We continue WEALTHTRACK’s annual tradition of discussing the outlook for the economy, business, policy and markets with Evercore ISI’s Chairman, Ed Hyman, Wall Street’s reigning number one economist for an unprecedented 35 years running. Hyman will be joined by another exclusive guest, New York Life’s Vice Chairman and Chief Investment Officer, John Kim, who oversees over $500 billion in assets at the life insurer, one of the oldest and largest in the world. In this first of a two part series, Hyman and Kim will focus on the outlook for the U.S. economy and markets.
CONSUELO MACK: This week on WEALTHTRACK, charting your course for the New Year. We’ll have our exclusive, annual outlook with ISI’s superstar economist Ed Hyman and New York Life’s Chief Investment Officer John Kim. What do these two financial pros see in our investment future? Their predictions and strategies are next on Consuelo Mack WEALTHTRACK. Hello and welcome to this edition of WEALTHTRACK, I’m Consuelo Mack.
How are you feeling about the U.S. economy and stock market?
If you are like most Americans the answer is better than you did a year ago.
According to Wall Street’s top ranked economist and exclusive WEALTHTRACK guest Ed Hyman, consumer confidence is almost back to its normal expansion level, having made a slow recovery since the 2009 financial crisis.
That confidence is key to the durability and health of the U.S. economic recovery which is heavily dependent upon consumer spending. It accounts for about 70% of GDP…
Another positive, the now nearly six year old bull market.
According to Standard and Poor’s, the 70 month run since the market’s bottom in early 2009 is the fourth longest since World War Two.
Last year the S&P 500 scored its third consecutive double digit gain with a better than 11% advance, nearly 14% when dividends were added.
Other big game changers, that we have covered numerous times on WEALTHTRACK are the dramatic declines in crude oil and gasoline prices, saving families’ hundreds of dollars in annual energy costs, and the ongoing trend of low interest rates. The yield on the benchmark, Ten-Year Treasury note closed at 2.173% at the end of the year, well below the 3% plus level of a year ago.
What’s the outlook for this year?
Joining us for an exclusive annual interview, as he has for nine of the last ten years is Ed Hyman, the legendary economist who has been ranked Number One on Wall Street by institutional investors for an unprecedented 35 years in a row. Ed is now the Chairman of Evercore Group, having recently sold International Strategy and Investment, the firm he co-founded in 1991 to Evercore Partners, a leading investment banking advisory firm.
Our other exclusive guest is John Kim, Vice Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of New York Life Insurance Company where he now oversees more than $500 billion in global stock, bond, cash, and alternative investment assets.
Prior to New York Life Kim was President of Prudential Retirement, Cigna Retirement and Investment Services and Chief Investment Officer of Aetna Life Insurance and Annuity Company.
New York life is a WEALTHTRACK sponsor but Kim is here on his own merits for his long-term, multi-asset global perspective.
I began the interview by asking each of them how they feel about the health of the U.S. economy as we enter 2015.
ED HYMAN: The numbers are looking better. Say confidence is up. Loan growth is up. Car sales are up to pick three things that have just come out, and that’s been going on now going into the sixth year. I am influenced a lot by my travels around the U.S., and almost every place I go to is doing better. New York is doing better. Boston is doing better. Miami is booming. I go to Tampa, and it’s doing better, Nashville.