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Charlie Rose Moderates Experts on Investing Today at Global Wealth Management Group Talk
December 23, 2008

The Global Wealth Management Group brought together five experts at the group's headquarters in Purchase, New York to review current market conditions and talk investment strategies for clients looking for ways to invest today. "Perspectives on the Markets and Your Money" was designed to provide advisors and their clients with timely insight and expertise on what remains a historic period in the financial markets.

 Morgan Stanley Publications
Global Economic Forum

Co-President James Gorman hosted the event and, in his introductory remarks, recapped Morgan Stanley's recent actions, from becoming a bank holding company to working alongside the U.S. Federal Reserve and the Treasury, during the recent economic crisis.

"As an institution, we entered ... this period a strong institution and because of these actions, we believe we have exited a stronger institution," Gorman said. "And it positions us properly as we are committed to ensuring that you and your financial security remain just that, secure."

Following those remarks, Charlie Rose of PBS's "Charlie Rose Show" moderated a panel of some of the industry's most respected thought leaders, including:

  • Barton Biggs, Managing Partner of Traxis Partners
  • Steve Galbraith, Limited Partner at Maverick Capital
  • Abhijit Chakrabortti, Chief U.S. Investment Strategist
  • David Darst, GWMG Chief Investment Strategist
  • Barbara Reinhard, GWMG Deputy Chief Investment Strategist

"The three things that everybody seems to want to know are: where are we, how did we get here and where are we going," said Rose before introducing the panelists.

View the webcast

Some key takeaways include:

  • The stage for the current crisis was set following the U.S. recession in 2001, when lower rates coupled with a "mantra of "house prices can only go up,'" Reinhard said.
  • Darst advised focusing on three things: fundamentals, valuation and psychology; watch for home-price depreciation to slow, employment numbers to improve, earnings to revise to the upside, lending to loosen.
  • Biggs called bottom with the S&P entering the mid-700s in mid-November and said that it was time to own stocks.
  • In this recession, unlike past recessions, investing is more about stock selection than sectors, especially in financials and healthcare, Chakrabortti explained. 
  • For those investors with a five-year time horizon, Galbraith said it was a great time to take risk.

In scolding those writing off the future of the U.S. economy, Darst provided the evening with an indelible image in his rendering of the current economic crisis.

"This is the equivalent of an 11-year-old daughter with a cell phone," he said, drawing a laugh from the audience. "It's a phase, a phase we will get through."

Though to be fair, Darst followed that metaphor with another gem, in calling for investors to begin a judicious engagement with the markets. "There are Rembrandts laying on the driveway at a tag sale," he said, prompting Rose to ask, "Where? Where?"

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