Tag Archives: Nuveen Asset Management

Bob Doll: Financial Entertainment vs Financial Education

Kudos to Karen L. Johnson CPA CGMA PMP for filling in for me to file this guest post. For more economic input, the Princeton Regional Chamber holds its economic and technical summit on Tuesday, March 8.   When he was still at BlackRock, Doll was the keynote speaker. 

bob doll A man of finance, family and faith spoke at the Princeton Chamber’s luncheon on March 3. Fresh from CNBC’s Squawk Box, Robert Doll, senior portfolio manager and chief equity strategist at Nuveen Asset Management,  sees one factor in the purpose identified by some media:  financial entertainment and not financial education, in an environment where bad news sells. What was wrong with the market?  A fear funk.

What’s really the biggest risk to the market? That we will import deflation from the rest of the world. Doll suggests we keep in mind that the US is the most isolated economy in the world, 87% domestic, and we’re letting the tail, 13%, wag the dog.  Consider first some positive tailwinds for the US consumer, such as the biggest generation of jobs in history over the last five calendar years, with 89% full-time, along with average earning up 2.5%, to be 3% by the end of 2016.

Look too at corporate balance sheets, where debt has been paid down, and the powerful impact of oil going from $100/barrel down to $30.  As of now, we’re spending a third and saving two-thirds.  Add up those gas savings and it’s “Time for vacation, honey.”

Hand-wringers are citing the decline of manufacturing.  We had Cassandras when we moved from agriculture to manufacturing, just as we do now as the economy has moved from manufacturing to technology. And keep in mind our 2.4% growth, last year and this.

What about Washington? There’s the good, bad and the ugly. [my phrase, not his]  The Good: over about the last 7 years, the Federal deficit has collapsed from $1.4 trillion to $0.4 trillion.  The Bad: Corporate America has the highest marginal tax rate in the world.  The Ugly?

Is this choir director (Doll is listed as such on the website of Stone Hill Church) preaching to the choir? Hard to tell.  What’s sure — it was education and entertainment as he captivated the full house at the Forrestal Marriott.

He wasn’t a funny guy but he did have amusing parts – and he did have the undivided attention of the audience — which puts into question CNBC Squawk Box’s contention that being entertaining means you can’t also have an educational purpose.

So get rid of the fear funk. Don’t confuse the stock market and the economy.

karen johnson
Karen L. Johnson