them. These are the younger – these are the younger generation. They are a massive together. A massive generation and those two generations by 2030, will represent more votes than the older generations. That’s by 2030. So, when I say we’re all populous now, we look at – in the COVID crisis has only accelerated this where technological advances were going on already. Technological advances were taking away jobs from the lower income cohort. My daddy – my daddy who was my hero because he let me go to the fancy schools even though we had no money. He was a mill worker and he made a pretty good buck for those days being a Union man. All those jobs are gone. Many, many jobs being taken by machines. It’s only accelerated now. All these poor people, you know, taking the – taking Uber jobs in a gig economy and even losing those jobs now. And what’s to do with those jobs and that goes to a theme that I think is going – it’s a theme that I’m working on actually for yet, another presentation. That’s what you do when you’re sitting around the house. You know, you do these meetings and then you look at the dog and you make another presentation but I’m working on modern monetary theory – modern monetary theory and I want to – I want to tell you that, not knowing how much time we have left together, I’ll do a shout out for my company and Federated Hermes and we – we invested ESG, environmental social and governance investing and that is definitely a wave of the future. It is inevitable. Yet another one of my presentations. It is absolutely inevitable and I’m telling you as somebody who loves to do surveys when I travel, and I would ask advisors, I would say, who knows what ESG stands for. And most of the people wouldn’t know and I’d say, you got to know. If the average investor, excuse me, advisor out there is in his mid 50’s, I’m sorry for that but you have to understand that women and millennials in the younger generation are very interested in ESG investing. Institutions are. It’s going mainstream. So, I want to make a shout out for that but also my new and up and coming one. Which goes to the question that you asked, is who knows what MMT stands for? I ask this over and over in the last year. Who knows what MMT stands for and advisors didn’t know, and their clients didn’t know and I would say I’ll tell you who knows what MMT stands for? AOC does. I bet you know who AOC is. And Bernie Sanders does. Modern Monetary Theory and I have been studying on this. I’ve talked to experts on this who insist that we are not having modern monetary policy right now. But when we decide that anybody who wants a job should have a job and I would rather give — I would rather have people who look to be permanently unemployed, give them a shovel to dig a whole and then refill. As a job until the private sector can hire that person, then have them sit at home collecting a check and getting angry in the evenings, if you know what I’m saying. So, I think modern monetary theory which says, don’t worry about the deficits. You know, we are fiat currency. We are not tied to the gold standard. Do not worry about having to pay down the debt. Let us worry about our economy and – and our population. That is what the United States did necessarily with COVID as did the rest of the world. And I think you’re going to see Modern Monetary Theory become policy as we the boomers leave center stage. And as the, you know, as our economy works its way out of this and continues to grow, so.
MIHAJLOV: Any – any comments on China? I don’t know if you’ve read, I just finished reading Disunited Nations. It was by –
CHAMBERS: I can’t remember his name.
MIHAJLOV: Great book. You might really enjoy it, Linda. And it – this is a guy that – that has a strategic think tank and looks at what’s going to happen with Nations around the world. And he thinks the US is going to be a very big winner the next 20, 30 years versus others because we’re pulling back as the world of the global (inaudible) people. You know, what are your thoughts on China and our relationship with them and where is all that going?
DUESSEL: I think China is very – was very interesting that probably say in the last five years, we’ve got more and more information to guessing that various countries around the world. We’re getting angrier and angrier about their not playing fair. About the stealing of intellectual property and of course they were rooting for the United States to fight that good fight. Indeed, China has become the second largest economy in the whole wide world and the – it is – it is now bipartisan. The disapproval of China and that has been accelerating in the last several years and it’s only gotten worse now with the COVID crisis. I think that – I think that what that means, is that you’ll see more jobs coming back to the US. And really, truly it – it’s been happening anyway. For ten years the manufacturing renaissance here in the United States has been going on. 3D printing. I’ve said this for years to people. Check out 3D printing. It’s unbelievable what can be done now. More and more manufacturing coming back to the United States from – from China in particular. And so yeah, I – I love it that you suggested that – you suggested that there is research and suggesting that the United States going to come out the winner. I’m a huge fan of the USA. I’ve – I’ve always believed that we’ve got some of the smartest minds in the whole wide world. We’ve got – there’s bad guys. There’s a lot of good guys out there too and we – and to the extent that we’re bipartisan now in our disapproval of China. I don’t think it matters who wins this election that way either. I think that we’re going from globalization to nationalization. I think that’s going to be a feature around the world and if that is going to be a feature, I’m so glad to be in the United States. We are poised to be such. We are, you know, we’re now energy independent. Electric vehicles. The other thing the old man did during – during lockdown, we’ve been going with the SUV for many years. He ran out of – he ran out of time. He said I guess I’ll get another one. I said, honey why don’t you check out a Tesla. I bet you look good in a Tesla. Well he is in love with his electric vehicle now. And –
CHAMBERS: Awesome. What’s that handsome gentleman’s name?
DUESSEL: What’s that? His name is – is David.
CHAMBERS: David, all right.
DUESSEL: I call him big Dave. He’s my teddy bear.
CHAMBERS: Well, just two questions that I know – we’ve taken up so much of your time. This has been fabulous. Oh, by the way, the book Disunited Nations and it’s Peter Zeihan and I can happily send that along. What are you reading? Two questions. What are you reading, pod casting, streaming any of those? Like what’s going on? And then the last question about restaurants local.
DUESSEL: Okay. And thank you so very much. So very much appreciate the opportunity to talk with you and share thoughts with you and I sure hope we can get together.
CHAMBERS: We would love that.
DUESSEL: What am I reading, podcasting, streaming? You know, I never did latch on to twitter. I tried. My husband showed me how you could follow this one or that. It streamlines or whatever but I guess it doesn’t matter if I didn’t pick up on Twitter because apparently you can’t trust what you read there. I’ll tell you what I read. I read 300 emails every single day from our Washington Wallstreet research which we pay good money for and in terms of – in terms of the – of the lockdown and just – just a different scenery. You know, not running through airports and not sitting in a hotel room. Just different scenery. And I’ll tell you what I’m reading. I’m getting a lot more spiritual and I think, you know, everybody teaches though, but to me that’s – that’s made a difference to me. That’s been a really really good thing. You know I’m bumming about my – I’m bumming about my shoes. I can’t wear my shoes. They’re getting dust but on the other hand, you know what, my feet were not very happy at all with them. They do love the allbirds. And if I don’t need those big Louis Vuitton bags, I find myself a fabulous, fabulous Chanelle boy bag which is what I’m now showing off in the local grocery store, so. Life is to die for. Life is good. And – and in terms of where we’re eating –
DUESSEL: — where we’re eating. I would say just for a shout out here to, their neighbors of mine and they were listed in the New York Times as one of the 100 best restaurants, is a local Italian restaurant called Tambellini. They’re a long-time family owned restaurant. They make terrific food there. Walking my dog, talking to my neighbor lady who runs that place at the first was so bummed about they closed down. I mean restaurants, and if I could say this unbelievable to the group. I know we have to go but why is – why is the economy doing so much – or the market doing so much better than what we perceived to be. There’s a – the United States is consumer led. Seventeen trillion-dollar consumer wallet. Only four percent of which got hit by social distancing. Only four percent.
MIHAJLOV: That’s a great —
DUESSEL: Housing and automobiles, for example are to die for and of that four percent, 63 percent were restaurants. They get crushed. She raised her hand into the sky one day and said this is America. Is this not America? And here in the – in Pittsburgh where it’s starting to get colder, we’re seeing little glass houses come up and –
DUESSEL: — where they’re seating, you know, one group at a time. Little glass houses. We will do what we can. I love my Italian. I love my Tambellinis. And I love my husband’s cooking. He came up with a – we’re getting misfit vegetables. I learned what jicama was. So, he said, “hey google, give me a recipe with jicama in it.” We’re enjoying each other’s company a lot at home too but definitely supporting local restaurants.
MIHAJLOV: Cool. This was awesome.
MIHAJLOV: I gotta (sic) hand it to you. This was probably the most interesting podcast we’ve done in the last 60 days. Thank you so much. You are a fascinating woman.
MIHAJLOV: I’m going to keep reading your stuff and I would love to see you in person when it allows and we can do this again. I’d love for you to come speak to our clients if you want sometime in Raleigh at our (inaudible) and our treat, we’d love to host you down here. So that’d be great fun. Thank you.
DUESSEL: Thank you so very much. I so appreciate it. Thank you very much and god bless and be well.
CHAMBERS: Yeah. We will see you. Thank you.
Alex Mihajlo – Full Bio
The arch of his career has now landed his firm, Olde Raleigh Financial, to become a fee-based, Independent Advisory firm. Prior to that Mr. Mihajlov was a branch manager at A.G. Edwards, Wells Fargo and Raymond James. His career has been an evolution and, in turn, his perspective on service has evolved. “My team and I have experienced the large brokerage houses and banks. While they have carved out their spot in the marketplace, I can say it is not for us. We have evolved and we tend to attract those who have evolved away from cookie cutter to a world of customization. They want collaboration. They wanted to be listened too. They want a relationship and we want them to be excited about our relationship.”
Trevor Chambers – Full Bio
Trevor joined Olde Raleigh Financial Services in January of 2015 and his primary role is new business development and marketing. Prior to joining the firm, Trevor spent 12 years working at his family’s restaurant, Raleigh’s Bella Monica Cucina & Vino. “Exceptional service, no matter the industry, is paramount and we attract clients who value and take comfort in being taken care of.”
Linda Duessel – Full Bio
Linda is a Senior Equity Strategist. She works as part of the team responsible for formulating Federated Hermes’ views about various equity market conditions and the firm’s positioning strategies. In addition, she is responsible for articulating the strategy, process, positioning and performance of Federated Hermes’ equity portfolios.